This ancient Eastern European drink, that was initially made from rye bread, was introduced to me by the talented Dana of Gem + Remedy. After she raved about its benefits over a lunch, I was excited to add it to my fermented repertoire. As a traditional folk Ukranian blood & beauty tonic, it is an incredibly inexpensive, easy, and non-time intensive way to ease one into the world of fermenting foods and drinks while reaping the benefits of probiotic medicine when fermenting vegetables seems like a daunting task. Tolstoy even noted how Russian soldiers took a ladle full of kvass before venturing from their barracks onto the Moscow streets during a cholera epidemic—making it a potent medicine against infectious disease.
You can use three different methods of a culture starter: whey (from raw milk or whole fat yogurt), juice from the fermented vegetables that are already in your fridge, or high quality salt (which does take a bit longer). Because I always have fermented vegetables on hand, it’s quite simple for me to use the juice of that.
1-3 Organic beets | scrubbed and chopped into 1-2” cubes
¼ c of whey, fermented vegetable juice, or 2 tbls salt
32 oz or bigger glass jar.
PROCESS | scrub beets well and cut into 1-2” cubes. Drop into the bottom of your jar. Add your ¼ c whey, fermented vegetable juice, or 2 tbls salt. Fill jar leaving 1-2 inches of room at the top. Close and leave on counter for 1-3 days. When it is fizzy, you know it’s time to move to the fridge. 2 days tends to be my average.
Drink 4 oz daily in the morning and evening. Once you’ve almost finished the jar of Kvass, you can refill it with water, whey, fermented juice, or salt and leave on the counter for a second time to get one more use out of the beets before discarding them and starting all over again.
BENEFITS | wonderful blood tonic | blood alkalizer | promotes regular bowel movements | cleanses the liver | notorious for turning gray hair back to its original color and lightening liver spots | probiotic rich | major beauty tonic