Beet Kvass


Today I realized that a few of my beets are getting furry. Christian was kind of enough to remind me that the Detroit Red beets (all the ones I picked) had been frost-damaged and wouldn’t keep long. Oops – forgot that in the mad rush of Halloween this week!

I pulled out the few bearded ones and cooked anything else that looked like it would have a beard by breakfast. Does your beet have a 5:00 shadow? Mine do!

I grated a few for muffins, made some apple/beet/carrot juice for the family and started a few quarts of beet kvass using this recipe. Beets are a natural detoxifier, loaded with beta carotene and just generally rock. What I found most interesting about that link were the comments to the post. If you have any questions about kvass or how to make it they are certainly answered there.

Tomorrow I plan to start another beet kvass recipe from my “Preserving Food without Freezing or Canning” book based on traditional wisdoms from France. The process is slightly different in that the beets are juiced first and the kvass is made without whey to jumpstart the process. I’m curious to see the differences in the two and to taste them at 2, 4 and 6 month marks. It amazes me that something so simple can turn something so perishable into shelf stable while not only NOT destroying it’s nutritional profile but actually INCREASING it. Fascinating. And forgotten.

So follow along this week as I ferment, pickle, juice, freeze and dry my beets in rapid succession. I’ll be posting recipes or links so that you can do the same in case you have as many furry beets as I do. Even if you don’t you might want to pick up about 10 pounds or so and experiment with me.

Or if you have your own crazy beet experiments going this week I’d love to hear about ‘em. You know what they say…if you can’t BEET them, join them!

Updated later – I tried the beet kvass today and it’s interesting. It tastes a lot like alka seltzer somehow. I’m looking forward to capping it in a day or two and putting it in the back of the fridge for a few months before trying it again…

Updated even later – It’s been about a week now and the beet kvass is completely different. It’s way sweeter and more beet-like. It no longer has the alka selzer taste to it. I look forward to trying this in another month.

6 Responses to Beet Kvass

  1. It will be fun to watch how this progresses. Sadly, I am about the only one in my family that appreciates beets, so I do not grow very many of them. Enough to satisfying my hunger for them and that is about it.

  2. I absolutely love beets and had planted some in our veggie garden this year only to be completely bummed out that they didn’t do as well as we had hoped for. We still have a few in the gardens, and they actually look okay (better than a month ago – they matured too early!). Your recipe sounds delicious. Also – your blog reminds me much of the book “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” – an excellent book. If you haven’t read it, it’s totally right up your alley! Great blog – I’m new at this and don’t know how to keep you in “favorite lists” … :) But I’ll figure it out. I loved your articles.

  3. I love beets as well and my sour patch kid will eat anything I pickle, except the hard boiled eggs that I peeled & dropped into the jar of pickled beets we polished off a few weeks ago.

    Roberta, I did read that book over Christmas and it inspired me to stop shopping at the grocers. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  4. Pingback: More Roots and Tubers

  5. I have never seen beet kvass made with such large chunks and paper towels under the lid. I use Sally Fallon’s recipe from Nourishing Traditions. It only takes 3 days and is nicely sweet, tart and fizzy after three days.

  6. Hi Matt – do you put the canning jar on tight and leave it out for 3 days? I lent out my copy of NT so I can’t go look it up now. I do lots of ferments and I’ve noticed that SF says to cap tightly for 3 days while others say to let it breathe. I’m not sure why they are differing. I always have a ton of ferments going at once though so capping helps to keep things from jumping from one vessel to another. I finally got my husband drinking it so I’m about to make up a few gallons to get us through the winter. Thanks for commenting!

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