This week I taught a vegetable fermentation class and this delicious, bubbly, sour beet kvass was one of the demonstrations. Since some of the class attendants asked if the beet kvass recipe was on my website, I decided to add it now!
Beet kvass is a vegetable ferment but it’s made mostly for the liquid that’s used for drinking as a health tonic versus solely for eating the vegetable itself. Kvass is a great liver cleanser and those with sluggish liver (remember that autoimmune and hormonal problems are a symptom of sluggish liver), or liver disease/elevated liver enzymes should consider drinking daily.
This is one of the simplest vegetable fermentation recipes around and if you’re new to fermenting or only have a small amount of time to ferment, this is the ferment for you! Since many beet kvass recipes call for whey, this dairy-free is a great variation for those who are dairy-allergic, on a low sulfur diet due to a CBS mutation, Paleo, or vegan.
Ingredients & equipment:
1 cup chopped beets (clean beets then cut pieces about 1/2 inch to 1 inch — this way they’re less likely to float to the top)
1 teaspoon salt (you can technically use all the way up to 2 tablespoons of salt if you prefer more salinity. Mineral salts like pink salt or Real Salt are best)
filtered water — approximately 3 cups (but amount will vary)
1 quart mason jar with lid
large wooden or plastic spoon
Optional: flavoring additions like ginger, orange or lemon peel, cloves, cinnamon stick, cardamom, etc.
Chop washed beets.
To clean quart jar, add salt and one cup of water. Using spoon, stir salt to dissolve.
Add chopped beets. Add flavorings if using (note that they’re not necessary!)
Top off with the rest of your water. Make sure to leave at least one inch air space to the top of the jar (because liquid will expand as fermentation begins).
Place lid on jar, tightly sealed.
Place jar at room temperature on the counter top in your kitchen (placing a bowl or pie dish underneath works well to collect any spill over). Allow to ferment between 1-4 weeks. If too much water spills out of the ferment, top it off with more filtered water. In general, beets ferment very quickly and will probably only need about a week in a temperature between 70 and 100 degrees F (indirect ambient temperature).
Make sure your beets do not float to the top and get exposed to air. If the veggies are exposed to air, they can mold which would ruin the ferment. The salt water brine keeps them from going bad. As long as the beets sink to the bottom and stay there, you’re good. Note that moldy ferments would look like fuzzy mold on top and you will notice it. They do have to be thrown away.
**You MUST come back at least three times per day to release pressure from the jar (to “burp” as it’s called). Otherwise you will end up with an explosion! If you will not be able to release the pressure multiple times per day, you can leave the lid loosely fitted on the jar. Your kvass won’t have the same delicious bubble/carbonation but it will still work just fine!**
After the kvass is soured to your liking, store in fridge for up to 6 months. Drink a small amount daily. You can also eat the beets but kvass is all about the liquid!