Anons, I highly recommend making your own beet leaven (or kvass/zakvass, as it is called in eastern europe) and drinking it every day. It's basically a fermented beet juice - very tasty, easy to make and ridiculously good for your immune system and overall health. I've been drinking it for almost 2 months now and there's a noticeable improvement in my general wellbeing, plus my skin and nails are starting to look better.
Here's a basic recipe in english: https://healthyplanbyann.com/zakwas-wigilijny-barszcz-czerwony/
And some tips from me:
- beets need to be raw, peeled, cleaned thoroughly and cut into quarters.
- skip the sourdough rye bread and ferment the beets for 5-7 days, NOT 3-4 as the recipe says; bread is supposed to speed up the fermentation process, but is not necessary, especially if you have never fermented anything before, as it can cause mold in your leaven.
- you can add spices such as cumin, ginger root, allspice or cilantro. I like adding a slice of lemon.
- it's not necessary to cover the jar with something heavy. From my experience it's much better to use a cheesecloth and fasten it with a rubber band to let the leaven "breathe", like in the picture. Keep the jar in a dry, moderately warm place.
- check the jar every day (twice daily if you have the time). When there's foam on the surface, remove it with a spoon and stir the leaven a little bit.
- important: never touch the leaven with a spoon that hasn't been cleaned in boiling water. The glass jar you're using for fermentation also needs to be sterilized before you start!
- it's best to use a wooden or ceramic spoon, but metal is also fine. Just don't use plastic.
- beets must be entirely covered with water at all times, otherwise they might grow mold and you'll have to throw the whole thing away. You can prevent pieces from floating up by packing them really tightly inside the jar.
- you might notice a sort of plaque floating on the surface, but as long as it's not mold (white/green and fuzzy), you're fine. It's a byproduct of fermentation and can be removed along with the foam.
- once the fermentation is finished, strain the leaven through a gauze-covered sieve and pour it into a clean jar. Close it tightly and you can store it in a fridge for up to two weeks.
- drink 1/2 glass every morning before breakfast. You can try drinking a full glass, but it's better to start with smaller amounts until your gut gets used to it.
I know it sounds a bit complicated at first, but it's really not! Honestly, I find the whole process kind of fun, like I'm a witch brewing a potion lmao. It's definitely worth trying for the health benefits.