I have a Healthy Happy Wonderful little project for you this week: MAKE BEETROOT KVASS!
Earlier this week I urged you to mind your microbiome, by eating lots of healthy probiotic-rich foods. To help you along, I'm sharing one of my favourite, tried-and-true-just-can't-fail fermenting recipes.
If you are new to fermenting, beetroot kvass is a great way to get started, a "gateway" recipe!
Beet Kvass is a traditional Eastern European fermented tonic, and combines the probiotic benefits of fermented veggies with the antioxidant and oxygen-transportation benefits of beetroot. It is said to boost liver and immune function. In fact. according to Tolstoy, Russian soldiers would drink it to boost their immunity before they had to leave their barracks and venture onto Cholera-ridden streets.
We have grown to love its salty, "beetrooty", mildly vinegary flavor. And it's super-easy to make! If you have never made fermented foods before, this is an ideal project for timid first-timers!
So, here's how we make it:
1. Take 2 beetroots. Lots of recipes say you don't need to peel them, but we prefer to!
2. Cut each beetroot into 10-12 chunks. Don't cut them too small or it will ferment too fast and you will end up with beet alcohol, not kvass!
3. Put the beetroot chunks into a 1 Litre jar, or feel free to use any jar and fill it to the top with beet chunks!
4. Add in 1 tspn salt and 1/2 tspn probiotic powder (make sure it has lactobacillus in it, as that's what we need for fermentation!). Lots of recipes use whey, so if you have access to it, feel free to use it. Some also just use salt (known as "wild fermentation"!), but we like to be sure what probiotic strains we are growing!
5. Fill the jar to the top with filtered water.
6. Seal the jar and let it sit on your kitchen bench or somewhere warm for 2-4 days. The length of time it takes to ferment will depend on how warm the weather is. When the kvass is ready it will taste like a mild salty beetroot-y vinegar.
Beet kvass is so healthy for us and so easy simple to make, I hope everyone gives it a try!