An old Ukrainian proverb warns, ‘ A tale that begins with a beet will end with the devil.’ ~ Tom Robbins
Kvass is not very well known outside of certain parts of Europe where its historical significance and popularity is firmly cemented. The first historical mention of Kvass we get is in the Primary Chronicle, a book of ancient Slavic history compiled sometime around 1113. Kvass is commonly made from rye bread and is a popular traditional drink in most of the North Slavic countries. Various types of Kvass have been popular in Ukraine and Russia for more than 1000 years.
Kvass has long been considered a health tonic that purifies the blood and liver and heals the stomach. But it is also a fun fermentation project and tasty beverage.
My version of Kvass utilizes beets, apples and fresh ginger.
Beet Kvass is a simple process requiring nothing more than chopped beets, water and sea salt. I recommend leaving the skin of the beets on. You can also add whey with the water to increase the beneficial probiotic properties of this ancient tonic.
Making Kvass is incredibly easy.
The taste of Beet Kvass is earthy and pleasant. It has a natural, slight sweetness. If you happen to dislike drinking it straight, kvass is also useful in salad dressings, smoothies, cocktails, and soups.
This recipe adds apples and ginger for a unique taste. Feel free to omit them if you want, or experiment with what you have on hand — orange, lemon, berries, herbs etc.Print
Use organic beets, natural sea salt, and (preferably) filtered or spring water to make this beneficial and delicious tonic. Beet Kvass is ridiculously easy and cheap to make at home.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 1 Gallon
- Category: Fermented Foods
- Method: Fermentation
- Cuisine: Eastern Europe
- Filtered or Spring Water
- 1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons of natural fine sea salt
- 4 – 6 Organic Beets (per 1 Gallon of Water)
- 1 Apple, chopped
- 2 inch piece of Ginger, roughly chopped
- 1 Gallon Jar (or smaller jars adding up to 1 Gallon or whatever quantity you’re making)
- Wash your beets. Dislodge any dirt, but do not scrub, peel, or remove the skin. Chop the beets into medium-sized chunks.
- Chop the apple into small pieces, skin and core included.
- Peel the ginger and roughly chop or slice.
- Add the beets, apple, ginger and salt into your jar (or jars).
- Pour water over the fruits and veggies up to 1/2 inch below lid.
- Affix your lid and store this concoction out of direct sunlight in a cool, dry place like your pantry or kitchen cupboard.
- Fermentation will take place over the next week to week-and-a-half. Taste your Beet Kvass after 1 week. You can strain the Kvass if you wish, or leave as is. If you choose to strain it, save the large beet chunks and add them back. They will sink to the bottom.
- Keep stored in the fridge.
Beet Kvass is the basis for many soups as well. If you have whey, you can add a half cup and follow the rest of the directions exactly the same.
Keywords: beet kvass, fermenting