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.

  • Tali

    I made some fermented beets at home and tipped out some of the juice! I won’t be doing that again!

  • Nicole

    Have you seen this course? I learnt about it after the Part 2 Catalyst program last week. Thought you might be interested.

  • mw

    It has a rustic ?? taste .. Is that polite for tastes like shit ??
    The colour is working for me .. is it sweet at all ?

    • not shit, but definitely not sweet. If you like a dry martini, then it’s in a similar realm.

      • mw

        Chin chin !

    • Marjanna Bremer Heetebrij

      tastes like tea made out of soil 😛

  • Danielle

    Sounds easy, will have to make this. Ta

  • Hi Sarah, I have crohn’s disease which is currently in remission. I’m really keen to try this out but pro biotic (supplements) give me gastro like symptoms, would this be similar?

  • Ray

    Can you use whey powder? If so how much ?

  • Michelle

    I just cannot get to liking this stuff! I think because I’m not a huge fan of beets. I’ll eat them but only certain ways. Since I’ve got my continuous brew kombucha going I’ll stick with that and the occasional gingerade and I will be trying the turmeric tonic.

  • Oh perfect thank you. Is that additional salt instead of whey?

  • Candi Papadopulos

    I am a huge Sally Fallon fan. I’ve been making beet kvass for my husband and our families for some time. We all love it and definitely feel the benefits. Never thought of adding turmeric – love this tip, thank you!
    My only advice to people would be when first drinking beet kvass start with a very small amount and then build from that. Some people can experience die back in their gut.

  • Elizabeth

    I’m not sure where to get whey. Can the extra tspmof salt be used INSTEAD of whey?

    • Brigitte

      You can hang some good quality organic yoghurt overnight in the fridge and use the liquid that drains off.

  • Nancy

    Thanks Sarah my gut needs help will be trying this

  • Emma van Deuren-Stafford

    Hi Sarah, I am in process of making this and have left the first batch for 4 days to ferment. It had white spots that have turned into big bubbles. Kind of looks like puss blisters/bubbles. Is this ok or have I let it go too long? Not sure if it’s safe to drink or not? Thanks, Emma.

    • Guest

      Bubbles are good! That means the probiotics are alive and working in your ferment 🙂

  • Peta

    What do you mean by scrubbed? Is that peeled or like a man handle wash?

  • JD Hart

    I just made some but may have left it on the bench for too long. There was a green/white layer on top which looked like mold. I skimmed that off and the liquid underneath still smells fine. Is it okay to drink or should I discard or is this layer all part of the fermentation process. I’m new to homemade fermented foods. Thanks

  • Kathy

    I followed the directions when using extra salt instead of whey. I let it sit at room temp for 6 days. Colour is beautiful; taste…not so much.
    Super super salty. I’ve left it in the fridge for almost 2 weeks, crossing my fingers that the taste would mellow out, and no luck.

    Any tips?

  • Vicki Miller

    I made this and found it to be too salty. Can I cut back on the salt. I put the whey in

  • Sarah have you tried making kvass with kombucha starter rather than sauerkraut juice? If not do you think it would work?