You read it first here: The next chapter in my health explorations is the microbiome. Yep, I’m all about healing the gut right now. I’ll touch on this in more detail shortly; meantime I’m just working on recipes that get my gut gunning with gas (or without it, as preferred case may be). Kvass is one such ammunition in my holster.

Beet xxx, recipe below
My Beet and Turmeric Kvass tonic, recipe below

A traditional Ukrainian drink, beet kvass is fermented with Lactobacillus bacteria and is a pink probiotic powerhouse punch with a slightly rustic, earthy flavour. As my gutsiest guru Sally Fallon says:

One 4-ounce glass, morning and night, is an excellent blood tonic, cleanses the liver and is a good treatment for kidney stones and other ailments.”

She also says that beet kvass is widely used in cancer therapy in Europe and in the treatment of chronic fatigue, chemical sensitivities, allergies and digestive problems.

I’ve added turmeric, because I recently read that turmeric needs to be fermented for the full benefits of this little root to be experienced. If you can’t find turmeric, simply make it with straight beetroot.

Beetroot and Turmeric Kvass

  • 2 large beetroots, scrubbed and coarsely chopped
  • 10 cm turmeric scrubbed or peeled (depending on how rough and gritty the skin is), chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • ¼ cup whey (or you can use sauerkraut juice or an additional tablespoon of salt)

Place beets, turmeric salt and whey in a 2 L jar with a lid. Top with water leaving 3cm at the top. Screw on the lid and leave on the bench for 2-6 days, depending on the season (winter requires longer fermentation). Pour out the liquid into a bottle with a stopper or lid, leaving the beets and turmeric enough to cover the beets then make a second batch (top with more water, add another tablespoon of salt and leave on bench for 2-6 days).

A few things to know about beet kvass

Drink it straight up as a gut tonic. I have a glass in the morning before exercising. Best well chilled.

You can also use it as you would vinegar in salad dressings or to deglaze a dish.

Chop, don’t grate, the beets. Grating produces too much liquid and will speed the kind of fermentation that produces alcohol rather than lactic acid (which is what you’re after).

You can use the remaining beets, after the second ferment, in a salad or to make a soup (I have one in I Quit Sugar For Life). It will give things a bit of a tangy touch, which I quite like. I pull out the turmeric pieces and simply chew on them.

Little white specs on the surface are a good sign…just remove them with a spoon before decanting.

The stuff will last a month or so in the fridge, no worries.

Let me know how you go with your knob and root experimenting…

Have your say, leave a comment.