Beet kvass is a refreshingly salty and sour fermented beverage. The flavor reminds me of clear Polish-style borscht and makes an excellent mid-afternoon drink.
It’s a perfect probiotic beverage for anyone looking to avoid sugar or dairy. While it’s not the same as a sparkling sweet kombucha, it’s just as packed with probiotics!
What is beet kvass?
Kvass is the Russian word for a fermented sparkling beverage. Beer likely originated from bread kvass. Brad’s Doukhobor cookbooks always have a recipe for cucumber kvass. Beet kvass is a simple beverage made from fermented beets. It can be salty or sweet, depending on whether you use salt or honey to control the fermentation.
Here are a few ways to enjoy this salty drink:
- Enjoy it as a tonic, taking a small shot of kvass every day.
- Serve with ice on a hot summer’s day.
- For a sparkling beverage, dilute it 50/50 with sparkling water.
- My Doukhobor cookbook suggests using it as a dip for fresh bread.
- Since organic beets are a fairly reliable ferment, this kvass can be used as a starter for other fermented vegetables.
- Personally, I like using kvass to make purple fermented eggs.
Simple Beet Kvass
Salty and sour beet kvass is a sugar-free fermented beverage that is refreshing on a hot day. It tastes similar to Polish borscht. It is a great source of probiotics and can be used to culture other vegetables.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 4 cups 1x
- Category: Beverages
- Method: Fermented
- Cuisine: Polish
- Diet: Low Calorie
- 1 medium-sized beet or 2 small beets (see notes)
- 2 tsp salt (non-iodized)
- 3 cups filtered water (chlorine-free)
- Since this is a longer ferment, start with a clean and sanitized quart-sized jar.
- Wash the beet. Leave the skin on, but remove any bad spots. You don’t want to contaminate your ferment with mold
- Dice the beet into cubes and add to the jar. Use a weight to keep the beets from floating.
- Dissolve the salt in the water, and pour over the beets.
- Top with a lid that can handle fermentation. A fido jar or pickle pipe are both reliable options. But you can also just cover the jar with a loose-fitting lid or a cloth.
- Leave the beets to ferment in a dark location for at least 1 week, or up to 1 month.
- When you’re ready to drink the kvass, strain it into a bottle and store it in the fridge. Consume within 1 month of bottling.
- Organic, farm-fresh beets don’t require a starter, however, you can use sauerkraut juice or a purchased starter to get the ferment going.
- I don’t recommend making kvass with older beets (ones that have been stored for a few months) as they tend to go moldy. No one wants moldy kvass!
- You can flavor the kvass before drinking by adding dried dill and garlic powder (for a borscht flavor). Brad enjoys adding a stick of celery and drinking it like vegetable juice!
- The leftover beets are perfect for a Ukrainian salat.
Keywords: healthy, probiotic, kvass, keto, paleo, vegan, gluten free, sugar free, dairy free, oil free, nut free summer, fall, winter,