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This fermented kvass 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.)
- 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).
- Place the beet pieces into a one-quart mason jar.
- Add the whey.
- Fill the jar to within one inch of the neck with filtered water.
- Stir and cover, screwing the lid on loosely to allow gasses to escape. Or use these lids.
- 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.
- 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.
- To the strained kvass, add the optional raspberries and stevia. Stir and cover.
- Transfer it to the refrigerator. Chill and serve within one week.
- 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.)
- Again, keep the mixture at room temperature for 2-8 days minimum.
- 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.
- 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.