Beet Kvass is up there with one of my favorite ferments, favorite foods come to that. As usual, I love to put ginger in it, and the combination of slightly sweet beet, slightly tart ferment and slightly spicy ginger tastes really refreshing. This food is really a tonic, and so is supposed to be consumed in relatively small quantities, but I do find it hard to just drink a little.
Fermented foods are a critical part of re-establishing and maintaining good gut bacteria and therefore a healthy immune system. They are a great example of food as medicine and I really believe that everyone should eat them every day. I also think that eating a variety of fermented foods is better than just one. I talk about the ‘all the K’s’: Kraut, Kimchee, Kefir, Kvass and Kombucha and I think if you have a good mix of these, then you are on the right track.
Kvass is a traditional food from the Soviet region, and can be made from things as diverse as rye bread (obviously not on my menu), or parsnips. Beets are a powerhouse of anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, and are also credited with properties that support healthy bile production – an important part of both gut health and appropriate detoxification.
- Parsnips can be used as well as beets, but don’t contain the same phytonutrient benefits as beets do.
- Fennel seeds can be added for a different flavour. Apparently mint can as well but I have never tried it myself.
- Garlic can be added for immune benefits if fighting a cold or infection.
Original recipe by Robyn Puglia.