Beet kvass is a probiotic drink so common in the country of Moldova that there are kvass vending machines on city streets. You put your coin in the machine, pick your kvass flavor and the machine squirts your flavored kvass into a glass sitting on a shelf in the middle of the machine. After the glass is filled, you drink your treat and return the glass to the shelf for the next customer. 


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Making beet kvass is simple. In a mason jar, fill one third of the way up with an unpeeled beet, sliced. Add a tablespoon of mineral salt and fill the jar with water, leaving one inch headroom. Put the lid on and let it sit for 12ish days, or until the taste is right for you. When finished, strain the kvass liquid from the jar and use the beets in the same jar and go again by putting in new salt and water. 

The problem with kvass made this way, is it tastes like beet dirt. Very beneficial, but not so delicious to most. Drinking it is a chore that most often involves a pair of big girl panties. 

Yet! If you add a bit of sliced cabbage and onion – whola! It’s a treat that you just can’t stop drinking. It’s smooth, fresh, crisp and delightful. 

Fresh vegetables which are organic are best. The cabbage can be green or red, depending on what you prefer. To make this fantastic treat, fill your mason jar a third of the way full of sliced and unpeeled beets, add an inch or two of chopped cabbage and then an inch or two of chopped onion. Fill the vessel with the appropriate amount of salt and water, let sit. 

The amount of salt depends on the size of the vessel. Mineral salt is optimal as it is the natural form and loaded with minerals. The most common forms of mineral salt, in nutrient density order, are Celtic Gray Salt, Baja Gold, Redmond’s Real Salt and Himalayan Pink Salt. For a quart sized mason jar packed full of vegetables, one to two tablespoons of mineral salt is generally used. If the jar is a third full of beets with a bit of cabbage and onion, totalling around half a quart full, half a tablespoon of salt is fitting – however, the amount is up to personal preference. 

The amount of onion and cabbage used is your choice. When redoing the jar of beets for a second, or third, or fourth round, if the cabbage and onion was sitting on top of the sliced beets, they can be scooped off and eaten, just like you would sauerkraut. New cabbage and onion can be added on top of the beets and the ferment can be set for another round. 

Drinking beet kvass is energizing to the liver. Traditional Russian Kvass is made with rye bread or other grains. Traditional Kvass is made with fruits, filling the jar a roughly a third of the way full of fruit, adding whey (or not), water and letting sit to make a fermented beverage. 

The extreme benefit of beets come from the high number of phytonutrients reflected in their deep red color. Some beets are so beneficial to the liver, some people pass gallstones just by eating betts or drinking fermented beet beverages. 

Phytomedicine says, “Lactofermented beetroot juices are characterized by the high anti-carcinogenic and anti-mutagenic potentials.”

Nutrients says, “The lactofermented beetroot juice containing live bacteria of the genus Lactobacillus may be considered of functional foods. This product combines the biological activity of betacyanins, involved in limitation of oxidative processes in the organism, and activity of live bacteria modulating the composition and metabolic activity of intestinal microbiota.”

Accolades for kvass were gut health, clean blood, detoxification, cancer prevention, and overall vibrant health.

*Nourishing Plot is written by Becky Plotner, ND, traditional naturopath, CGP, D.PSc. who sees clients in Rossville, Georgia. She works as a Certified GAPS Practitioner who sees clients in her office, Skype and phone. She has been published in Wise Traditions, spoken at two Weston A. Price Conferences, Certified GAPS Practitioner Trainings, has been on many radio shows, television shows and writes for Nourishing Plot. Since her son was delivered from the effects of autism (Asperger’s syndrome), ADHD, bipolar disorder/manic depression, hypoglycemia and dyslexia, through food, she continued her education specializing in Leaky Gut and parasitology through Duke University, finishing with distinction. She is a Chapter Leader for The Weston A. Price Foundation. becky.nourishingplot@hotmail.com

“GAPS™ and Gut and Psychology Syndrome™ are the trademark and copyright of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. The right of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Patent and Designs Act 1988.

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4 Responses to Beet Kvass – GAPS Approved

  1. Lynn says:

    Yes! Beet dirt. That’s it! I’m excited to try these modifications!

    You’ve said elsewhere of probiotic foods and capsules to start small and gradually increase. Should this building up be completed by the end of Intro? Or, can one go through Intro and on to Full GAPS and still be increasing probiotic supplements and foods, as long as there are no food reactions? Where can one find (eventual) recommended amounts of these probiotic foods?

    • Becky Plotner says:

      You can do either, always building. Not all probiotic foods have been measured so we only go by food quantities – like two cups of milk kefir if there is yeast, or the same with kvass if there is a struggling liver. Kraut has been measured and milk kefir has been measured, both on their respectable Nourishing Plot posts.

  2. Frances says:

    You mention ‘mineral salt’ early in the article; is this the same as rock salt, sea salt, himalayan salt?

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