beet kvass with sea salt

How to Make Beet Kvass, with lovely variations: an easy ferment! {Traditional, Paleo, GAPS, AIP}

Megan Drinks, Whole Food Recipes 21 Comments

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This fermented beverage is easy to make, high in nutrition from the “super-food” beets, and is, of course, full of probiotics.

I like to make a slightly sweet version with raspberries.  Traditionally celtic sea salt makes beet kvass a savory beverage that is also rich with the salt’s minerals.  Here’s my sweet version, although who says you can’t add a little sea salt too?

Either way, the lacto-fermentation adds sodium to the nutritional profile of the kvass, a necessary component for proper rehydration. (I give a dairy-free variation below.)

Ingredients  

  • 1 large beet, 1 ½-2 cups, chopped into about 1” cubes, not grated or diced
  • 4 cups filtered water
  • 1 T. whey, strained through a coffee filter or cheesecloth (Use a dairy-free whey for AIP diet; see how below.)
  • ½ cup raspberries, fresh or frozen (optional)
  • 1/16 tsp. or less stevia, or to taste, about 10-15 drops of liquid stevia, NuNaturals brand recommended (Do not use stevia for the AIP diet; for the AIP diet use maple syrup to sweeten after the ferment is complete, to taste.)
  • Optional additional ingredients include strongly brewed hibiscus tea, cooled and used as the liquid for your second batch of kvass, a one-inch piece of fresh ginger or turmeric nub, chopped into four pieces, 2 tsp. lavender blossoms, citrus zest, to taste, 1 cinnamon stick, or ¼ tsp. cayenne (not for AIP).

 Instructions

  1. Place the beet pieces into a one-quart mason jar.
  2. Add the whey.
  3. Fill the jar to within one inch of the neck with filtered water.
  4. Stir and cover, screwing the lid on loosely to allow gasses to escape. Or use these lids.
  5. Keep the brew at room temperature and out of direct sunlight for two days in warm weather, or up to 8 days or longer in colder weather.
  6. After the kvass has deepened in color, has a pleasantly sour flavor, and shows signs of bubbles near the surface, or active effervescence, strain all but ¼ cup from the mason jar.
  7. To the strained kvass, add the optional raspberries and stevia. Stir and cover.
  8. Transfer it to the refrigerator. Chill and serve within one week.
  9. For a future batch, to the remaining beets and ¼ cup liquid, fill this jar again with fresh filtered water. (Do not add new whey.)
  10. Again, keep the mixture at room temperature for 2-8 days minimum.
  11. This second beverage may be milder and less potent than the first, (which is when and why I like to substitute the healthful hibiscus tea for the water). The beets are now “exhausted” and can be thrown away; but ¼ cup of the strained kvass may again be used for a following batch in place of whey.
  12. Recipe Variation- Instead of using filtered water, strongly brewed hibiscus tea may be cooled and substituted. The above listed optional additional ingredients can be fermented with the beets for added flavor variations and nutrition, then strained out with the beets.

Serves 4. Recipe doubles well.

If you wish, use these lids to allow the release of carbon dioxide during the fermenting process.

How to inoculate your ferment without dairy

Use a dairy-free yogurt, such as an unsweetened coconut yogurt. Pour one cup into a coffee filter-lined colander, positioned over a bowl overnight. In the bowl, in the morning, will be your dairy-free whey.

How to Make Beet Kvass- an easy, delicious ferment that hydrates and provides probiotics! GAPS, AIP, Paleo

  • I am allergic to beets. They make my throat close and the inside of my mouth swell. I wonder if I tried eating them fermented like this if I would still be allergic? (I haven’t always been, it’s an allergy that has worsened over time.)

  • spiritedcook

    I love beets, but haven’t tried kvass yet! I belong to a WAPF group so this is in my to do list. I like all your variations!

  • I REALLY dislike beets as a food but as a drink, I love it!

  • emilysv

    Oh I LOVE the raspberry addition to it. YUM!

  • Interesting! Well, I’m glad this drink is on your good side! 😉

  • Thanks, cheers!

  • Thanks!

  • I think that the beet essence would increase, not decrease. Allergies with that much swelling are just a big sorry bummer. Hard to challenge a food after a few years when those symptoms might greet you! 🙁

  • Sounds perfect, love the addition of raspberries!

  • Love the addition of raspberries.

  • How We Flourish

    I may have to try this. I love using beets in smoothies, so I’d probably like this.

  • Raine Saunders

    We love beet kvass, and we’ve made it about a half a dozen different ways (with and without whey). I am currently working on a long-span ferment, almost 7 weeks! I am anxious to see what the results yield. This is by far one of my husband’s and my favorite fermented beverages besides kombucha. It’s so invigorating and replenishing … and delicious! Thank you for this post with variations. There are so many different ways to make this lovely beverages, it’s so nice to have options! 🙂

  • Megan Stevens

    Oh, your long ferment sounds interesting! I’ll love to hear how that goes!! Thanks for your comments!

  • Renee Kohley

    Love the raspberry idea! I just strained some beet kvass earlier this week but I am totally finding some raspberries to try next time!

  • Megan Stevens

    Oh great! I’m so glad to hear it!

  • Diane

    Can you suggest a replacement for the whey? I would like to try this, but can’t have whey. Thanks!

  • I have the same question as Diane. Does it matter if I used my own canned beets? (I grew them and then canned them last year.)

  • Megan Stevens

    Hi, good question! I love fermenting instead of lacto-fermenting. With beet kvass I have only lacto-fermented; so the easiest suggestion that comes to mind is to use a dairy-free yogurt. Pour one cup into a coffee filter-lined colander, positioned over a bowl overnight. In the bowl in the am will be your dairy-free whey. Can you have dairy-free whey, like from coconut yogurt?

  • Megan Stevens

    I would only use fresh beets for this recipe. As for a whey replacement, I suggest using a dairy-free yogurt. Pour one cup into a coffee filter-lined
    colander, positioned over a bowl overnight. In the bowl in the am will
    be your dairy-free whey. Can you have dairy-free whey, like from coconut
    yogurt?

  • Diane

    Thanks, great idea! I had not thought about whey coming from any non-dairy source!

  • Megan Stevens

    Oh good, so glad! 🙂