How to Make Ginger Beet Kvass (OMGosh! SO Good, and Filled with Probiotics!)
Is your energy depleted? Are you a bit dehydrated? Are you worried about your gut health? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then you should consider giving Beet Kvass a try!
Beet Kvass is well-known in other countries, such as Russia, and is often a staple drink. I have heard it's actually better to use to replenish electrolytes than sugary drinks are, so it's super for athletes or the normal person who works out often.
Beet Kvass is also thought to be a good hangover remedy, too. This is probably due to the minerals it contains and the fact that beets are well-known to help detox the liver and clean the blood.
Beet Kvass is a fermented beet drink, and I will often add healthy herbs to mine too. Here is my recipe for how to make Ginger-Beet Kvass. It's delicious, filled with great probiotics, and is tangy and refreshing. Best of all, it's GOOD for you!
The combination of the Ginger and the Beets in this fermented drink makes for a great daily body detox too!
Drinking and eating a variety of different kinds of fermented foods each day can provide your body a full spectrum of natural healthy bacteria and yeasts. These little wonders help balance your micro-biome (gut health), keeping candida and other "bad" guys down and improving your overall health.
If you want to know more about fermentation and the benefits, you'll enjoy these articles: Fermentation: Why You Should Be Eating Fermented Foods Every Day; and What is Fermentation?, Eight Fermentation Myths, Golden Beet & Turmeric Kvass Recipe, and lots more fermentation recipes and articles on the blog!
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How to Make Ginger Beet Kvass--An Easy Fermented Drink Recipe
I love making beet kvass (s). There is so much you can do with this simple recipe to make it your own, too. This time, I thought I'd experiment with adding Ginger to my basic beet kvass recipe, and I was not disappointed. The Ginger adds a refreshing quality, along with its health benefits. The beets are detoxifying and incredibly good for your liver!
The fact that this drink is fermented adds another level of health benefits because the probiotics (good bacteria and yeasts) that create this drink are now well-known to be beneficial for our micro-biome health. Enjoy!
Ingredients for Ginger Beet Kvass:
1 tablespoon sea salt
1/4-1/2 cup fermented brine or leftover kvass from another batch; or you can use whey--This is your starter culture
1 red organic beet
2 golden organic beets
1 1/2 tablespoons grated/shredded organic Ginger, unpeeled
Water to cover within an inch from the top of the jar
About the Starter Culture:
Many people have questions about the starter culture. This is essentially a small amount of liquid from another ferment that contains many of the same bacteria and yeasts necessary to get your ferment going more quickly. It's not strictly necessary, but I like to add it to my kvass drinks because it's ready more quickly, and it can actually help with the flavor sometimes.
Here's a quick rundown of each type:
You can find out how to make whey in this article, but it's essentially the excess liquid protein from a good yogurt. It's important to use organic full fat yogurt that ONLY contains the cultures and milk---no additives.
You can get fermented brine from raw sauerkraut you can buy in the store (make sure it's RAW, or it will be just a dead liquid, not retaining the live cultures), or kimchi etc. Just be sure the tastes match up with what you are trying to do with your ferment.
For example, I would NOT use this kind of brine in this Ginger Beet Kvass recipe because the flavors wouldn't match up with the Ginger---in my opinion. However, you get to do what you like!
This is my favorite way to start a new batch of kvass. I just retain about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of kvass and add it to my new ferment. Again, consider the spices and flavors used.
Directions for Making Ginger Beet Kvass:
Step 1) Slice your beets into approximate 1 inch chunks.
I like to peel mine if I get them from the store. If I get them from my garden, I just scrub them off really well.
Step 2) Grate about 1 tablespoon of fresh, unpeeled Ginger Root.
By not peeling it, you are allowing any natural yeasts on the skin to help with you fermentation process. Make sure it's organic, though.
Step 3) Add all ingredients to a large half-gallon Mason jar.
Step 4) Cover it with a plastic lid.
I don't use a paper towel when making beet kvass--I've found just using a lid works fine, and you don't need an airlock. I don't tighten it too much, either.
You can get plastic lids for Mason jars at Amazon. If you don't have them handy and you're anxious to get going, you can also use the metal lid. I've done that before, and it was fine. The plastic doesn't have any chance of corroding, and that's why I think it's a bit better to use.
Step 5) Allow to ferment for several days.
I allowed this batch to ferment for 8 days because it's cool in my kitchen at this time of year. If it were summer time, it would probably take about 5 or 6 days to start bubbling.
You can test it out for taste by using a clean spoon and not double dipping. When it's the way you like it, it's done. I have found that I like mine best when the bubbles are just starting to dissipate away.
Step 6) Strain off the liquid, and bottle it!
I use a Grolsch bottle for my beet kvass. I think it's perfect. If you have leftover liquid, just pour the rest into a Mason jar. In my case, I had about a pint left that wouldn't fit into the Grolsch bottle, minus what I drank and enjoyed right away! :-)
That's it! Enjoy! And don't forget to keep a little kvass to help start your next batch!
Final Thoughts About Ginger Beet Kvass
You know, making kvass is seriously one of the easiest ferments you'll ever make, along with being one of the healthiest drinks you can experience. I like to keep it on hand all the time.
As far as using it, if you are new to adding fermented foods to your diet, go easy at first. Start out with about 1/2 cup and see how your body tolerates it. I like to drink 1/2 cup to 1 cup a day of this delicious drink, first thing in the morning. It seems to give me some great energy too.
If you want to take a great course on how to create ferments and how to use herbs in your ferments, I highly recommend The Craft of Herbal Fermentation from the Herbal Academy of New England. I've taken this class, and I love going back through the beautifully presented information for refreshers!
Other great books I have that will help you get started with fermentation include: The Art of Fermentation, Nourishing Traditions (lots of information about traditional foods, not just fermentation), The Idiots Guide to Fermentation, and Fermented Vegetables.
What do you think about drinking beet kvass? I'd love if you asked questions, comments, or had other ideas in the comments section!
Hugs & Self-Reliance,
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