What the heck is kvass? Inexpensive, homemade probiotic recipe
Who knew some fruit, salt and water could correct lifelong stomach issues? Not me, but I’m glad someone told me about it. Here’s a post about my kvass journey. If you’ve got chronic conditions, it can’t hurt to give this a try (unless for some reason you’ve been warned to stay away from probiotics, which I can’t imagine but, yeah, disclaimer.)
My journey to kvass started with my trying to comply with the Wahl’s protocol and hating fermented foods. The only thing I can imagine myself tolerating is sauerkraut and, like any good Polish gal, I can’t have that without kielbasa and mustard… of which I can’t have either. I was in one of my groups lamenting organ meats and fermented foods when someone mentioned kvass and that I could make it with fruit, in my house, on the cheap.
Probiotic seems like a buzz word, but that’s essentially what kvass is. Any kind of probiotic you can buy is going to have all kinds of flora but it’ll also probably have food additives and, if it’s in the store, it’s made in a factory. Which, in and of itself does not make it a bad thing, it just makes it something that’s not fresh. Ever since I started my journey to try and control my disorders with food, fresh has been a good word for me.
They say fermented foods are a must. There are good reasons for it and, to be honest, they’re all on the internet for you to read about so I’m not going to get into it here. Book learning is one of my sleep attack triggers and any time I try to go intentionally study something I get the Zzzzzz’s. Someone told me to try it and why, I tried it and within a few weeks my lifelong stomach issues were dramatically reduced.
From a young age when I pushed on my sternum, it burned like an open wound. I had been tested for ulcers, ended up in the ER twice thinking I was dying and it was just gas. Like the rest of me, I’m unique in the way things affect me. I don’t just get gas in my stomach, I get it traveling all the way up into my shoulders, aggravating my fibro triggers. If I massage my trigger pain I will actually burp and the pain will reduce, it’s surreal.
I also burped constantly before kvass, no matter what I ate, I was always belching. In the years since, I gave up dairy and the burping was reduced to only when I cheat on my autoimmune protocol diet.
You’ll see a lot of posts about itching in the fibro groups. I used to itch so badly on my head, I scratched it to the point where the bottom of my skull swelled and I thought I had a tumor. That disappeared with kvass.
Burning scalp syndrome affected me as well. It would feel as though someone poured hot lava between my skull and my scalp. If you put your hand on it, you could feel a temperature difference. Similarly I had a lot scalp swelling, where if someone tried to rest their head against mine, I would recoil from the pain. My head would feel bruised. This all has mostly disappeared except under situations of high stress. Most recently I got the sensation that my hair was braided too tight, but my hair wasn’t braided. I had gotten lazy and ran out of kvass. Made a new one and haven’t had it happen since.
So, per my 11 tips for staying on an elimination type diet… That’s the #1 Why am I doing this.
To learn how to do it, I watched this video. I’ll be completely honest, I did not even watch the whole video. I just figured out what the ingredients could be and went off on my own to do it. Here is the video if you’d like to watch her demonstration. She talks about a lot of foods with benefits, if you’re interested in that sort of thing.
I usually make my kvass with watermelon. It’s got l’citrullene in it, which helps promote wakefulness, and I love the way it tastes, so why not? I have also used carrot, ginger, prunes, raisins, cranberries, lemon, sweet potato and apple, although not all at once ;).
My container is a lot smaller than hers but I’m not a big fanatic about it and I don’t want to keep it past a week cuz it creeps me out, I know, silly but, that’s just me. I add some to a glass of water every morning. If I’m eating something I’m not supposed to I’ll have it in water with that food. If I have a particularly bad gas day, I will have one with water as medicine.
About six months into AIP I was doing great with this raw cheddar I found at my local grocery, so I decided to do red pepper pizzas. I hadn’t had a red pepper in months and I was missing them terribly. I ate one, delicious, I was so excited I planned on making this regularly and within ten minutes I had angina so bad I could hardly breath. My chest was tight and locked up and every breath stabbed me in the ribs. I went inside, poured an ounce of kvass into a glass of water and drank it down. Within 20 minutes I was fine, like nothing had happened. It became a permanent part of my self care at that point.
Here, in Los Angeles, it’s often 100+ degrees outside. In the summer the kvass will be ready in about 3 days. As it cools down, it sometimes needs a fourth day.
When it “pops” as you open to let the gas out and the fizzies rush up to the top, it’s ready. I’ve let it go too far before and it got like thick and white on the top, which grossed me out 😉 so I threw it away and made another one.
If it doesn’t send you to Snoozeville, you can read up on what kind of fruits and veggies generate which kind of beneficial bacteria. For me, as long as I’m not burping all day, I don’t really need to know ;).
You can find the products I use to make things easier in the kitchen, in my Amazon Store you do not pay any more shopping from my links but your doing so will support my site :).