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Traditional nutrition recipes...

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(Beet Kvass)

Kvass, the name given to a traditional Russian drink made from fermented cereal grains and vegetables, generally contains less than 1% alcohol, provides lactobacillus bacteria and electrolytes, and has traditionally been used to treat the sick. Beet Kvass is made from beetroot, salt, kefir whey and water, but tastes a little bland. The following recipe for beetroot ginger beer is enhanced with the addition of ginger, licorice, green tea, stevia and raw honey.

There are four main steps to brewing a lacto fermented beverage.

1. Obtain a suitable primary starter culture that contains the required microbial organisms.
2. Activate the starter by fermenting a starter extension.
3. Ferment the sugars with the bulk of the liquid.
4. Add any additives such as plant material, minerals and salt, and top up the liquid to the final volume.

Please read the procedure for brewing a lacto fermented beverage before attempting these recipes.


Makes 3 litres, enough for 4 x 750ml bottles.

  • 1/3 cup raw honey.
  • 250 ml starter extension
  • 1 litre water
  • 75 gm fresh ginger root.
  • 4 tablespoons licorice root.
  • 3 teaspoons green tea.
  • 1 teaspoon stevia leaf.
  • 1 medium beetroot (400gm).
  • 2/3 cup lime/lemon juice.
  • 1/8 teaspoon Celtic sea salt.
  • Filtered water up to 3 litres.
  • 2 teaspoons rice syrup.



Step 1. Obtain a suitable primary starter culture that contains the required microbial organisms.

Step 2. Activate the starter by fermenting a starter extension.

Step 3. Ferment the sugars with the bulk of the liquid.
Calibrate the fermentation vessel at the 3 litre mark. Add 1 litre of water and the raw honey to the fermentation vessel, stir until dissolved. Add the starter extension and stir once again. Leave for 12 hours then stir gently. After 24 hours add the rest of the ingredients as follows.

Step 4. Add any additives such as plant material, minerals and salt, and top up the liquid to the final volume.
Peel and grate the ginger and strain the ginger pulp through a piece of muslin, using tongs to squeeze out the juice into a glass bowl. Add the ginger juice to the fermentation vessel. Then add the ginger pulp to a saucepan with just enough water to cover it then add the licorice root and simmer for about 20 minutes, with the lid on. Turn off the heat and add the green tea and stevia and leave to steep for a few minutes.

Strain the tea through a sieve or colander lined with muslin, into bowl. Use a pair of tongs to squeeze out the liquid. (Take care as it will be very hot.) Put the pulp back into the saucepan, add enough water to cover the cover the pulp and simmer for a further 15 minutes, then strain once again. Add the sea salt and optional minerals to the tea, stir. When the herbal tea is cooled to less than 30C add it to the fermentation vessel. Add the lime/lemon juice to the fermentation vessel.

Either juice the beetroot in a slow speed juicer or grate it. Add either the juice or the grated beetroot to the fermentation vessel then make up the volume to 3 litres with good quality water.

Stir the brew then cover the container with a cloth held in place with an elastic band to prevent the entry of insects. Gently stir the brew after 12 hours and then after another 12 hours to mix the sediment and scum back into the liquid. If it looks like the scum could be drying out you may wish to gently stir the scum back into the liquid every day, though you should leave the liquid undisturbed as possible to assist the development of an anaerobic state. Ferment for about 5 days at 20-25C.

Bottle the Beetroot Ginger Beer
After five days most of the sugars should have been digested but the fermentation may continue for some months. Dissolve 2 teaspoons of rice syrup in one cup of water and stir into the ferment. This small quantity of rice syrup should create enough carbon dioxide to give the beetroot ginger beer a light fizz. If you add too much rice syrup you risk creating dangerous gas pressures. Also take note that some sugars (especially honey) may take months to be completely digested and will continue to generate gas.

Divide the beer amongst 4 large beer bottles (750ml), top up with filtered water if necessary, cork then gently invert the bottle to mix the contents, label and leave to ferment for a further 2 days. The levels of antioxidants may continue to increase over a period of 1-3 months. Refrigerate before use and serve with a dash of kombucha tea.


1 teaspoon = 5 ml / 5 gm. 1 tablespoon = 15 ml / 15 gm. 15 tablespoons = 1 cup / 225 ml. 1 cup = 8 fluid oz / 225 ml. 1 US gallon = 3.6 litres. 1 lb = 16 oz / 454 gm. Temperature 20C = 68F. Conversion from Fahrenheit to Celsius: C = (F - 32) / 1.8. Conversion from Celsius to Fahrenheit: F = C x 1.8 + 32


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