Kvass is a Russian fermented beverage traditionally made with beets, whey and rye bread. This simplified fruit version is whey and grain free, but still packed with naturally occurring probiotics (lacto-bacillus bacteria) and enzymes that greatly improve both the digestive and immune systems. Complete with naturally occurring vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, kvass has a fruity flavor with a slight hint of vinegar, honey and fizzy bubbles that teases your tongue and quenches your thirst. From kids to adults, kvass is the perfect healthy alternative to soft drinks, high sugar fruit juices, sweet tea, wine, wine spritzers, Holiday punch or an evening cocktail!
For pennies a jar, feel free to experiment with what you have on hand and what fruit is in season. Making kvass requires only a few key ingredients and a few minutes to put together, and your delicious homemade health-promoting drink is ready in as little as 48 hours!
Basic Fruit Kvass Recipe (ingredients for 1 Jar)
1 large canning jar with lid
1/4 of a large glass jar of sliced or chopped organic ripe fruit (always be sure to use organic)
1 inch of fresh or tsp or dried natural spices (adapt to your own taste)
1 tbsp raw unpasteurized honey
2 tbsp cultured whey (from making kefir or you can use a pinch of active yeast)
pure water to almost fill the jar (you get best results with filtered or spring water)
Here are some delicious fruit kvass combinations- or invent your own!
- cranberry, apple, cinnamon (shown here- our famous Holiday Kvass)
- peaches, blackberries, and fresh ginger
- cherry, raspberry, cardamom
- apple, raisins, cinnamon
- lemon, dried apricots, fresh ginger
- mango, chai spices
- beet, apple, lemon balm
- nectarine, chamomile
- blackberry, peaches, vanilla bean
- dried prunes, lemon, fresh ginger
- Place fruit, honey and natural spices in the jar. Using a large wooden spoon or dowel to lightly bruise or mash the fruit. Add filtered water, leaving an inch headspace for fermentation gases, and tightly close the jar.
- Place on counter at room temperature for 2-3 days and give it a shake twice a day to prevent bacteria from forming on the surface. After 24 hours you should see fermentation bubbles.
- Then you should taste your brew every day to see when it is ready- that will depend on the temperature of the room and sugar content of the fruit. In a cooler kitchen, it can take up to a week to fully ferment. When it’s ready it should taste sweet and tangy and the fruit should look cooked.
- Strain the brew, discard the fermented fruit and spices, and store your kvass in the fridge in clean glass jars. (Lack of fermentation could be caused by the type of water or honey you used- chlorinated water or commercial pasteurized honey won’t allow fermentation to occur.)
- The natural alcohol level in homemade Kvass is very very low, about 0.05%-1.0%, which means that children can drink it too- a wonderfully healthy alternative to high sugar fruit juices and sodas!