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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Beet Kvass - Probiotic and Liver Cleanser

Bowl of organic red beets

Beet Kvass is a popular fermented beet drink that is a blood purifier, liver cleanser, probiotic and a nutrition booster that can be made rather easily on your kitchen countertop in a 1/2 gallon Mason jar! Although it's becoming popular now, I recently found out that my Eastern European grandparents thrived on this drink! My paternal grandmother from Russia lived to be a healthy 107.

You use 3 simple ingredients: beets, sea salt, and whey ( vegans can omit and follow the recommended substitution suggested in the ingredients ) 

You simply soak cut of raw beets, some sea salt and some whey-let it sit to ferment for 2 days and then refrigerate. A half gallon of kvass lasts a long time (at least 2 weeks )  in the refrigerator.

What is whey? Whey is the clear liquid that you can separates in the yogurt and you can make your own whey very easily. Don't leave me yet, read the rest- you will be glad you did!

If nothing else, everyone needs a good source of probiotics to establish and maintain a healthy digestive system that digests your food properly, allows your body to absorb nutrients better, and keep the healthy bacteria thriving in your gut.

Kvass is good for you and what ails you ! I try to drink some daily. Can you buy kvass already made? I've never seen it.  But probably- but it is so so so easy to make, I think most people make their own.

How I was introduced to kvass

The first time I ever heard of beet kvass was at my friend Laura's house. Laura bought the book Nourishing Traditions, a book that serves as a manual for homesteaders who are returning to the earth and eating and living in harmony with nature. The recipe for kvass is in the book ( similar recipes are all over Pinterest)  and Laura makes it regularly to add valuable probiotics to her diet and help nourish herself and her family. Kvass is an all natural fermented probiotic product .

When Laura first introduced me kvass ( about a year ago),  I was amazed that she had actually fermented the concoction herself on her kitchen counter. I hesitantly tasted some of hers, very politely smiled, but couldn't fathom that I would ever ever ever make it. It seemed so mysterious, weird, and foreign.

However, a year later, I visited Laura at a time that I was not feeling well. I was nutritionally, physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted and run down. Laura was alarmed by my weakened condition and insisted  that I drink some of her homemade Kvass on the spot.

At that point, I gladly welcomed the nutrient rich easy to digest drink. It was like drinking a shot of pure magic energy. I felt an immediate benefit. Laura gave me a quart of her precious drink to take home, but not before she taught me how to more for myself.

For the next four days, I drank some of Laura's Kvass on an empty stomach twice a day. Truly, the effects were powerful.  My energy returned quickly, and I felt good enough to make my own new batch of kvass two days later.

Kvass is very easy to make

It only takes 5- 7 minutes of prep to prepare the kvass, but then it takes 48 hours for the finished product to sit covered on my counter to ferment. After the two days, the end product is a beautiful jar of rich red beet elixer. ( I know we are not used to leaving things out on the counter without refrigeration-but that is how things like sauerkraut, pickled vegetables, yogurt etc. ferments) Fermented food is a very important part of healthy eating.

Kvass is beneficial to drink every day. It is a liver cleanser, energy booster, and powerhouse of nourishment. It's good to know how to make health giving fermented food for yourself and your  family. It is naturally gluten free, vegan, and nut free.

How to make Beet Kvass

Author: Judee Algazi
Prep Time: 5-7 minutes
Fermenting Time: 48 hours
Makes : 1/2 gallon

Materials Needed:
  • 1/2 gallon jar ( I used a 1/2 gallon Mason Jar)
  • Whey ( you have to make your own or skip it and double the salt) 
  • doubling the salt is too salty for me,
  • How to make whey from yogurt ( very very very easy- see below) 

3-4 medium organic beets
1 tsp of sea salt
1/4 cup of whey ( or omit the whey and add an additional teaspoon of salt)
filtered or distilled water to fill the 1/2 gallon Mason jar almost to the top

1.  Peel and cut the beets into large chunks ( if organic beets, I leave skin on)
2.  Place chunks into a clean 1/2 gallon Mason jar
3.  Add sea salt and whey. Add water to almost the top of the jar.
4.  Stir to mix and cover with a dish cloth and allow to sit on the counter ( outside of the fridge) for
48 hours.

After 48 hours, put the Mason jar lid on the jar and refrigerate. Laura says it will last weeks ( ok she said months) in the refrigerator. Just drink the juice. You can leave the beets in the jar and then discard or discard initially.

Organic red beets in a white bowl
These beautiful organic beets were from my CSA farm this week 

red chopped beets on a cutting board
I left the skin the beets on because they were organic

Chopped red beets in a mason jar
Immediately after assembling the ingredients in my 1/2 gallon Mason Jar. Before soaking for 48 hours

Beet Kvass in a large Mason Jar
Beet Kvass after fermenting for 2 days- rich red color

If you are vegan, skip the whey and add an extra teaspoon of salt It will be less salty if you use whey.

How to make Whey

1 cup of plain yogurt
4 sheets ( layers)  of cheese cloth
1 qt size mason jar ( or any jar is ok)
1 clip or clothespin

small glass bowl of whey
This is whey ( the clear liquid separated from plain yogurt) 

Mason Jar with whey
This is how I separated the whey from the cup of yogurt
Using  a piece of cheesecloth about 4 layers thick ( you can cut what you want) - place a cup of plain yogurt in the middle of the cheese cloth  and pull all the sides up together. Place in a Mason ( or any) wide mouth jar and hang over night ( use the clip to hold it) can be left out overnight, does not need to be refrigerated for the first 12 hours while separating ( my husbands family has been making this safely for generations) - OH! the yogurt inside the cloth will turn into Lebnah or as it is known today -Greek yogurt- so enjoy using the whey and eating your yogurt spread.
refrigerate now or enjoy it warm.. yum!

Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor and am not trying to diagnose or treat disease. The information in my blog is based sharing my own experiences for educational purposes only.
Always consult your medical doctor if you are not feeling well or before changing your diet in any way.

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  1. I love reading about healthy ideas and I've never heard of this. Thanks for sharing with us at #AnythingGoes link up I might give it a try.

    1. It is a healthy probiotic drink. Great recipe to have on hand

  2. Sound nice and healthy, I really need to try this one :)

    Thanks for sharing at Creative Mondays

  3. Do you strain it before putting it in the frig or do you leave the beet pieces in it?

    1. I leave the beet pieces in it . Guess what you can use them just one more time to make another batch. The 2nd go around wont be quite as strong but it will still be good.

  4. Sorry,
    I just added the information to the post. Good question.
    You only drink the juice. You can leave the beets in the jar or remove them. Makes no difference

  5. I have never heard of this, but have been told that beets were good for detoxing. Followed you from the Healthy Living party.

    1. Joyce,
      Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. The Healthy Living Party has some wonderful weekly recipes.

  6. Your blog is worth a million, the way it is filled with practical and healthy advice. Thanks Judee,

  7. Chaya,
    I appreciate you kind comment about my blog and the advice. It's nice to get the feedback.

  8. I am growing beets so will have to try this - Thanks for linking up to Pin Worthy Wednesday, I have pinned your post to the Pin Worthy Wednesday Pinterest Board.

  9. Thanks for sharing on the Healthy Living Link Party. We hope you will come back each Wednesday.

  10. I've never had Beet Kvaas before, Judee but it sounds like a delicious way to get my probiotics and it's lovely to know it's good for the liver as well. Thank you for sharing this post with us at the Hearth and Soul hop. Pinned and tweeting!

  11. It has a mild pleasant taste, but I wouldn't say it is a beverage to drink when thirsty. It's more like a fresh morning juice.

  12. Wow - you are a true domestic diva making your own kvass! That is awesome =)
    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe at Healthy Vegan Fridays - it is going to be featured this week!
    I am pinning this and look forward to more of your recipes.
    Have a great weekend!

    1. Thank you Kim .. I no diva .. i was nervous but found out it's easy to make

  13. It is so important to include probiotic foods in our diets. Thank you so much for sharing healthy, delicious, probiotic Beet Kvass with us on the Healthy Happy Green and Natural Party Blog Hop. I'm pinning and sharing.

    1. Deborah,
      I agree about probiotics being so important thats why I'm trying to eat more of them. Glad to join your Healthy Happy Green and Natural party blog hop!


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