I don’t know about you, but half of my family loves beetroot and the other half loathes it. This drink is really easy to make and well worth trying and you can always disguise it by adding it to berry flavoured smoothies or salad dressings for those in the loathe-camp!
Kvass is a traditional Eastern European drink involving the process of fermentation. It can be made with various fruits and vegetables but this time of year I tend to use my overly large and slightly tougher beetroots this way. Beet kvass is an earthy, slightly salty and sour tonic, full of probiotic goodness and nutrition. A small shot glass of it on an empty stomach is the way I enjoy it, and it’s a great start to my Autumn days!
3 large beetroot, washed, trimmed but not peeled
20g fine sea salt
2 litres de-chlorinated water
By de-chlorinated, I mean tap water that has been filtered; boiled and cooled; or, just poured into a jug and left to off-gas overnight. The chlorine in tap water stalls the process of fermentation, and that is why we need to remove it to make this drink.
Chop up each beetroot into about 8 pieces. Pop these into a clean glass kilner-style jar (2.5 litre capacity). Mix your salt and water well to form brine. Add the brine to the beetroot, leaving at least 2 cm gap at the top of the vessel. Close the lid so the jar is airtight. It is also a good idea to leave this on a tray, just in case of leaks.
Leave the jar out of direct sunlight on a counter top in the kitchen for 2 weeks. The beetroot will gradually float to the top of the jar during this time. Using a straw, taste your kvass. If you would like it more sour, leave for up to another 2 weeks. It should become a little fizzy.
When the flavour has developed to the sourness you like, strain the liquid into a clean glass bottle and store it in the fridge for up to 4 months. You can eat the beetroot or compost it, as you wish.
Eating fermented foods and drinks is fabulously nourishing and great for a healthy gut microbiome for many. If you are interested in learning more about fermented foods and using them to improve gut health, book in with Jules, the medical herbalist here at Orchard Barn.