Have you heard of the GAPS diet? To me, it is the ultimate Vata-reducing way of eating, and as with any Vata-reducing regime, one of the key elements is to eat lots of fermented vegetables.
Joani Culver who shared her recipe for ferments and your own homemade farmer’s cheese in this post says, “Ferments have healthy digestive enzymes, loads of dietary fiber and a terrific profile of probiotics to really amp your belly’s fire power.”
“In the winter I love to have Beet Kvass in the fridge. Here’s how I make it: Get a 2 quart wide mouth jar with a 2 part lid (ring and suction cap). Fill the jar half full of cleaned (I peel my beets), cut into chunks beets, add ¼ cup whey (see the “ferments” post to make your ow whey) and 1-2 tablespoons sea salt. Fill up to the elbow of the jar with pure water…you need some air in there so don’t fill to the top. Set in a warm dark place for 3 days and then put in fridge. If it’s to your liking, enough body and zing, yeah…if not wrap it up and let it go another day or so. Temperature will be the deciding factor as to how long it will take to get a good ferment. Such a good liver tonic.
Drinking 2-4 oz per day as a tonic/aperitif before meals is a great way to start your meals. The fermentation process enhances the already strong nutritional profile of raw beets, increasing levels of food enzymes and B vitamins (especially folate) and inoculates the beets with beneficial bacteria which support immunity and digestive system health. It is a great liver tonic, too.”
When I made this on my own at home, I used golden and red beets for sunny winter color, and I grated rather than chopped my beets. Even though this makes an aperitif, I wanted to add the beets to salads after they had fermented, and prefer my roots grated when not roasted. But of course you get to do it however you like. Just know that if you grate them, this may ferment faster, so be sure to check after a couple of days.
Joani’s Beet Kvass
Makes 8-12 servings
2 qt Mason Jar with 2 part canning lids
3 large Beets (5-6 if small), cleaned but not scrubbed (we want some of that skin)
1/4 c Whey
1-2 T Sea Salt (Joani likes Celtic)
1 qt clean, filtered Water (must be free of chlorine: if you are not sure, boil your water first, allow to cool before adding)
Chop your beets. Put them with whey, water and salt in the Mason Jar. Be sure add enough water to fill to “the elbow” – about half an inch from the top, then seal. Cover the jar in a dark dish towel and set in a warm corner of your kitchen. Test after three days. If you like the taste, refrigerate and use. by carefully starting to open the jar. If it fizzes loudly, like it might shower like all-shook-up champagne then let it sit another day and try again. When it is done, it may still fizz, but it will be a much softer and non-threatening sound.
Once it is done, pour yourself an aperitif, and store in the refrigerator. It can keep for months in the fridge, but hopefully you will enjoy stand use it up in weeks. If the taste is a bit salty or earthy for you, dilute it with sparkling water, or add it to half a glass of fresh pressed apple cider.
According to Monica Ford of Real Food Devotee, you can skip the whey if you want to keep it dairy free. You will just need to let it sit longer. You do everything the same, leaving out the whey, then let it sit in a dark, warm place for 7-10 days. Monica writes more about why she loves beet kvass here.
What does Ayurveda say about sour, you ask? Read about the medicinal value of all 6 tastes here. Do you make your own ferments? What is your favorite?
Ayurveda has always said that optimal health starts with optimal gut function. So here’s to your belly’s fire power! May it be always intelligent, indigenous, and inspired!
This is such a great post! From the pictures and the original recipe, to the modifications and tie ins with Ayurvedic wisdom. I’ve been brewing Kombucha for over a year and I have long made a delightful raw sauerkraut by the individual jar full, but it never occurred to me to venture into other fine ferments! Having benefited from their positive probiotic effect on my digestion, I am eager to continue trying something new! In fact, I have some beets and a clean jar in the kitchen now!
Thank you, Kate. One day I hope to come to you to write a post about Kate’s Kitchen!
Thanks for the inspiration! Never really thought about it!
It does have a nice ring!
What a healing and nourishing recipe, thank you Laura! I’m making another batch of kimchi this weekend but must try this beet kvass soon too.
Wonderful, Katie. Will that be up on your blog?
I nursed my milk kefir grains back to health so I am making kefir everyday now. If anyone in San Diego would like some milk kefir grains that have been acclimated to raw milk, I have extra everyday. Beet kvass is next on my list!