Between my own personal cleanse I've been doing, the clients I'm currently helping with their cleanses, and the talk I did last night on the subject, I've got Spring cleansing on the brain! One of my absolute favorite foods to eat during a spring cleanse are beets. They are an amazing food for liver health, for promoting regularity, and for both purifying and building the blood. One fabulous way to get the healing properties of beets AND probiotics is to consume beet kvass. A naturally fermented traditional Ukrainian beverage, beet kvass is easy to make and a wonderful daily tonic for liver and digestive health. I'm going to share how I make beet kvass, adapting a recipe from the Traditional Foods bible, Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon...
Make your own beet kvass...
Thoroughly scrub and/or peel 3 beets. Chop coarsely and place into a 2 quart glass jar. (Optional: also add 2 Tb. of fresh grated ginger root). Add 1/4 cup liquid whey (see how to make below), 1/2 Tb. unrefined salt, and water to fill the jar. Stir well and cover.
Allow to sit at room temperature for about 4 days. Transfer to fridge and enjoy a small glass once or twice a day as a wonderful tonic.
To make liquid whey:
Liquid whey can be used for starting many probiotic-rich fermented foods and beverages, including beet kvass. Here's a video showing a method similar to the one I like to use to obtain my whey. It is pretty easy, and also yields a delicious yogurt cheese after you separate the whey. I have had the best success using the St. Benoit plain yogurt, which is available at many health food stores (it comes in a glass jar). I use a small muslin cloth bag to strain the whey from the yogurt into a quart-sized mason jar.
I really encourage people to start exploring making your own traditional fermented beverages like kvass and kombucha-- it is so much cheaper than what you buy at the store, and many of these are very easy and to make. Consuming naturally fermented, probiotic-rich foods and beverages is a key component to our health (read my post on healthy eating for more on this subject).
I am a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist with a Heart-centered practice in the Santa Cruz mountains. See my About page for more about me and the work I do.