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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Beet Kvass and more on fermenting

Beet kvass is a fermented beverage that provides lactobacillus strains of probiotics, making it a good source of helpful intestinal flora.  Because it is made with raw beets, this beverage is said to have liver detoxifying properties.  I will show you step-by-step instructions so you can do this at home.

You will need the following ingredients:
  • 3-4 medium fresh beets
  • 2 tsp. unrefined salt (no iodine or additives)
  • 1/4 cup starter: finished beet kvass, whey, brine from vegetable ferment or water kefir
  • non-chlorinated or fluoridated water
  • 2 quart glass jar

Peel and cut beets into 1/2 - 1" pieces.  Place in bottom of 2 quart jar.
Add 2 teaspoons unrefined salt.
Add 1/4 cup starter: water kefir, finished beet kvass, whey, or brine from finished vegetable ferment.
Fill jar with water leaving at least 1" of head space.
Mark lid with the date and cover to make it air tight.

Allow to sit on counter for 5-7 days.  Taste to see if it is getting tangy to determine length of fermenting time.

After fermenting, pour off 1 quart of kvass. 

For a second round of kvass, add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt to the remaining kvass and beets.  Fill the jar again with water,  leaving 1" head space and cover tightly.  Allow to ferment at room temperature for 2-4 days according to desired flavor.  Refrigerate the 1 quart jar of kvass.  Drink 4 oz twice daily, morning and evening.

It will look pale, but will darken with fermentation time.  The second  batch will be weaker than the first.  A third round can be made just like the second, but will be even weaker.  After your last batch, save some of your finished kvass as a starter to make a new batch starting with fresh beets.

The next photos show my kim chee after it had fermented for four days on the counter.  There were so many vegetables that I had to use two jars to ferment them.  The first photo shows that I used a leaf of cabbage to hold the vegetables under the brine.  This helps to prevent yeasts from growing on top (which has never happened to me, but I like the extra measure of prevention).
I used a large stainless steel bowl to mix the two quantities of kim chee.  (As vegetables ferment, they shrink.)  I was hoping that it would all fit back into one jar.  It did!

I filled the 2 quart jar with kim chee and poured as much brine as would fit back into the jar.  The remainder of the brine went into the refrigerator to be used as a starter in my next vegetable ferment.  This isn't necessary, but it will give the next ferment a jump start.
My husband was away when I was taking care of this finished kim chee.  When he came home he let out a hoot!  Apparently, the kim chee had given the entire house a fermented aroma.  It tastes great, though!   :)

For more information on vegetable ferments, see my first blog on the topic in the following link which includes a video with water kefir. http://restoringhealththroughnutrition.blogspot.com/2012/10/vegetable-ferments-and-probiotics_27.html

Here is a lady that does fermenting on a huge scale - for pay!  This is super COOL!  

So when it comes to fermenting vegetables, there is no exact science.  Getting the right proportions of salt to water for vegetable ferments is important if you don't have a starter to inoculate it with good bacteria.  Without a starter, just use 1 Tablespoon of salt to 1 quart of water.  Fermentation will be complete in just 3 days at room temperature.

The benefits are great: immunity to bacteria, immunity to viruses, prevention of colon cancer, resistance to H. pylori ulcers, aid for digestion, bowel regularity, resistance to some parasites, prevention of UTI's, prevention of yeast infections and so much more!

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