Want all the cleansing power of beet juice, minus all the sugar in the sweet veggie? Get both health benefits with Zukay Live Foods' latest raw concoctions — a line of raw and live beverages called Kvass.
Health-conscious salad nibblers are already big fans of Zukay, known for its flavorful, no-sugar-added probiotic salad dressings made almost entirely from raw pureed veggies and their juices. Now, the organic company has created drinks with the same good-for-you factors. Kvasses are made entirely with raw veggie juices — plus water, Celtic sea salt, and live active cultures. Those live active cultures not only make the drinks probiotic beverages, but also practically sugar-free quaffables, too — since the cultures eat up the sugar during fermentation!
That's why the Beet Kvass has just 30 calories and four grams of sugar per 12-ounce bottle. The other flavors — the Beet Ginger, Carrot Ginger and Veggie Medley — boast similar nutritional profiles. Finally, juicers and cleansers can get all the liver-cleansing health benefits of beet juice, without the sugar rush and with the probiotics.
Of course, there's the question of taste. Does an unsweet beet juice make for a delicious drink? No, if you ask me — though the taste of Beet Kvass isn't offensive either. In the sample Zukay sent, I could taste the beetiness in the bright red liquid, plus a slight tanginess from the fermentation, but minus the sugars, the juice was rather bland and boring. If you really only care about getting the health benefits of beet juice minus the sugars, you'll really love the Beet Kvass. But if you've got taste buds with opinions, you might instead try mixing the Beet Kvass in with other yummier juices, something I'll try with my next bottle.
I liked the Beet Ginger Kvass a bit better, since the ginger gave the drink a much needed kick — and I do want to give the Carrot Ginger Kvass and Veggie Medley Kvass a try, since their combination of flavors might make for a more flavorful health elixir. Want to give Kvass a try yourself? Find Zukay products at Whole Foods, Wegman's, and other natural food stores or online on Zukay's website. A six-pack of Kvasses costs $30.