As a healing through food specialist and health supportive chef, I have been hearing about the wonderful health benefits that are derived from raw beet juice consumption. The word “kvass” is a Russian word that means a lacto-fermented beverage made from sourdough rye or beets. With its Russian origin, it originated in the Ukraine and has been consumed for over 1000 years by people living in that part of the world. Now, it finally is making its way to the USA.
The benefits of this beverage are numerous. As a lacto-fermented beverage, it contains beneficial bacteria (probiotics) which helps rebuild immunity and helps strengthen the gut. This process allows key nutrients to be absorbed more readily into the body.
It helps with the digestive process, cleanses the liver, the gallbladder, improves bile flow, removes toxins from the body and fights free radical damage at the cellular level. The red staining color in beets is derived from a set of phytonutrients known as betalains. The betalains are responsible for the creation of red blood cells which alkalize the blood.
Inflammation can occur in an over-acidic body. Due to maintaining balance among the pH level, it robs the body of calcium. We all need to alkalize the body and beet kvass is an alkaline promoting beverage.
Beets are an excellent source of sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, fiber, folic acid, manganese and vitamins A and C. It is a rich potpourri of vitamins, minerals and enzymes.
The beet kvass when ready to consume can be drunk as is or added to soups and salad dressings.
(Serves: 8 cups)
1 (2 quart) glass bottle or jar with tight fitting lid
4-5 small beets scrubbed, rinsed and diced
1 tablespoon sea salt
Put the diced beet chunks into the glass container. Add the salt and proceed to fill the jar with water leaving about an inch or two of space from the top. Close securely with a lid and keep it away from direct sunlight in a room temperature environment for 3 days.
At the end of the 3 days, it can be moved to refrigeration. It is now ready to consume. It is suggested to have 1/4 cup in the morning and 1/4 cup in the evening.
Experiment with added ginger root and carrots for a variation.
Note: When following the GAPS Diet protocol, Stage I, the beet kvass can be consumed along with the gelatinous meat stock for additional digestive benefits. Stage I excludes fiber but the juice from lacto-fermented beets is highly encouraged for healing of the gut lining.
Axe, Dr. J. “The Beverage with Probiotic & Cancer-Fighting Benefits” September 16, 2015. www.draxe.com/kvass/
Goldberg, Max. “Beet Kvass- What is it and Why am I drinking it?” January 24, 2012. www.livingmaxwell.com/beet-kvass
Ilia Regini is a certified healing through food specialist, health-supportive chef, culinary instructor, writer, blogger and speaker. Healthy Nourished Body offers chef service, cooking lessons, healthy kitchen makeovers and customized menu planning for healing through food dietary protocols.