I have to share a wonderful fermented drink that I discovered in Sally Fallon’s ‘Nourishing Traditions‘. It’s a traditional Ukranian drink made from fermented beetroot. Ok I know it doesn’t sound like much chop but you have to try it. When you make up a good batch, it has this amazing sweet, earthy, fizziness that I can only describe as happiness in a glass (Leah agrees with this statement…Aaron doesn’t).
Honestly I could drink this stuff all day – I have to ration myself to a glass so it doesn’t all go at once.
Beetroots are full of antioxidants, are detoxifying to the liver and help to reduce inflammation. They are also packed full of vitamins and minerals, many of which increase during fermentation.
Beet kvass is incredibly easy to make. The hardest thing is waiting long enough for the fermentation process to develop the flavour.
Here’s the recipe (adapted from ‘Nourishing Traditions’):
Makes 2 litres
3 medium organic beetroot, scrubbed or peeled and roughly chopped (but not grated or you’ll end up with alcohol)
1/4 cup fresh whey (if you don’t want to use whey, add an extra tbsp salt)
1 tbsp sea salt
Water (enough to fill the jar to just below the rim)
Place all ingredients in a 2 litre jar and stir well.
Leave at room temperature for 2-3 days and then move to the fridge.
Ideally you want to leave it for another 3-4 days minimum (although it will last for months) to allow the flavour to develop. You can tell it’s fermenting if it has a slight fizz to it.
Don’t freak out if it develops a few spots of white mould on top. Just scoop them off with a spoon – they’re not harmful.
When you’ve drunk most of it, you can refill the jar with water and go again, leaving the kvass at room temperature for 2 days like before. It won’t taste as strong (unless you can bear to leave it in the fridge for a couple of weeks before opening it).
Tip – Make sure your beetroot are really fresh or it won’t ferment properly. I found this out the hard way when I used some sorry-looking beetroot I’d left in the bottom of the fridge for too long. It didn’t ferment but instead became this sweet, very viscous liquid – not delicious.
by Mel Duncan