92—I think you'll find that...

I don’t sass the Kvass

A large jar of fermenting beetroot Kvass sits on a table outside

Hubble Bubble toil and trouble...

Who needs Kombucha when you can have Kvass instead?!

Ya’ll know how I feel about “Conbucha” — it’s not as great as everyone wants to believe it is.
(Kombucha, is however, an excellent alternative to a fizzy drink or an alcoholic beverage.)

But, Kvass — which is a traditional Slavic and Baltic beverage — is a ‘fiesty fizzy ferment’ that I can really get behind.

Beetroot and ginger lie on a chopping board ready to be cut with a knife
Remove the beet greens, and slice off any ugly or squishy bits of the root — then wash the beets. (I used 3 beets in my 3L vessel.)

A wee limerick for ya...

There once was this stuff called Kombucha.
’twas brought from the past to the future.
Caffeine, sugar, and booze.
Well, that’s nothing I’d choose.
But drink what you’d like — if it suits ya!1 😉 

Kvass meets all my requirements for why you would actually go to the bother of fermenting stuff

Kvass is traditionally made from beetroot but is more commonly made from stale sourdough bread. And, while fermenting something which has already been fermented makes no sense to me (sourdough), I’m totally down with the whole ‘waste not want not’ factor.

Note: Rye bread Kvass tastes like mild beer – or so I’ve read. That doesn’t really appeal to me. If I had to endure ‘that taste’, then I definitely want to to be rewarded by getting somewhat tiddly…

What I love about Beetroot Kvass is it’s
simplicity — you only need the thing that you want to ferment (the beetroot), some filtered water, and a couple of herbs. (Unrefined salt is optional.)

Note: And all you need equipment-wise is a large jar that seals with a gasket & clamp and a knife.

Kvass just makes good sense to me.
Because, if you recall from my blog-post on Kombucha… I’m a big believer that fermented food and drink should satisfy a number of requirements:


    It therefore also prevents wastage.


    Therefore it makes it easier to absorb the nutrients from this raw food.


    The thing you’re fermenting should be abundant in lactobacillus bacteria.  (Therefore it needs to be organic.)

    The bacteria turn sugar into lactic acid — which gives this product its sour taste. (Beetroot have a high sugar content.)


    You don’t need a starter (or a SCOBY)

    Note: Wild fermentation (without a starter) simply takes longer to get an end-product. But as they say, ‘the good things in life are worth waiting for’.

Don't chop your fingers off... while removing the outer layer of the ginger. (I used something like a 'half finger length' worth)...
Again, be careful not to chop off any digits... Simply because you need them to measure things with!

Ooh ooh!
I've got another Kombucha limerick for you...

Kombucha — a curious health tonic
It’s ingredients rather ironic.
To me it’s a fail.
It’s quite the cocktail.
The likes of which seem rather moronic1 😉

Cut your beets into eighths...

Get your ferment-on

You can use any vegetable that ferments well:
Cabbage, cauliflower, carrot, radish, red pepper, onion or spring onion.

You can use any herb that ferments well:
Ginger, garlic, basil, coriander (leaves and seeds), parsley, juniper berries, or caraway seeds.

If you’re not sure what ferments ‘real good’ then just look on the label of the next bottle of Kimchi that you pick-up.

Note: You can use fruit to make Kvass but these require you to use honey and/or whey protein powder starters. (I’m not into this at all.)

Place the chopped up beets into your vessel...
Grate the ginger, and roughly chop up 1x cup of whole basil stems...

Turnip the beet!

Beetroot is ace for making Kvass.
This is because of its high sugar content.

Beetroot is also ace for making you healthy.
This is because this root is an excellent source of folic acid, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin B6, and the powerful cancer fighting agent — betacyanin (the purple-crimson colour).

These nutrients will be conferred to you when you drink this stuff. (Not to mention all the nutrients attributed to the ‘flavoring’ components of this beverage — basil & ginger.)

Note: I’m only talking about all the water-soluble vitamins and minerals here – which leach into the water (to some degree given the length of time that the Kvass is left to ferment).

Beetroot is renown for being blood cleansing and for detoxing the liver and gallbladder. And, given the nutrients (and probiotics) that the Kvass contains, it would prove beneficial to consume during PMS week, or even throughout a women’s cycle to ‘build the blood’.

I found the recipe for this Red Beet Kvass on the interwebs, but unfortunately it has since expired. It was by Amanda Feifer, from her book:  Ferment Your Vegetables.

Next I’m going to try this recipe of hers: Carrot + Ginger Kvass 

Note: Use the juice part of these recipes, mind – don’t get distracted by the cocktail recipes, please! (Well, not until you’ve got your Kvass making down-pat);-) 

A jar displays the necessary ingredients for making beetroot Kvass which is good for your health
Lovingly (!) place all of these ingredients into your vessel...
Naturopath Lisa Fitzgibbon fills a large jar with the ingredients for making beetroot Kvass
Fill the jug up with filtered water... And add 1—2 tsp of unrefined salt. (This last instruction is optional.)

An ode to Kvass...

There is a health tonic called Kvass
Drink carefully as it can cause gas
Even while I quip
Make sure that you sip
As you don’t want a musical ass1

The ole 'Skim & swirl'

When you brew up your Kvass, you may notice that a surface layer of Kahm yeast forms on the top (It’s totally harmless.)

However, let’s be honest, nobody likes to see that sh*t — as it’s ‘off-putting’.

So, this mook can either be:
Skimmed off
Once formed

wirled AWAY
Doing this daily should prevent it forming in the first place.

Beetroot Kvass sits in a jar on a table this drink is good for your health
Ooooh — pretty! Pop on a lid — left loose enough to allow the escape of carbon dioxide. Or, use an airlock like I did (in the initial pic) Leave at room temperature, for approx. 6—10 days. Then strain the liquid into a clean vessel to decant this beverage from. (Keep this in the fridge.) I like to do shots of this stuff 10-15mins before a meal. And remember, fermented products taste sour — not sweet! So what I'm saying is: you won't want to drink a whole bottle of this shizzle just for the fun of it. It's actually a health tonic x

Make an appointment with Lisa

Lisa Fitzgibbon is a degree qualified (2006), experienced and registered Naturopath & Medical Herbalist. She runs her own private practice – OOMPH in Grey Lynn, Auckland, New Zealand.

Lisa has been involved in the Natural Health industry for 16 years. She draws on her professional training and experience, as well as her own personal experience to bring you realistic, holistic health advice.

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