Kvas/ Leaven for Borscht

Zakwas na Barszcz

If you plan to cook natural, healthy and delicious Polish beets Borscht, for example for Polish traditional Christmas Eve, you need to prepare beets kvas/ leaven for borscht few days before. Kvas is actually a water from fermented beets.

From this amounts of ingredients you will get about 2 portions od kvas to borscht. I usually prepare more leaven. One portion I use for Borscht and the rest I refrigerate and drink everyday half a cup of it. I love this taste, it is also very healthy drink. When you drink kvas, you get vitamins, minerals and probiotics. It’s so good to your immune.

Beets kvas/ leaven for Borscht


  • 2 kg/4,4 lb of beets
  • the whole garlic
  • one carrot (optional)
  • half of celery (optional)
  • 5 grains (berries) allspice
  • 6 bay leaves

Cut all vegetables into pieces (I usually dice them), cut garlic into halves (check the photo below). Place vegetables, allspice and bay leaves in the big jar (4 liters – 1 gallon) and fill up with salted warm water (1 tablespoon of salt for each liter of boiled and cooled water). You will use about 2 liters of water. Cover the jar with a lid, close it but not really tight.

Check zakwas each day, if there is a foam- take it out with a spoon. After 5 days strain beets, pour juice into bottles and store it in the fridge.

Your beets Kvas/ Leaven for Borscht is ready!

You can use up fermented vegetables in soup or a salad, I will share some recipes soon.

To find out what to do next for Barszcz – check the link: http://cookinpolish.com/beetroot-borscht-with-uszka/.

Comment on the post if you have questions, other ideas on the recipe or just enjoyed reading. I would be happy to see your thoughts on my posts!

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16 thoughts on “Kvas/ Leaven for Borscht”

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    1. Yes, you can eat them or make a salad, they will taste alike with more garlic taste and no dill. Beets are also harder than cucumbers.

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    1. Sure, just like we eat cucumbers. Beets are hard, lately I made cream soup of them, served with cream and mashed potatoes, Loved them. You can make salads too.

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