I recently taught you how to make Rejuvelac. If, like me, you’re looking to increase lacto-fermented, probiotic foods in your diet, 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. It’s too expensive to buy on the internet and ship, but I loved it. I’m going to plant even MORE beets next spring. I have lots of jars of cultured beets in my food storage, 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, saw a pile of beets from my garden the other day and said, “I love how beets look!” Kristin just saw this photo on my computer and made the same comment. I love the look 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, 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 package 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 beets in 2″ pieces, then place chunks in glass jars.
- Add salt and whey/Vegetable Culture with enough filtered water to fill the rest of the container, leaving 1″ headroom.
- Stir well, cover, and let 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 meals 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 Living the Good Life Naturally. Kristen recently wrote about beet kvass, and I have incorporated some of her ideas.
Robyn Openshaw, MSW, is the bestselling author of The Green Smoothies Diet, 12 Steps to Whole Foods, and 2017’s #1 Amazon Bestseller and USA Today Bestseller, Vibe. Learn more about how to make the journey painless, from the nutrient-scarce Standard American Diet, to a whole-foods diet, in her free video masterclass 12 Steps to Whole Foods.
Posted in: Recipes, Whole Food
10 thoughts on “Beet Kvass”Leave a Comment
Is it 1/4 cup in each jar or 1/4 cup split between the two jars? How long does whey stay good in the fridge?
I am super excited about this! It sounds more appetizing than Rejuvelac… I’m interested in using it in my smoothies. How much would you recommend putting in to start with?
Have you tried using Rejuvelac to ferment instead of whey? I read a link the other day that said Rejuvelac will ferment veggies as well as make a good sourdough starter. Thoughts?
I know you shouldn’t use chlorinated water when making fermented foods — what are some alternatives? Obviously you recommend the ionizer/filtration system, but I don’t have that yet. Will a Brita-style filter be OK? I’ve heard that leaving the water out overnight will dissipate chlorine, but that won’t work if your municipality uses chloramines along with or instead of regular chlorine.
I bought some water in gallons at the grocery store, but it’s a bit cost-prohibitive, and even though it says “spring water” on it, I know sometimes they just sell bottled municipal water.
You mentioned that your urine might turn pinkish is this good or bad?
Steve, if your urine turns pink, take some Betaine HCl for a while (it’s an enzyme you are likely lacking, and it’s very inexpensive).
I just have to say that: FERMENTED FOODS ARE SO IMPORTANT!! I totally skipped this step out of fear of the unknown my first time through the program. Then later on I found Body Ecology and realized what a fool I’d been for doing that!
Also, to answer some of the above questions…
If your urine/bowel movements turn the color of the beets its just a sign that you aren’t absorbing all of the nutrients completely. Which is just another good reason to eat more fermented foods and even take digestive enzymes until you have full nutrient absorption.
If you have a Brita filter, use that. If you food doesn’t seem to ferment properly then perhaps buy a bottle of spring water (or better yet find your closest fresh spring at findaspring.com) and use that. 🙂
When you ferment anything, its not going to be super appetizing in a smoothie. But its great on the side of a salad or sandwich. I also know people that wouldn’t blend up anything fermented or full of probiotics/enzymatic material because technically it is alive, so it might be better to “do no harm”. (Sorry if that doesn’t make sense…but I just can’t see how any fermented things would go well in a smoothie anyway.)
Define “cold storage”. I don’t have a basement. Our house is on river rock. So we can’t dig a root cellar.
Hi Robyn, I’m just getting ready to harvest my veggies out of the garden and want to use your method of putting them up without heat. Obviously, my fridg. is not big enough to hold what’s in my garden. Can you tell me THE TEMP OF YOUR COLD STORAGE? I’m wondering if the crawl hole in my house would be cool enough until the temp cools and I can store in the garage.
Thank you so much. I put a thermometer down there and it was 64, so I was afraid it was too warm. So excited, and appreciate all that you’ve already taught me.