How To Make Beet Kvass: The Gut Healthy Probiotic Drink
If you haven’t yet heard of Beet Kvass yet, watch out because it’s slowly becoming the next new trend as it hits the shelves of health food stores around the country, snaggin’ up a spot next to Kombucha.
Beet Kvass is a traditional fermented probiotic drink from Russia. This humble root vegetable is a superfood in it’s own right and the process of lacto-fermentation increases the nutritional benefits of beets by tenfold. Beet Kvass is a great source of:
– Vitamins A and C
Beets have even shown to help prevent heart disease, stroke and even cancer.
One drawback of consuming beets, raw or cooked, is that they have a high sugar content. This can be problematic for those working to cleanse Candida as the sugar can exasperate an overgrowth. However, the fermentation process not only reduces the sugar level but also adds good bacteria, all while making the nutritional content of the beets more bioavailable by the body.
Folk medicine considers beet kvass to have liver cleansing properties, and it is widely used in cancer therapy in Europe. Anecdotal reports show that beet kvass can be used in the treatment of heartburn, chronic fatigue, chemical sensitivities, allergies, kidney stones and digestive problems.
“One 4-ounce glass, morning and night, is an excellent blood tonic, promotes regularity, aids digestion, alkalizes the blood, cleanses the liver and is a good treatment for kidney stones and other ailments.” – Sally Fallon in “Nourishing Traditions” on Beet Kvass
Why Fermentation Virgins Should Start With Beet Kvass
If you are new to fermented foods, sometimes diving straight into something like sauerkraut can do more damage than good, upsetting your digestive system causing bloating or gas sometimes even diarrhea. Within the GAPs diet, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride advises patients to start with only fermented juices and brine and to add in the fermented vegetables later on.
This is because fermented dishes such as kimchi or sauerkraut are too fibrous and can be quite irritating to the intestines when they are inflamed. This is often the case when you have leaky gut and are working to heal from Candida. The fibre in fermented vegetables serves as a powerful prebiotic that feeds your gut bacteria, however it can feed both the good and the bad.
So if your gut is in a state of dysbiosis, too many pathogenic microbes compared to good bacteria, or if you have SIBO (bacteria growing in the small intestines) you can actually be feeding the bad guys when eating too many prebiotic rich foods.
So if you’ve experienced bloating and excess gas when first eating fermented vegetables, try liquids first. Starting with fermented liquids is a nice and gentle way to introduce probiotics into your system without aggravating your gut lining or feeding pathogenic bacteria.
If you already suffer from diarrhea definitely start with fermented liquids like Beet Kvass first.
6 Reasons To Drink Beet Kvass Everyday
1. It’s stupid easy to make and cheap.
Starting fermentation projects at home when you are a newbie can be intimidating and complicated, but Beet Kvass is so simple you can make it in your sleep. All you need is beets, salt, and water.
Plus buying a good-quality probiotic supplement or even store bought fermented foods can rack up quite the bill. Beet Kvass can easily be made for under $5 – and you’re not only getting a large dose of diverse probiotics, you’re also getting all the added nutrients that you wouldn’t normally find in a probiotic supplement.
2. Encourages healthy gut bacteria and (3) a strong immune system.
During the fermentation process the probiotics digest the sugars in the beets and proliferate in the brine to make a potent bubbly probiotic-rich beverage. The good bacteria help prime your immune system, eat away at toxins in your gut and in exchange make nutrients like B vitamins, butyrate, and lactic acid.
Lactic acid is a natural preservative that inhibits the growth of bad bacteria. In the gut it helps to maintain the healthy acidic pH level of your intestines to encourage the growth of good bacteria.
Butyrate (essentially butter fat) is the preferred fuel source by your colon cells and is used to reduce inflammation in your gut while repairing and fortifying your gut lining thus strengthening your immune system.
This elixir of probiotics and nutrients can help protect against colon cancer, heart disease, autoimmune conditions, neurodegenerative disorders, and eliminate allergies. A cup of Beet Kvass is cheap health insurance.
4. Restores stomach acid, digestive juices, and (5) cleanses the liver.
Beet kvass helps detox the liver and gallbladder by improving bile flow. The minerals and enzymes help restore digestive juices and the unique mineral, manganese, is soaked up by the liver, kidneys and pancreas supporting their optimal health and function.
Restoring healthy digestive juices is integral to healing leaky gut. Making sure that food is properly broken down before entering the intestines helps to avoid unnecessary inflammation and toxicity in the gut, as well as ensuring the proper absorption of nutrients into the body.
More on how to naturally restoring stomach acid and digestive juices here: 10 Ways To Heal Low Stomach Acid.
6. Purifies the blood
Beets are an excellent source of phytonutrients called betalain which are involved in creating red blood cells. Beets also contain natural-occurring nitrates which convert into nitric oxide within the body. Nitric oxide helps to dilate blood vessels, improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure overall. So naturally beet kvass is an excellent way to not only purify the blood but also to alkalize the blood because of it’s rich bioavailable nutrients and mineral profile.
Ingredients & Equipement
- A large gallon glass jar, a 1.5 gallon mason jar works best
- 2 – 4 beets
- 1-2 tablespoon sea salt or Himalayan salt (or 1/4 cup of brine from sauerkraut)
- Filtered water
1. Wash the beets. If they are organic, leave the skin on. If they are not, peel them.
2. Chop the beets into small cubes – do not grate them. This will cause them to ferment too quickly and make alcohol.
3. Place the chopped beets in the bottom of a half-gallon jar. Fill about 1/4 of the jar with beets.
4. Add the sauerkraut juice and/or salt. If you don’t use sauerkraut juice, double the salt instead, though it may take a few days longer to ferment. Personally whenever I use the salt method I leave the kvass to ferment for 7 days at least.
4. Fill the jar with filtered water.
5. Tightly seal the jar and leave it in a dark cupboard for 3 to 7 days.
6. It is ready when the kvass is a deep red color and fizzy bubbles are moving upwards in the jar. It should smell earthy and salty, like beets. If the kvass has developed a thin layer of white or brown foam at the top, don’t worry. Just scrape off this layer before straining and transferring to the fridge.
7. Strain, discard the beets (or use them for another batch), and save the liquid. Store in the fridge.
Best served chilled. You can drink it straight, start slow with 2-4 ounces each morning and with meals, working yourself up to a big glass or 2 a day.
In the past a few of my clients would intuitively reach for a big glass of beet kvass whenever experiencing heart burn or indigestion, they’d report back saying that it helped almost instantly to relieve the pain and discomfort.
Try it for yourself!
Aga Postawska, HCC