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The last week the dreaded virus hit our house — it was time to test what I have been preaching!

Hot lemon drinks with honey, doused with a generous slosh of Fire Cider, were on high rotation. Then, when fever struck, Fire Cider with Beet Kvass and lots of ice hit the spot. I was down for a couple of days with aches, but I believe the remedies that I have been taking prevented chest issues, of which I am usually prone.

I’ve written about Fire Cider before. It is easy to make and has numerous benefits. If you have the time, it is well worth making at least one batch a year.

Beet Kvass is another very easy, and somewhat faster, health tonic that can be made in a week. Fresh beetroot are great for so many reasons, good for heart, brain and digestive system, as well as reducing inflammation and has potential cancer-fighting properties. When fermented, the benefits of beetroot are amplified.

To make Beet Kvass is simple: scrub fresh beetroots, cut into 2 cm cubes and put into a large, clean jar. Make a brine with 1 tablespoon sea salt in 3 cups water. Quality is important here – use good quality sea salt and pure rain water, or boiled tap water and organic beetroot.

Half fill the jar with beetroot and top with brine. Cover with a cloth, secured with an elastic band and leave in a dark cupboard for a week or two. You can add whey or pickle or sauerkraut juice to speed up the process.

The result will be an earthy, salty drink, full of healthy probiotics. Ginger, garlic or citrus peel also make worthy additions.
Strain off the liquid and store it in a clean bottle in the fridge. The beetroot pieces can be pickled. The pickling brine is made by bringing ¾ cup of water, 1 ½ cups vinegar, ¾ cup sugar, ½ tsp each of peppercorns and mustard seeds to boil.

Once boiled, put the beetroot into a pot and return to boil. Transfer immediately into prepared jars, making sure that there is sufficient brine to cover the beetroot and put lid on immediately.
Drink a shot of Kvass daily on its own, diluted with water, or made into interesting drinks.

I will be running a short workshop in making the Beet Kvass at the Northern Valleys Locavore Store on Easter Saturday at 10.30 am. Booking is essential as it will be limited numbers. Great if you would like to taste Kvass before investing the time into making it.
Cost will be $10 per person and will include samples and a small jar of Kvass.