I’ve been experimenting with fermented vegetables for around a year now. I would still consider myself “in progress” in this department, but gosh, I love having jars of various veggies fermenting away on my counter top! I was intimidated for years before I finally decided to give it a try, and you know what? I shouldn’t have been so worried! Fermenting is really quite easy. And though there are lots of different ways of doing it, a beginner such as myself can start with the simplest of ways: using a canning jar.
The benefits of drinking beet kvass:
Beet kvass is a wonderful aid for digestion and promotes regularity. It’s known as a blood tonic and alkalinizes the blood, as well as cleanses the liver and can even help to treat kidney stones. It’s a simple but powerful way to get nutrients into your body. If you recall my post on nettle tea, you know I like simple ways of getting a lot of nutritional bang for my buck.
To make beet kvass, you will need:
Beets, 2 large or 3 medium
1 tbsp. sea salt
1/2 gallon jar with airtight lid
The simple instructions:
Give the beets a good scrubbing, then chop them up coarsely.
Place beets and sea salt in jar and fill with filtered water, leaving about 1-2 inches of space at the top.
Secure the lid and leave out on the counter at room temperature for two days.
Transfer to the refrigerator after two days and drink 4 oz day and night, starting off slowly and working your way to this full dosage.
Once you have finished most of the kvass, you can leave a cup or two in the jar and refill it with filtered water, then leave it out for another two days for a weaker second ferment. Once the beets have been used twice, however, you’ll want to toss them and start again. You can also reserve a small amount from each batch to add to the next to help inoculate it.
*Note: people ask me “does beet kvass taste good?” My personal opinion? It tastes like salty dirt water. But I’m not especially fond of beets anyhow. My two-year-old, however, loves beet kvass!
I made two half-gallon jars of beet kvass this time, and in one, I added about a tbsp. of grated ginger. I can’t wait to taste the difference and see if it tastes less like dirt and more like ginger!
Also, I tried a new method this time and added a layer of organic olive oil to the top of the water before sealing the jar off. This is something I read about recently to help keep air out of the ferment and prevent mold. Because I think I may have had trouble with mold growth once, I thought I would try it this way this time to be safe. I just drizzled it over the top until the entire top of the water had a layer of oil on it.
I plan to try some other ways and products soon as well, including these cool “Crock Rocks” which sit on top and keep the veggies down below the water, these “Kraut Kaps” which help keep the bacterial environment perfectly balanced for proper fermentation, and someday I’d love to get a fermenting crock!
For more great fermented vegetable recipes, check out Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon!