Updated: Oct 16, 2018
Beet Kvass is a fermented drink made with beetroots and a starter culture. Traditionally it was made with sourdough rye bread that was left to ferment in water and than this starter culture would be added to chopped beetroots with the addition of salt and water. It originates from Russia or Ukraine but other mid eastern european countries also make variations of the beet kvass. Some of these cultures claim it to be their national drink! Traditionally Kvass was made with black sourdough bread and was staple in pheasant communities in these regions. Today there are many variations of Kvass but I will concentrate on beet Kvass.
Once you have all the ingredients in a suitable container (I like to use a glass jug) give it a mix and cover it with a muslin cloth. Let it sit on your counter for a couple of days. Depending on the temperature it should be ready in a two days or three if you like it a bit stronger. After this point it is ready to be consumed. If you prefer a more fizzy drink than you can strain it and bottled it up and leave it on the counter for a couple more days and than store in the fridge.
Beet Kvass is a slightly fizzy, salty and sour tasting drink. I like it chilled and it is a great accompaniment to most meals or to be drank on it's own. It is very satisfying on the palate and refreshing and hydrating in it's own right!
Beet Kvass is considered a health tonic. Beetroots have many proven health benefits. Liver detoxifying, bile flow stimulation, supports digestion, cardiovascular benefits, benefits to sports performance to name a few. As Beet Kvass is fermented this makes it a probiotic delivering functional drink! Meaning it has benefits to your digestion by topping up your healthy gut microbiome. It can help get your bowels moving if you suffer from constipation, improve your digestion buy warding of bad bacteria, aid you liver detoxify by stimulating bile flow. It is also rich in minerals and electrolytes to it is a very hydrating drink. In addition to all this beetroots are very high in antioxidants so it is likely to have a beneficial impact on free radicals also!
Beet Kvass is great to have on it's own as a probiotic drink between meals. Traditionally it has been added to soups and stews to enhance their flavour also. The Russian or Ukrainian
soup Borscht which is made with beetroot as the main ingredient is flavoured with Kvass.