I’m into healthy drinks of all kinds. I’m also into non-healthy drinks, but that’s not what we’re talking about today. Kombucha, activated charcoal water, matcha lattes, and cold-pressed vegetable and fruit juices all tell me to buy them and they will make me glow like Kate Hudson or Gwenyth Paltrow.
In the case of the easy to make, beet kvass, I even dabble in making my own healthy beverages. Unlike beet juice, beet kvass has very few calories and has the added benefit of fermentation which means it’s got the good bacteria that makes your belly happy. Lots of stuff I’ve read also suggests it helps counteract some of the non-healthy drinks I also enjoy.
I’ve introduced beet kvass to lots of people, and their first reaction is that it’s “different,” kind of salty and sour. Then they finish the glass and decide it’s “different in a good way.”
A gallon jar or 2 half gallon jars
3 pounds beet roots, peeled and cut into cubes
2 teaspoons kosher salt
½ cup whey strained off of good quality plain yogurt
You can produce whey in a number of ways (ha!), but the easiest, most accessible way (again ha!) for me is to buy some nice yogurt (not Greek yogurt because the whey has already been strained off of that); line a colander with cheesecloth or a thin tea towel; set the colander over a bowl; spoon the yogurt into the colander; tuck that situation into your fridge for a few hours or overnight. After that, what you’ll have in your bowl is whey and what you’ll have in your colander is akin to Greek yogurt. 1 quart of yogurt will give up about a cup of whey.
Alright, with your whey in tow you can make your kvass. Put your peeled and roughly chopped beet roots in the bottom of your jar. If you’re using 2 jars, divided the roots evenly between the two.
Mix 2 quarts of filtered water with two teaspoons salt and ½ cup of whey. Make sure the salt is dissolved, and pour the cloudy mixture over your beets. The goal is to fill the jar or jars to the neck. If you need more water, the ratio is 1 quart of water to 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ cup whey.
Cover the jar with cheesecloth and secure it with a rubber band. Store your science project at room temperature away from direct sunlight but not somewhere you’re going to forget about it. I let my kvass “work” for anywhere from 3 to 5 days. During that time, you may see some scum accumulate on the top of the liquid. That’s ok. Just skim it off.
When you’re ready, strain the liquid off and refrigerate it until you choose to drink the kvass. I like it with ice as a pick-me-up in the late afternoon.
You can use the leftover beets for one more round of kvass. But that's not all, those beet greens... you can use those too! More on that in another post.