Fermented foods: Beetroot kvass and vegetable mix recipes

Fermented foods: Beetroot kvass and vegetable mix recipes


Fermented foods provide large amounts of various probiotics in the best possible form that is easy for the body to utilise and absorb. These probiotics can travel all way down to the colon where most fermentation by the good bacteria takes place.

Fermentation predigests the food, making it easier for our digestive system to handle, that’s why fermented (or cultured foods) are more easily digested by people with damaged guts. Fermentation process also releases vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients from the food, making them more available for the body to utilise.

You can ferment any food you like, sauerkraut is one of the most popular and nutrient-rich fermented foods – see my special sauerkraut recipe here.  In this post I have included two easy to make recipes for you to start enjoying these very valuable foods. Once you learn the basic methods, you can start experimenting with your favourite ingredients and make your own mixes.

I find fermenting vegetables using whey is one of the easiest ways to culture them. You can also use powdered kefir starter like the Kefir Turkish Yoghurt.  To make whey simply buy plain organic yoghurt (approx 250ml) and let it drip overnight using a sieve covered with muslin over a bowl. You should get around 1 cup of whey plus a smooth, cheese like spread, called labne, which is great to have on a piece of toast.

Fermented vegetables recipe

Mixed vegetables of your choice: cabbage, beetroot, carrots, broccoli, garlic, kale etc
1 cup whey (for approx 2 litre jar)
1-2 teaspoons Celtic salt (or to taste)
1 bay leaf
Filtered water

Slice the vegetables into a bite size chunks and pack loosely into a wide-mouth glass jar (up to 2/3 of the jar), add the whey, salt and fill in the jar with filtered water until the vegetables are completely covered (important). Stir the content a few times, close the jar and leave to ferment at a room temperature for 5-7 days.

The vegetables are ready when they become soft and tangy to taste (see my photo above). Transfer the jar to the fridge to slow down the fermentation, consume within a week or two. The vegetables will slightly change the taste as the fermentation continues in the fridge.

When the liquid and the vegetables start getting low, add more fresh vegetables plus some salt, top up with water and ferment at a room temperature again. You can have this going as long as you keep adding the vegetables and salt.

If using the starter culture, take 1/2 litre of room temperature water and dissolve the contents of kefir sachet in it, pour the mixture into the jar and add more water until the vegetables are covered, proceed as above.

If you are new to eating fermented foods introduce them slowly to your diet as they are powerful probiotics that may initially upset digestion of people with bacterial imbalances, leaky gut, IBS and other digestive problems. Start with one teaspoon of the juice added to soups and stews (warm but not hot as heat will kill the probiotics) or diluted in water.

Gradually increase the amount of the liquid and start introducing the vegetables themselves, again starting with a small amount with each meal.

Beetroot kvass recipe

1-2 medium size beetroots
1 cup whey (for approx 2 litre jar)
3-5 cloves garlic (or to taste)
1-2 teaspoons Celtic salt (or to taste)
1 teaspoon dill or caraway seeds
1 bay leaf
Filtered water

Slice medium size beetroot finely but don’t grate it too finely as this will make it ferment too quickly producing alcohol and spoiling the taste. Put the beetroot into a two litre jar, add Celtic salt, whey, garlic, dill or caraway seeds and fill up with water. Let it ferment for 2-5 days in a warm place then transfer to the fridge. Drink as is or diluted with water.

Keep topping the water up in the jar so your kvass will be going for weeks. When the beetroot starts getting pale, replace it with a new one and keep going with the kvass as long as you wish! Start drinking it slowly, as stated above.

Fermented foods such as vegetables and the kvass are excellent probiotic foods and will greatly assist with improving your digestion and support the immune system as well.


Good health and blessings

Joanna Sochan
Adrenal Fatigue and Digestive Health Expert
Naturopath || Herbalist || Nutritionist || Reiki Practitioner

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