The Back Story
I used to hate beetroot as a child. Which was unfortunate because my mother did love making us beetroot sandwiches. When the dog got sick of eating our beetroot for us, I tried hiding it in my pants and flushing it down the loo. This gave my mother a bit of a fright, so I only did that once. My, how things have changed. I LOVE beetroot now and I love beet kvass even more.
Beetroot is an incredibly nutritious vegetable; it is packed with relatively rare alkaloids known as betalains. These are powerful antioxidants, which benefit us in many ways, but beetroot is also mineral and vitamin rich – it is a great source of folate, vitamin C, magnesium, iron and potassium. We eat beetroot a lot now – grated on our salads, in smoothies or roasted. We eat the baby beetroot leaves and we eat the beetroot itself.
Beet kvass is another way of benefitting from the powerhouse of nutrition that is beetroot. It is a fermented drink that we add to smoothies or glug in its own right whenever we feel the need for a pick-me-up. It has a full-bodied taste to say the least – there is nothing quite like it.
Traditionally, it was made simply with beetroot and brine, but I love mine with garlic – a fantastic herb that is both nutritious and has many medicinal qualities.
2-3 medium beetroot, scrubbed. If they are organic, there is no need to peel them.
Garlic – I use 2-3 cloves
Water, ideally filtered
1 litre Kilner Jar, washed in hot water or that has been through the dishwasher.
A large jug
Set of scales
Cut the beetroot into largeish cubes. Cut the garlic up into thin slices.
Put the beetroot and garlic into a clean 1 litre kilner jar.
Measure out 1 litre of filtered water.
Add 20g of salt to the water & dissolve to form the brine. You can drop the salt levels if you fancy to - try 15g.
Pour the brine over the beetroot and garlic, filling the jar almost full.
Make sure you leave a little clear headspace at the top of the jar.
Close the lid (assuming there is a rubber seal to allow CO2 escape).
I always label my ferments, listing the date they were made, the ingredients and the date I next need to pay them attention. You don’t think you will forget, but you do.
Leave at room temperature for 3 weeks.
After 3 weeks, sieve off the beetroot & refrigerate the juice. It will keep for many months.
I drink this as a shot as often as I remember.
I tend to feed the discarded beetroot to the dog or compost it - by the time the microbes have finished with it, the beetroot, itself, doesn't taste of much!