Beets! Such a fantastic little root! (and don't discard the greens! sautee them up with a little garlic and olive oil and you won't be disappointed :)
From a Chinese medicine perspective beets are a great way to nourish the blood and soothe the liver. This is useful for many conditions from certain presentations of insomnia and anxiety to menstrual disorders, constipation, and dry brittle skin and hair.
From a western nutritional prespective beets are a cardiovascular powerhouse, decreasing homocysteine in the the blood, they are also a good source of b-vitamins, and have moderate levels of potassium and iron.
PLUS: They are sweet, delicious, and add beautiful color to any dish. You can roast them, shred them onto your salad, make a tasty ruby red soup, spiralize them and add peanut sauce, really the possibilties are endless!
Today I will share a recipe for beet kvass, a fermented beet beverage that is scrumptious :) It also happens to be beautful and really good for you. Not only will you get the above stated benefits of the beetroot, you get the added benefit of a hefty dose gut-healthy probiotics! This is really a snap to make at home which is great, because many places you can't purchase it, and if you are fortunate enough to live somewhere you can buy kvass, it's not cheap. So let's get started:
1/2 Gallon of Beet Kvass
•1-2 large beets (I used 2, but 1 is certainly sufficient for 1/2 gallon jar)
(yup, that's it!!)
optionally you can add additions for different flavors, I added finely chopped fresh ginger and fresh turmeric to mine.
Step 1: Chop the beets into small cubes (no bigger that 1/2 inch, I did mine as about 1/4 inch cubes) More surface area seems to make things go more smoothly and more swiftly. The chopping process can take a little while (depending on your knife skills) but the effort pays off in the end. Chop any additional ingredient you might want to add (ginger, turmeric, carrots, etc.) (image: top left)
Step 2: Put the chopped ingredients into a 1/2 gallon mason jar (image: top right)
Step 3: Cover the chopped beets with water to mostly fill the jar (image: bottom left)
Step 4: add a pinch of salt, I used 2 pinches for the amount of beets I used, so twice the amount in the image above (image: bottom right)
Step 5: Put the top on your jar, BUT DON'T TIGHTEN IT ALL THE WAY, or alternatively cover with a thin cloth and use a rubber band to secure it. You want the gasses created in the fermentation process to be able to escape while protecting the liquid.
Step 6: Let it sit at room temperature for a few days (up to 5 even). Check it and give it a taste everyday, each batch will be a little different and you'll want to make it to your flavor preferences. When it reaches a lovely deep color and a flavor you like:
Step 7: Strain out the beets and store the kvass in the refrigerator.
• make larger batches, then all the chopping has a higher payoff :) (i usually make a gallon at a time, but a minimum of 1/2 gallon) Simply adjust the amount of veggies and salt, it's not an exact science so just experiment!
• REMEMBER NOT TO FULLY TIGHTEN ANY LID, the fermentation process creates pressure. You can always use a cloth with a rubber band as another option instead of the jar's lid.
• With warmer temperatures, the fermentation process moves faster, so CHECK THE KVASS EVERY DAY
• Compost those lovely beets (or if you happen to have pigs or chickens, they love them!)
• the images are just a guide, I could EASILY have used half the amount of beets, but I had 2 so I used 2, I just couldn't stop chopping :)