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52 Weeks of Bad A** Bacteria – Week 16 – Citrus Ginger Beet Kvass Recipe

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Citrus Ginger Beet Kvass Recipe - Fermented Health Tonic Follow Me on Pinterest

UPDATE 7/26/12: I no longer use whey as a starter for my ferments (learn why here). I also no longer use Mason jars for my ferments (learn why here). I use anaerobic fermenting vessels exclusively and the improvement in the taste and texture of my ferments is unbelievable! I encourage everyone to take a look at the information regarding Mason jar ferments and come to a decision that best fits their family. I will be releasing updated versions of these recipes soon, as it applies to these anaerobic jars.

I’ll admit, this is the first time I’ve ever tasted beet kvass, let along made it. I was initially going to use the beet kvass recipe from Nourishing Traditions (affiliate link), but I thought I needed to pizazz it up a bit. There is no shortage of beet kvass recipes on the Web. I reached out to my wonderful friends in the Nourished Living Network and found that a few of them had their own recipes as well. My inspiration for my beet kvass came from my friends Lydia at Divine Health from the Inside Out, Wardeh at GNOWFGLINS, and Melanie at Pickle Me Too.

Beet kvass has long been known as a natural health tonic. It is a fermented beverage made out of beets. It hails from the Ukraine and is also regularly consumed in Russia and Eastern Europe. This kvass is an excellent blood cleanser and can help with kidney stones, gallbladder issues, and digestion. Beets are little power houses of nutrition and the fermentation process only makes them more powerful. In most places, you can find beets year round, though they are best in the summer, fall, and early winter.

Many of us know that we should strive to “eat for color” and beets are some of the richest colored vegetables available. Beets have unique phytonutrients called betalains, which comes from the rich red color of the beet. Betalains have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and detoxification properties. Beets are also a good source of two important carotenoids, called lutein and zeaxanthin. These nutrients help maintain healthy eye function. In addition to the carotenoids, beets are a great source of folate and manganese. Beets are a great mineral source, and the process of fermenting them allows you to consume the nutrients of the beets without the sugar.

A lot of people have told me that they think beets taste like dirt. I prefer to say they taste “earthy”. The beet kvass is tangy, sour, and salty. Many people will drink 2-4 ounces of beet kvass in the morning and the evening to help with digestion and detoxification. A little bit goes a long way, so this is not something that you’d just sit down and drink a whole bottle of, unlike kombucha or water kefir. If you can drink on an empty stomach, you’ll get the most benefit.

Do you make or drink beet kvass? Have you noticed a change in your body when you drink it? What’s your favorite recipe? Share you thoughts and comments below!

Sources:

Beet Kvass“, Diving Health from the Inside Out

Beets“, World’s Healthiest Foods

Beet“, Wikipedia

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About Jessica Espinoza

Jessica is a real food nut, coconut everything enthusiast, avid reader and researcher, blossoming yogi, and animal lover. She has had a life-long passion for food and being in the kitchen is where she is the happiest. Jessica started Delicious Obsessions in 2010 as a way to help share her love for food and cooking. Since then, it has grown into a trusted online resource with a vibrant community of people learning to live healthy, happy lives through real food and natural living.

Discussion

34 comments

  1. I have tried Beet Kvass (NT recipe) and did not like it. I was hoping for something magical, but it was just salty beet water to me. Your recipe sounds good, maybe I will give it a go in the future.

    reply 

    IF Me
    Posted 04/26/12

  2. I absolutely LOVE beet kvass, but then I really like beets. I try to drink an ounce or two every morning before I go to work.

    I notice the vegetable starter (Caldweel’s) actually contains dairy. Would you not recommend this as you now don’t recommend whey?

    reply 

    Marianne
    Posted 08/27/12

    • Hi Marianne – Thank you for the email and for bringing this up! I am in the process of working back through all of my recipes and updating them for the Pickl-It jars, which I am using exclusively now. I haven’t revised my recipe for the beet kvass yet. In the PI jars, you don’t need any starter. Here is an updated kvass recipe from Divine Health: http://divinehealthfromtheinsideout.com/2012/08/beet-kvass-in-a-pickl-it/. Does that help?

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 08/27/12

  3. Yam Kvas:
    1 small yam or sweet potato, peeled or not is a matter of personal preference. Vitamins are in the peels, though. Blended with 2 ounces of brewed warm or hot green tea in a blender is one small red, green, or pink lady apple, scrubbed but not peeled. Pour over yams in jar. Add 1 tsp ginger powder and the Himalayan salt.

    Zakvaska: add water to jar of Farmhouse Cultures Kraut and let sit for a day, fridge or out. Then add 1/4 cup of liquid with cabbage and caraway seeds to jar.

    Add the water to the jar and gently shake. Leave on counter-top for 3-4 days, then refrigerate. Add honey to taste. My kids love it. It’s like virgin vodka-kombucha.

    reply 

    Orchichorniya-vania Melamed
    Posted 09/11/12

  4. Your mason jar controversy has three logical problems:

    1. The airlock on the pickl-it jars are still allowing oxygen into the jar, you are gaining nothing. Moreover the same mechanism can be used with mason jars. You can find the materials on eBay cheaply.

    2. Burping the jars isn’t necessarily letting large amounts of oxygen in. The escaping carbon dioxide will prevent large amounts of oxygen to enter the jar,

    3. In the vocabulary of microbiology, lactic acid bacteria are “facultative” in that they that do not require oxygen, but are not inhibited by its presence, so the whole idea behind completely removing oxygen from the equation is scientifically nonsense.

    Per your argument toward the use if whey starters, you are correct in that the organism breakdown is different, but that is not the intention of using such a starter. The purpose of such a starter is to maintain an environment in which the correct organisms can survive and prosper. it’s more like a compliment to the use of salt, not mant to actually start the desirable bacteria,

    There is technically nothing wrong with the science behind your decisions, it’s a problem of application within context. According to physics a penny and a feather dropped off a tall structure reach the earths surface at the same speed, of course we know in real life context that is not true. The Pickl-it woman is marketing her product by making true scientific statements without providing the full context in which such science should be evaluated.

    The difference in taste and texture you have experienced is much more likely a combo of placebo effect and process improvements/changes. There are down sides to all methods. Using the Pickl-it jars increases chance of cross contamination because of their design, but they do encourage less waste if you are diligent about sterilization between uses.

    I have yet to read any reliable scientific proof they increase creation of beneficial compounds in the resulting product.

    They are both good materials to perform ferments, it’s all about method in the end.

    reply 

    Liam
    Posted 10/18/12

    • Hi Liam – Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! We’re all still learning, but for now, I still believe that anaerobic is best. I am seeing the proof in my gut healing and the quality of my ferments. That alone is enough to make me a believer, but I do also believe the research that KerryAnn has shared and have read through a ton of it. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts though! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 01/09/13

  5. Questions about using pickl-it jars:
    1. Do you do anything to stir or shake your kvass during fermentation to get even exposure of ingredients?
    2. Do you taste your fermenting kvass to determine when it’s done? If so, do you worry about introducing air at that point?

    reply 

    Janknitz
    Posted 11/07/12

    • Hi there – I make sure that the beets are completely submerged under the brine when making this. Once I start it fermenting, I just leave it alone and don’t shake or stir. I also let mine now go a lot longer in the PI jars. I am in the process of writing up a new, revised version of this recipe, specifically for the PI jars and hopefully it will be up in the next week or so. You’ll know when it is done when the active bubbling has stopped within the jar. Hope that helps!

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 11/07/12

  6. Does it ever make your stool red? I started drinking two ounces in the mornings again but now I am just a tad bit concerned.

    reply 

    Brittany
    Posted 12/15/12

    • Hi Brittany – Yes, that is quite common. I know not everyone experiences this “side effect”, but I do, so rest assured, you’re not alone! The first time I ever ate beets, years ago, well, let’s just say I was really freaked out the next day! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 12/16/12

      • Does drinking Kvass make your urine red? It seems to be only the first time after drinking the kvass in the morning.

        reply 

        Kay
        Posted 02/06/13

        • Hi Kay – For some people, consuming beets will make the urine red. I don’t have that problem with kvass, but if I eat a lot of beets themselves, then the color passes through the urine. Not everyone experiences this though, for some reason.

          reply 

          Jessica
          Posted 02/06/13

  7. I just made this and had some while I do like the flavors its a bit to salty for me, i didnt use whey so just did a table spoon of sea salt. Could the salt be decreased? If so to how much? TYIA!

    reply 

    Danita
    Posted 12/24/12

  8. Is there anything to say you could not eat the beets instead of throwing them away? It just seems like a waste of what I would think are perfectly good fermented beets.

    reply 

    JB
    Posted 01/18/13

    • I have always been told to toss the beets. The one time I tried eating them, I found I didn’t like the texture. That said, if you don’t mind the texture, then I say go for it! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 01/19/13

  9. I made this but when I opened it, the can reeked of mold. I had to throw it out. I had only kept in on the counter for less than two days, but somehow it got moldy. Bummer.

    reply 

    Bethany
    Posted 01/26/13

    • Hi Bethany – I also had a batch go bad several months ago. I have no clue what I did wrong, but whew, it was STINKY when I opened the jar. It is always such a bummer when I have to throw food out, but once in awhile something I ferment will go bad. It’s not very often, but it always sucks when it does! :(

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 01/27/13

  10. Hi Jessica, did you ever rewrite your Kvass recipe for the Pickl-it? I’m curious if you do that citrus ginger beet Kvass in it and if so how long? Thanks!

    reply 

    Lori
    Posted 02/23/13

  11. Hi Jacki – Canned vegetables and fruits can’t be fermented. They need to be fresh in order to have a successful ferment, because the food needs to be alive and still have all of the enzymes and good bacteria, which are destroyed by the canning process. Hope that helps! :)

    reply 

    Jessica
    Posted 02/27/13

    • Thank you !

      reply 

      Jacki
      Posted 02/27/13

  12. I was just wondering what in the difference between Beet Kvass and lactofermneted beets… why not just eat the beets after they have sat and fermented why only drink the liquid?

    reply 

    Lisa
    Posted 03/22/13

    • Hi Lisa — There’s not a lot of difference, except the kvass is usually fermented longer than you would for a vegetable ferment, and also you typically do two ferments instead of one. You can definitely eat the beets after you make kvass, but the texture is rather off-putting for some people. They get almost a foamy, fluffy texture (at least in my experience). Hope that helps!

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 03/22/13

  13. Hi –
    For those that want to keep an anaerobic environment for fermenting without buying costly jars, has anyone done or thought about using mason jars or even mylar ziplock bags with a vacuum pump such as a “pump-n-seal” to remove the oxygen. Also Trader Joes now sells kimchi in mylar bags with a gas absorber packet to prevent gas build up and possible explosion. As soon as I have some free time I think I’ll start experimenting.

    reply 

    steve k
    Posted 04/08/13

    • Hi Steve – I have never personally tried that, nor do I know anyone who has. Sorry I can’t be much help in that arena! :(

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 04/08/13

  14. I found Fido jars at a nearby Marshall’s for just a couple of dollars each. I’m new to home fermenting and I love it! Since I’m sensitive to citrus fruits like tangerines, I tried this recipe without the tangerine and it was still good but a bit more tangy.:)

    reply 

    Danette Whelan
    Posted 04/15/13

    • Welcome to the fermenting world! Thanks for stopping by! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 04/15/13

  15. I don’t know why but when first making beet kvass I peeled only the brownish shoulder of the beet after washing. I get a nice beet flavor, not the dirt or earthy flavor. That is how I continue to do it. I don’t know if that’s what causes the unpleasant taste but I don’t plan on wasting beets to find out.

    reply 

    RJ
    Posted 05/31/13

    • Hi RJ – I say stick with what works for you! Enjoy! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 06/02/13

  16. I love mine made with dill. My dad also adds garlic to his beet kvass. Whole family swears by it’s wonderful effects.

    reply 

    Aleksandra
    Posted 06/19/14

  17. I have enjoyed reading these comments on beet kvass. I have been making a few batches with the 1.5 liter Pickl-it jar, and have had good results so far. But I purchased the 3 liter Picl-it jar, and checked on it, and there were white spores on the shoulder (above juice line) on the jar! What in the heck is that?!! I have had the foamy/Kahm yeast, but this is new to me. I ferment for 3 weeks, using just salt no whey. I’m nervous to drink this batch, even though it still smells okay. I’ve read you should cut the greens off the organic beets and let them sit in the fridge a week, to cut down on the sugar. I didn’t do that with this batch. Any ideas what the spores could be? And what does everyone do to keep the beets underwater so they don’t float to the top? I have one pickl-it weight, but I need about 3-4 for the large jar, and they are $9 each. I’ve heard to use cabbage leaves, but I’m sensitive to the sulphur in cabbage. Any other ideas? Thx.

    reply 

    Terri
    Posted 08/24/14

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