Beetroot Kvass is a fermented drink. During the fermentation process, the healthy lactic acid bacteria ferment the sugars in the beetroots, producing lactic acid. This gives the drink a sour taste. The combination of the sweetness of the beetroots, the sourness of the lactic acid, and the salt gives the beetroot kvass a sour savouriness with a slightly sweet earthy finish. If left long enough it will also produce a slight fizz which is quite pleasant.
2-3 medium-sized beetroot
1 liter filtered water
1 tablespoon unrefined salt
1/4 cup starter culture (whey or fermented cabbage water)
extra salt if not using a starter culture
Peel and cut the beetroot into rough 2cm chunks.
Put all the other ingredients in a glass jar together and mix well to dissolve the salt.
Cover and leave at room temperature for 2 days. Or longer. If you are not using a starter culture it will take longer to ferment. The best way to check if it is ready is to taste the kvass. I would recommend aiming for a slightly sour but savory flavor..
When you are happy with your beetroot kvass you can put it into the fridge. This will slow down the fermentation and preserve the fermented beverage.
If you like a more fizzy Kvass than strain the beverage into clean bottles, wait for 2 or more days. This will produce fizzy kvass. Once ready keep in the fridge.
You can re-use the beetroots from this batch one more time to start a new kvass and just follow the above steps. I like to add about 1/2 a cup of the last batch also to inoculate the new kvass with the culture to get it going.
If you wish you can flavor your kvass with garlic
Add herbs, dill, fennel, mint
Add spice such as chili, ginger, or allspice
Here are a few suggestions:
Drink it straight, chilled
Add it to borscht soup
Mix it in with a salad with olive oil
Make a couscous or cracked wheat or quinoa salad with it
Stir into thick Greek yogurt
Serve it with a shot of vodka and cracked black pepper
Make it into a refreshing jelly
Mix with yogurt and mint and make a refreshing drink called ayran
Mix it with buttermilk and ground fennel and make a beet kvass lassi!
Mix with coconut milk and cocoa and little honey to make chocolate beet kvass!