I recently taught you how to make Rejuvelac. If, like me, you’re looking to increase lacto-fermented, probiotic foods in your diet, today I’ve got another idea for you. (Try to get at least two cultured foods in your diet every day! This is Step 8 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods.)
Have you ever heard of Beet Kvass? I recently had some when a vendor wanting me to sell his stuff mailed me samples. Too expensive to buy on the internet and ship—but I loved it. I am going to plant even MORE beets next spring. I have lots of jars of cultured beets in my food storage, which are 3 years old, but now I’m making them into a probiotic drink. I remember how shocked I was to learn that you could “put up” raw vegetables that “keep” for long periods of time, using lacto-fermentation. Now it seems common and easy, a “lost art” that people have done in virtually every culture of the world for thousands of years.
One of my employees, Melinda, said to me the other day about a pile of beets from my garden, “I love how beets look!” Kristin just saw this photo on my computer and made the same comment. ME TOO! They’re so ruby-red!
That juice staining your hands is potent pigmentation with high levels of carotenoid and other antioxidants that protect your eyes, normalize blood pressure, prevent inflammation and colo-rectal cancers, and cleanse your blood and your liver.
If beets make your urine pink, please read more detail about that in Chapter 5 of my 12 Steps to Whole Foods manual.
Cultured Beets / Beet Kvass
2-3 large beets
1/4 cup whey (the clear yellow liquid, separated from the milk solids in yogurt or kefir) or 1 pkg. Vegetable Culture from Body Ecology. Or, double the salt and refrigerate for longer to cut the saltiness.
2 tsp Original Crystal Himalayan salt
2 quart jars
Peel and chop beet in 2″ pieces. Place beet chunks in your jars. Add salt and ¼ cup whey (or 1 pkg. Body Ecology Vegetable Culture).
Add enough filtered water to fill the rest of the container, leaving 1″ headroom.
Stir well, cover, and let it sit at room temperature for 3-5 days. Put jars in fridge or cold storage. They will keep there indefinitely (I have kept my cultured beets for 2 years in cold storage, which is not nearly as cool as refrigeration).
Remove from fridge and blend in high-speed blender (with extra water if you prefer it to be thinner).
Enjoy chilled as a drink, mixed with a little bit of fresh lime juice, or freshly ground pepper. You can use kvass in recipes to replace vinegar.
Drink in small quantities with a meal, to facilitate digestion and build up healthy colonies of good bacteria in your gut. You can drink 8 oz. if you are used to probiotic foods and have a healthy diet. If not, start with just a few ounces and work your way up.
Thanks to reader Christy White for suggesting I write about beet kvass. Christy is a fan of Kristen Bowen’s site livingthegoodlifenaturally.com. Kristen recently wrote about beet kvass, and I have incorporated some of her ideas.