I have fond memories drinking deep pink Russian Beet Kvass Recipe that my grandfather made from beets (beetroot). The fermentation of Kvass is similar to making fermented sauerkraut or fermented kimchi. The colour is an amazing bright fuchsia colour changing to a deep red. While I don’t have my dedushka’s exact recipe, I have played around with several recipe variations and am happy with this one.
Kvass, a fermented drink, has been around in Russia for hundreds of years. It’s almost viewed as a soft drink, a cool refreshing drink. The most common kvass is made from rye bread – Russian Kvas from Rye Bread and is absolutely delicious. There are many flavours of Kvass, with many methods, but I’m focussing on the healthy benefits of beets and lacto-fermentation.
Sweet Russian Beet Kvass Recipe is taken like a tonic, almost medicinal. It’s funny how almost every single Beet Kvass recipe written in the English language, has salt in the recipe. Alternatively, the Russian recipes are all made with sugar! The comments from the English recipes all say how horrible Kvass tastes, well no kidding, if you are making it with salt! Just because something is healthy, doesn’t mean it has to taste horrible! Stop punishing yourselves! Try a real healthy Russian Beet Kvass Recipe, made with sugar, which tastes much better! And it’s just as healthy as the salty English version of Beet Kvass.
Beets are incredibly healthy. Russians believe that it has healing powers aiding high blood pressure, low iron anaemia, metabolic disorders, aids digestion, definitely helps constipation, removes toxins from the liver and even helps you lose weight! It’s really believed for much more, trust me, but I’m sure some of it can’t be backed by science yet, although some of the claims are now proving true. Do some research, it’s pretty remarkable. It’s even called the “elixir of youth” or “miracle drink” and full of antioxidants and nutrients.
Kvass is not plain beet juice, as the effect to your body changes in the fermentation process (think chopped cabbage vs sauerkraut, totally different). Strangely enough, they say Kvass shouldn’t be consumed it you have kidney stones, bladder disease, gout, stomach ulcers or rheumatoid arthritis, as it can aggravate those conditions. You should always consult a doctor when trying new things you read about on the internet!
It’s recommended to start drinking Russian Beet Kvass Recipe in small amounts, no more than 1/2 cup a day, until your body gets used to it and then can slowly increase your intake, otherwise you might have a ‘cleansing of your bowels’. It’s never affected me, but I know it can affect some.
There are many Kvass recipes out here, most of them have only plain beets, but some recipes add crusty rye bread pieces. When I don’t have rye bread, I use Rye crackers, such as Ryvita which will add some depth to the flavour.
It’s very important to use cooled boiled water or bottled spring water, as the chlorine from tap water inhibits the fermentation process. Keep the fermentation at room temperature, warmer temperatures will speed up your time required, and if its cooler in the house, then you might need to allow a longer fermentation period.
You can drink it in a glass, but I add Sweet Beet Kvass into my smoothies for an extra boost of vitamins and probiotics, or mix it with kompot or fruit juice. Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
Sweet Russian Beet Kvass Recipe (Свекольный Квас)
- 3 medium sized beets peeled and roughly diced, grated or sliced
- 4 heaped tablespoons sugar
- 2 litres of spring water or cooled boiled water, don't use tap water
- Chopped crusts from a Rye bread loaf of bread or 4 pieces of Ryvita Rye Crackers
Place scrubbed cut beets into a large glass bottle.
Add sugar and spring water and mix until dissolved.
Add the Ryvita crackers or cut a rye bread crust into the mix.
Cover with a loose lid or with a cheesecloth and place in a cool dark area from 3-7 days. If you are putting a tight lid on, you need to burp it daily. Taste daily.
When it is ready, skim off the top any foam and carefully strain the Kvass through a cheesecloth and keep refrigerated.
You can use these beets for another round or two of fermentation. Just add sugar again and water with 1/4 cup of Kvass and repeat.