Nature's Pink Drink
All about Beet Kvass. Benefits + recipe
MINDSET FEATURED ON HOMEPAGE
What is this magical pink drink my daughter can’t put down, and why has it become a mainstay beverage in my home?
If you know me, you know I am always up for nature’s superfoods. And I'm not talking about the newest supplement on the market - I'm talking about naturals abundance of whole food powerhouses - nutrient-dense foods with demonstrated health benefits. I am also committed to finding delicious ways of preparing said foods – so they are equally enjoyable to consume + nourishing. This was ONE of my favorite takeaways from my health coaching certification program I just completed - my cohort shared so many fun and interesting ways of preparing foods and in honor of my value of reciprocity, it's only right I share forward here.
So back to my desire to find all the ways to prepare and consume nature's magical powerhouses. Enter beets. Yes, my pink drink is made with BEETS!
Beets are naturally high in nitrate, antioxidants, vitamin C, iron, folate, and other b-vitamins. They are what I lovingly call a nutrient-badass. And you don't have to believe me - here are a few of the ways research shows they support your body:
- Beets are one of the few foods that contain dietary nitrate, which supports blood flow, naturally lowers blood pressure, regulates the circulatory system, and supports oxygenation throughout the body.
- Increased oxygenation to the brain - may enhance cognitive function and neuroplasticity (your brain’s ability to make new connections).
- Beets have anti-inflammatory and cancer-protective properties
- Support liver detoxification
- Support naturally healthy, glowing skin
According to research, beets can be especially useful for people with blood pressure concerns, insulin sensitivity, or hormonal regulation issues.
With this in mind, I personally like to increase intake of beets around my menstrual cycle because of the natural phytochemicals that boost estrogen production and stabilize hormones. Nitrate and boron also increase blood flow to those reproductive organs to decrease PMS symptoms.
Beets are also especially useful for exercise performance, especially for endurance-based workouts that require high uptake of oxygen.
Maybe most important for people to be aware of during this crazy time we're living in today - beets have been considered a natural anti-depressant due to containing tryptophan, an amino acid that turns into the feel-good chemical serotonin in your brain.
The problem for me is …. I don’t actually enjoy them. That is until I discovered 2 methods: a) roasting them (makes them manageable) and finally I learned how super simple it is to make beet kvass (AMAZING).
Beet kvass is a fermented drink made from – you guessed it - beets. It’s simple to make (I promise, see recipe below), delicious (just ask Ceanna), easy to keep on hand in the fridge, and on top of carrying the benefits listed above from the beets, you also get all the goodness of consuming the probiotics from the beneficial bacteria created in the fermentation process. Traditionally, beet kvass was used as a tonic for the blood, liver, and heart, and for systemic wellness. As a fermented food, beet kvass benefits gut health and the digestive system. Culturing the beets in brine allows beneficial bacteria to proliferate just as they do in other fermented foods and drinks like yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut.
Plus its sooo fun to drink beautiful beverages, and unlike fruit juices you buy from the store, this drink has no artificial ingredients! But I mean ... just LOOK at this bright deep pink color.
Here’s how you make it:
Beet Kvass (recipe borrowed and adapted from one of my amazing Teaching Assistants)
Find fresh beets from farmers market or other local source (organic if you can)
Chop off stems (if reducing waste is important to you, save the leaves to add to a salad or soup later)
Wash the beetroots, but do not peel (the skin holds all the nutrients)
Chop beets into quarters and place into a large glass jar
Add a tablespoon of salt (*the salt is how the fermentation works!)
Here you could add in lemon juice, fresh herbs like mint, or ginger for additional flavor
Fill the jar with water
Close the lid tightly and shake well
Let sit at room temperature for 5-7 days, opening the lid occasionally to release pressure. The longer you sit and allow fermentation, the more sour it becomes.
Drain the beet kvass
You can add the pieces of beets to a salad or throw them in your compost ... the magic is in that deep red beautiful liquid that is left behind.
Store in air-tight container in fridge
I like to mix a shot of about a quarter cup beet kvass to 1.5 cups of water and drink daily. You can also mix it up and sweeten with a touch of honey, or mix with coconut water, sparkling mineral water, or orange juice.
Give it a try and let me know what you think!