Thursday, June 6, 2013

Lets Make Kvass!

Kvass ready to drink!
Learn to make Kvass- the nutritional boost, intestinal fortifier, and digestion aid.

A massage therapist I see (who spends most of her time doing fine adjustments to my stomach and intestines), suggested that I would benefit from drinking Kvass. She passed her recipe on to me and I would like to share it with you.

lovely beets freshly picked from the greenhouse
Beets are excellent food, offering magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorous, vitamin A and C as well as niacin. Studies have shown them to be helpful guards against cancer and heart disease and beneficial for cardiovascular health. Lets jump in!

Kvass, I have learned, is a ferment from beets that is praised for its healthful benefits. Beets are already wonderfully nutritious, and fermenting almost always increases the value of food as it makes the nutrients even more accessible via the digestive processes of the ferment cultures. Aside from the goodness of raw, predigested veggies, the ferment cultures are fabulous as digestive aids for when they are in our guts they do loads of heavy digestion lifting on our behalf. When I have Kvass available I tend to have a spoonful prior to eating a meal. I have seen recommendations of up to 4 ounces daily. So drink freely!

beets from the garden
beets ready for chopping
If you are a lover of kimchi or sourkraut, the taste will be familiar. If ferments are new to you, they are an acquired taste, but so are many of the finer things in life, like wine and stinky cheese :-)

A main ingredient of kvass is whey, which can be made at home from yogurt.

What you need:
  • a small salad bowl
  • a large strainer
  • fine mesh cloth like cheesecloth- or even better a nut milk bag as it is easier to reuse
  • 1 cup yogurt (more whey can be made at a time and stored for up to 6 months)
Time needed: about 8 hours (or overnight)

  1. place the strainer straddling the salad bowl
  2. lay the cheese cloth or nut milk bag on the strainer
  3. pour the yogurt onto the cheesecloth
  4. let sit for about 8 hours or overnight
Liquid from the yogurt will run off leaving a yogurt with thicker consistency, which is plenty fine for eating. In the salad bowl you'll find the whey!


What you need:
  • (1)  quart mason jar
  • ~ 2 peeled, coarsely chopped beets
  • 3 tbsp whey
  • 1 tsp salt
  • filtered water
Time needed: approximately 4 days

chopped beets
chopped beets
  1. add all ingredients into the jar and fill with water
  2. place the jar in a room-temperature location for 2 days
  3. relocate the jar to the fridge for 2 more days
  4. Enjoy your Kvass!
  • When making a new batch, liquid from the previous batch can be used instead of whey.
  • The beets are good for 2 cycles and then can be eaten, juiced or as a soup topping.
  • Bonus note: save the scraps from the beet preparation in the fridge in a plastic bag. When the bag is full, use it to make excellent veggie stock.