How to make Beet Kvass! An Eastern European probiotic drink made with fresh beets, sea salt and water. Full of healthy probiotics from Lacto-fermentation, these good bacteria heal the gut and support immunity.   (Allow two weeks for fermentation- or see notes how to speed up this process.)

Looking for more? Check out our  20+ Delicious Beet Recipes!

How to Make Beet Kvass! A sparkly Ukrainian probiotic drink made with beets, sea salt and water. Full of healthy probiotics from the Lacto-fermentation, Beet Kvass is believed to help boost immunity.  It tastes slightly sweet, tangy, earthy and salty- but in a good way! With just 10 minutes of hands-on time,it is so simple- just let mother nature take its course.  (Allow 2 weeks for fermentation- see notes for speeding up this process.)

Here is a fun little recipe I’ve been playing around with for years now. Beet Kvass!  Beet kvass is a fermented probiotic drink that hails from Eastern Europe that is tangy, earthy, salty and slightly sweet from the beets. Full of gut healthy probiotics, it’s a simple way to add diversity to our microbiome and in turn support our immune system.

Why you’ll love Beet Kvass

  • Easy to make– takes 15 minutes of hands on time before letting mother nature take its course!
  • Made with simple ingredients– just beets, salt and water!
  • A nice way to preserve beets!

How to Make Beet Kvass! A sparkly Ukrainian probiotic drink made with beets, sea salt and water. Full of healthy probiotics from the Lacto-fermentation, Beet Kvass is believed to help boost immunity.  It tastes slightly sweet, tangy, earthy and salty- but in a good way! With just 10 minutes of hands-on time,it is so simple- just let mother nature take its course.  (Allow 2 weeks for fermentation- see notes for speeding up this process.) Kvass Ingredients

  1. organic beets
  2. fine sea salt
  3. filtered water

***To shorten the fermentation process, you can also add whey (the liquid from straining yogurt) or fermented kraut or pickle brine ( the kind from alive cultures- in the refrigerated section of the grocery store, or homemade.)

But it has three stipulations: Use organic beets, filtered water, and unprocessed salt – sea salt or pink Himalayan salt).

How to Make Beet Kvass! A sparkly Ukrainian probiotic drink made with beets, sea salt and water. Full of healthy probiotics from the Lacto-fermentation, Beet Kvass is believed to help boost immunity.  It tastes slightly sweet, tangy, earthy and salty- but in a good way! With just 10 minutes of hands-on time,it is so simple- just let mother nature take its course.  (Allow 2 weeks for fermentation- see notes for speeding up this process.)

 

How to make Beet Kvass:

  1. Wash and dice two large organic beets (about two cups) leaving the skin on. You want that bacteria from the skin, so don’t peel!  Place this in a clean quart jar. You can double this recipe and place it in a half-gallon jar ( like I usually do). Or use two quart jars. 
  2. Mix 3 cups water with 1 tablespoon sea salt. Pour into the 4-cup jar, leaving an inch of headroom at the top.
  3. If you need more salt water to fill the jar, use ratio: 1 teaspoon fine sea salt per cup of water.
  4. Feel free to add 1/4 cup of whey or fermented kraut  brine or fermented pickle brine (which will shorten fermenting time-please see notes)
  5. Cover with a loose-fitting lid.  The salt will kill the harmful bacteria, but allow the healthy lactobacilli to flourish. 
  6. Place in bowl or baking dish (to collect any drips) and then place in a cool dark place. Check weekly. After 1-2 weeks you should notice some slight bubbling. To get this even more bubbly and effervescent, tighten the lid, burping daily (or twice a day) for a few days.
  7. Refrigerate (either strain, or leave beets in- I leave mine in) or, for a tangier flavor, continue fermenting for 1-2 more weeks. It will continue to ferment in the fridge, but at a much slower rate, developing more depth of flavor.
  8. If you notice any white foam on top of your kvass it is most likely kahm yeast and harmless. Skim it off with a spoon.

Optional Beet Kvass Flavorings to Elevate!

  • fresh dill (or fennel fronds), bay leaves, or other herbs.
  • pickling spices (fennel seed, dill seed, peppercorns, celery seeds, caraway, etc)
  • sliced onion and/or garlic
  • fresh sliced ginger or turmeric root.

 

How to Make Beet Kvass! A sparkly Ukrainian probiotic drink made with beets, sea salt and water. Full of healthy probiotics from the Lacto-fermentation, Beet Kvass is believed to help boost immunity.  It tastes slightly sweet, tangy, earthy and salty- but in a good way! With just 10 minutes of hands-on time,it is so simple- just let mother nature take its course.  (Allow 2 weeks for fermentation- see notes for speeding up this process.)

How to drink Beet Kvass:

I like to drink a few swigs in the afternoons for a refreshing pick-me-up.  If it tastes too strong for you, you can water down the portion you are drinking. Think of this like drinking fermented pickle brine. To some, this may sound like the strangest thing ever- but, trust me, it’s a thing people do!  A delicious thing.

Pickle brine (the kind in the refrigerated section of the grocery store) or the homemade kind- is FULL of probiotics too.

So is Kraut Brine. It’s all good. And good for the gut.

How to Make Beet Kvass! A sparkly Ukrainian probiotic drink made with beets, sea salt and water. Full of healthy probiotics from the Lacto-fermentation, Beet Kvass is believed to help boost immunity.  It tastes slightly sweet, tangy, earthy and salty- but in a good way! With just 10 minutes of hands-on time,it is so simple- just let mother nature take its course.  (Allow 2 weeks for fermentation- see notes for speeding up this process.)

 

Let me know how you like this Beet Kvass! Excited to hear how you make this your own with the optional additions.

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How to Make Beet Kvass! A sparkly Ukrainian probiotic drink made with beets, sea salt and water. Full of healthy probiotics from the Lacto-fermentation, Beet Kvass is believed to help boost immunity.  It tastes slightly sweet, tangy, earthy and salty- but in a good way! With just 10 minutes of hands-on time,it is so simple- just let mother nature take its course.  (Allow 2 weeks for fermentation- see notes for speeding up this process.)

Beet Kvass Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.9 from 18 reviews
  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 quart 1x
  • Category: fermented
  • Method: fermented
  • Cuisine: Ukrainian

Description

How to Make Beet Kvass! An Eastern European probiotic drink made with beets, sea salt and water. Full of healthy probiotics from the Lacto-fermentation, Beet Kvass is believed to help boost immunity.  It tastes slightly sweet, tangy, earthy and salty- but in a good way! With just 10 minutes of hands-on time,it is so simple- just let mother nature take its course.  (Allow 2 weeks for fermentation- see notes for speeding up this process.)

 


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 medium beets, organic (see notes for doubling, recommended) 2 cups diced, skin ON.
  • 3 cups filtered water (tap water may have too much chlorine & inhibit fermentation)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon fine sea salt

Optional Additions:

  • 1/4 cup fermented pickle brine or fermented kraut brine, or whey (liquid from strained yogurt)
  • fresh dill (or fennel fronds), bay leaves, or other herbs.
  • pickling spices ( fennel seed, coriander seed, dill seed, peppercorns, celery seeds, caraway etc)
  • sliced onion or shallots
  • fresh garlic cloves
  • fresh sliced ginger or turmeric root.

Instructions

  1. Wash and slice the beets into ¼-inch thick rounds, then dice them leaving the skin on.  You want that bacteria from the skin, so don’t peel!  Place this in a clean, 1 quart mason jar. Add any optional additions.  If adding kraut or pickle brine, add this now. You can double this recipe and place it in a half-gallon jar (like I usually do).
  • Mix 3 cups water with 1 heaping tablespoon sea salt. Pour into the  jar, leaving an inch of headroom at the top. ( If you need more brine: The ratio is 1 heaping teaspoon of salt per cup of water. Mix first, then add.)  The salt will kill the harmful bacteria, but allow the healthy lactobacilli to flourish. 
  • Cover with a loose-fitting lid. Place in bowl or baking dish (to collect any drips) and then place in a cool dark place. Check every 3-4 days. If you added the brine, you should see some action within 5-7 days. If not,  it can take up to 2 weeks before you notice some slight bubbling when you tap the jar, indicating that it is fermenting. The longer it ferments, the more tangy it will taste, so you can ferment “to taste.” For even tangier flavor, continue fermenting for 1-2 more weeks. Once happy with the flavor, refrigerate.
  • Refrigerate (either strain, or leave beets in- I leave mine in). It will continue to ferment in the fridge, but at a much slower rate, developing more depth of flavor. The sugar from the beets will continue to feed the healthy bacteria.
  • If you notice any white foam on top of your kvass it is most likely kahm yeast and harmless. Skim it off with a spoon and toss.
  • Store this in the fridge, strain into a cup, and drink a few ounces daily.

Notes

This will last indefinitely in the fridge. I highly recommend making a double batch of this because of the longer fermentation time.

Flavor this up!!! I love adding onion, garlic and pickling whole spices.

You can speed up fermentation significantly by adding a 1/4 cup of fermented pickle brine or fermented kraut brine (make sure it is alive and bubbly- from the refrigerated section of the grocery store, not pickled with vinegar) to the jar. Some people like to add whey, feel free. An easy way to get whey is to strain some yogurt- the liquid is whey! Fermentation should occur within 5 days- and you can tell by the bubbly action when you tap the jar. Then Refrigerate!

NOTE: Fermentation slows down in cooler places and speeds up in warmer places.

Yes, you can eat the beets!

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: ½ cup
  • Calories: 20
  • Sugar: 3.1 g
  • Sodium: 1202.8 mg
  • Fat: 0.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 4.3 g
  • Fiber: 1.3 g
  • Protein: 0.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

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Comments

  1. Cool. Just tested my batch after 2 weeks. Tastes great… In a strange, lacto-fermented way. 😆 Very pretty too.

    Any recommendations on what to do with the beets?






  2. A little tip about the beets after they’re no longer needed in the kavass…Gaps diet recommends using fermented vegetables in soups as they contain additional nutrients and any anti nutrients are broken down making them easily digested. I have done this with my homemade sauerkraut. It’s delicious and very healing for damaged guts. ☺️

  3. Mine had some mold on top as well. If it’s because of anything besides the brine touching the air, would you suggest placing something to hold everything below the surface? Otherwise, no matter how much brine I put in the jar, the beets will float to the top. Thank you!

    1. Yes Taylor you can use a fermentation weight if needed, or place a cabbage leaf overtop the beets and push it down under the brine. IThis is so strange… I make this all the time and the beets always sink to the bottom. But yours float?

    2. Taylor, my beets always float to the top as well. I always use a cabbage leaf and a fermentation weight on top, just to make sure nothing can sneak up to the surface. It’s so disappointing when you ferment something for a week+ and have to throw it out because of mold. I hate that. ☹️

  4. Hi! So I tried making this and we are about a week in. There is mold on top. In the instructions you said to keep the lid loose fitting so I didn’t tighten it. Could that be why?

    1. Shoot Sara- Mold happens when something other than the salt water touches the air. Were any of the beets or spices floating at the top? The lid should be loose.

  5. At what step do you add the add flavors to the beet kvass? I would like to add ginger but not sure how much or when to add to the recipe. Thank you!

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