Fermentation – a Process that Doesn’t Only Preserve Food
Although beetroot is a very unappreciated vegetable, I like it a lot and prepare many dishes with it. I have already shared on my blog recipes with cooked, roasted and even raw beets. Now it’s time for a fermented version.
Fermentation is an old process of preserving food. It has been, and it is still widely used in the area I come from – Central and Eastern Europe. And I am not only talking about preserving food this way in big factories.
Every autumn my parents, like thousands of other Polish people, prepare in their homes millions of jars of my favourite sour gherkins.
Making sauerkraut, another example of fermented vegetable, used to be an annual tradition in Polish villages. Members of families gathered to cut and knead in barrels vast amounts of cabbage. While they were doing it, they were listening to stories, singing, etc. By the way, the best way of kneading was with feet (whoever did that job had to wash her feet thoroughly a few times 😉 ).
Although today the process of making sauerkraut I have just described is only a memory from the past, fermented vegetables are still prevalent. Simply, the preservation of food is not the only advantage of fermentation.
During this process, natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch present in the fermented food and create lactic acid. As a result, the food is also enriched with beneficial enzymes, vitamins, and probiotics.
Fermented Beet Kvass – One Process, Two End Products
That’s why if you have never fermented any vegetables at home, you should try it, and you could easily start with beetroot. You will only have to wash, peel, cut, and put the beets in a big jar. Next, add some spices and fill the jar with salted boiled water. Then wait 5-7 days. And that’s it. No cooking, baking, pasteurizing, etc.
Another good news is that if you follow these instructions, after 5-7 days, you will end up with two products. The first one is fermented beetroot perfect as an addition to salads, soups or sandwiches. And the second is the liquid – Beet Kvass that is extremely good for us.
Beetroot Kvass contains high levels (higher than the raw vegetable) of vitamin C. That’s why it is a perfect drink that prevents and fights colds as well as gives us more energy. Additionally, Fermented Beet Kvass is a natural probiotic that not only helps to regulate our digestion but also restores the bacterial flora after antibiotic treatment.
That is why it is an excellent idea to drink Beet Kvass every day especially now in the autumn and winter season. It will make us stronger and healthier. And it does taste delicious.
Fermented Beet Kvass
- 1 kg beetroot
- 3 cloves garlic peeled
- 3 peppercorns
- 3 bay leaves
- 3 seeds allspice
- 2 liters boiled water
- 1 tbsp salt
- Wash the beetroot, peel it and cut into 1-2cm slices.
- In a big jar (2.5-3l) place a quarter of the beetroot slices; on top of them put 1 garlic clove, 1 bay leaf, 1 peppercorn and 1 allspice. Repeat twice and finish with a layer of beetroot only.
- Mix the water with salt and when cooled down to the room temperature, pour into the jar. Make sure all the beetroot slices are covered by water.
- Cover the jar (not tightly) and keep it in a warm place for 5-7 days.
- After that time kvass should be strained through a dense sieve into a clean, sterilized jar or bottle and kept in a fridge.