beet kvass image

Photo by Shannon Stonger

by Shannon Stonger
Health Impact News

Among the many fermented beverages available to the home-fermenter, beet kvass is often the least known. That is unfortunate since it is also one of the simplest fermented beverages one can make and many find it to be a wonderful tonic when taken on a daily basis.

It is said that beet kvass originated in the Ukraine. It is here where beets are well-loved and oft-used in the kitchen. Beet kvass is just one way in which this traditional culture has incorporated the nutrient-rich beet into their everyday diet.

The Benefits of Beets

Beets are one of the unsung heroes of the plant world. For the home gardener, they are easy to grow in most soil types, can be grown in cooler seasons, and create two products for the kitchen – the root and the greens.

While the kvass recipe calls for the beetroot, the greens can be sautéed with coconut oil and garlic or added to a nourishing pot of broth and pastured meat for a delicious soup.

The beetroot is an incredible powerhouse of antioxidants, aiding in the control of blood pressure, the production of energy, and the fight against cancer. Many have also found beets – and in particular, this fermented form of the root vegetable – to aid in cleansing the blood and clearing the filtration and elimination pathways of the body.

fermented beets

Photo by Shannon Stonger

Beet Kvass Recipe

Beet kvass can be made in many ways – with varying types of beets, with added ingredients, and with or without a culture. A starter culture often gives peace of mind to the home fermenter, but it is not necessary and some find that when using the common culture starter whey, the final product’s flavor is compromised.

For that reason, this recipe calls for either a wild fermentation or the addition of a culture starter, if desired. During wild fermentation, the naturally occurring bacteria from the soil combined with the natural microorganisms from the surrounding environment come together to ferment the naturally sugar-rich beet. This beverage is then strained off from the beet and imbibed in small amounts as a daily tonic.

beet kvass

Photo by Shannon Stonger


  • 1.5 pounds of organic beet roots (2-3 medium sized beets)
  • 3 teaspoons Himalayan Salt (1.5 teaspoons if using culture starter)
  • Optional starter culture (2 tablespoons whey, sauerkraut brine, or 1 packet purchased starter culture)
  • Filtered water


Wash the beets and remove any questionable spots, but do not peel them. Chop the beets into slices or ½ inch chunks. Place them in the bottom of a half-gallon mason jar or two quart-sized jars.

Add the salt to the jar(s) and then cover with water up to 2” from the rim of the jar. Stir in the culture starter, if using, and cover with a clean towel, coffee filter, or paper towel and secure with a canning ring or rubber band.

Place at room temperature and allow to ferment for 1-2 weeks, depending on the temperature of your home and your taste preference. During this time you can agitate the jar by simply giving it a few quick half-turns. Alternatively, stir with a non-metallic spoon daily.

At one week you can begin to taste the kvass to check for fermentation cues such as tartness. Leaving the kvass to age a bit longer allows the flavor to mellow and many prefer it “aged” with this method.

Once it has fermented to your preference, remove any mold that may have appeared on the surface, and pour off the kvass into a sealable container and place in the refrigerator. Consume within a couple of weeks.

Serving Ideas

Beet kvass can be an acquired taste. It is therefore important to incorporate it slowly, for the faint of heart, or to serve it up in different, less discernible ways.

  • Drink a small glass (just a few ounces) daily.
  • Incorporate into smoothies with another fermented powerhouse – milk kefir.
  • Use in a salad dressing, utilizing the natural tang as a portion of the vinegar or lemon juice.
  • Use as the base of a cold soup (anything above warming the kvass will kill the beneficial probiotics and enzymes brought about by the fermentation process).

Whichever way you choose to serve it, this simple fermented beverage is easy enough to make – and enjoy the benefits from – again and again.

About the Author

Shannon Stonger grew up in a small town in northern Minnesota. She studied chemistry in college, graduated, and married her husband one month later. They were then blessed with two baby boys within the first four years of marriage. Having babies gave their family a desire to return to the old paths – to nourish their family with traditional, homegrown foods; rid their home of toxic chemicals and petroleum products; and give their boys a chance to know a simple, sustainable way of life. They are currently building a homestead from scratch on two little acres in central Texas. There’s a lot to be done to become somewhat self-sufficient, but they are debt-free and get to spend their days living this simple, good life together with their four young children.

Also See: How to Make Your own Lacto-Fermented Salsa