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Have you tried kvass? It's a tasty Old World tonic that's been updated in a super fresh way. Think of this fermented beverage as the next kombucha, which people LOVE for its healing power. Here's what you need to know about the beverage known as kvass.

Fermented beets are so good for you. Photo by Leslie Kelly

Way Back in the Day...

Kvass has been around for more than 1,000 years, a fermented beverage that's part of the daily routine in Russia, and other Baltic states. Like many traditional recipes, this beverage was created as a way to re-purpose leftovers. Originally, it was made with rye or sourdough bread and water, making for a slightly boozy beverage that tastes a little bit like beer. Sometimes, dried fruit was added.

A Colorful Remake

The beet version is fermented using a process similar to making other fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha. Salt and filtered water are added to the vegetable mixture, kick starting a process that both breaks down and preserves the food. While the natural sugars are being transformed, good-for-your-gut bacteria forms. The probiotic-rich properties that are found in yogurt, kefir and other fermented foods.

Sip Your Superfood

A shot of beet kvass is bursting with nutrients including significant amounts of B vitamins, as well as minerals such as iron, manganese, copper, potassium and magnesium. At Iggy's on Bainbridge Island, near Seattle, the Beet Kvass is flavored with ginger from Kauai, adding extra cred to its ability to aid digestion. Britt's Pickles at Seattle's Pike Place Market flavors its beet kvass with onion, garlic, fennel, horseradish, peppercorn, whole chili and more. It also makes a version using golden beets. As supermarket shelves continue to fill with all sorts of flavors of kombucha, it only makes sense that a wave of new kvass products will find an audience among those looking for a healing, healthy tonic. Drink it on its own, or with a splash of sparkling water. Find it at health food stores, and online.

Beet and ginger kvass from Iggy's. Photo by Leslie Kelly