Nourishing Traditions is NOT your ordinary cookbook. It is packed full of research from all over the world, as well as, recipes and traditions from many different traditional peoples and cultures. As I skip around the book both reading and cooking, I’m getting quite the health education. I’ve happened on chapters like homemade bread and making sprouted and fermented breads from scratch. As well as a chapter dedicated to natural desserts and cakes. There is even a chapter dedicated just to organ meats along with a chapter for wild game and a one that many might enjoy is a her chapter on beverages. From making beer to Kombucha, there are some interesting recipes with a list of benefits! There is a great chapter dedicated to mothers for babies. If you can’t breastfeed, Sally teaches you how to make the highest quality milk formula from raw milk and or meat to give your baby and then teaches you how to feed your baby so that he/she gets the best nutrition to grow into a healthy and strong child.

Recently I ventured into the chapter called TONICS. These tonics are from around the world and are for medicinal purposes rather than their epicurean qualities. From Bieler Broth to Carrot Juice Cocktail and Potassium Broth to Raw Milk Tonic, there isn’t a leaf left unturned. We love beets. Ever since I can remember, beets have always been a regular dish in our house in some form or fashion. The reason why I made this was because of our love of beets and Sally suggests out of everything in her book, at the very least, to make the BEET KVASS and keep on hand to drink daily (4-ounces 2x’s a day, morning and night).

BEET KVASS is valuable for its medicinal qualities and as a digestive aid. Beets are loaded with nutrients. One 4-ounce glass, morning and night, is an excellent blood tonic, promotes regularity, aids digestion, alkalizes the blood, cleanses the liver and is a good treatment for kidney stones and other ailments. Beet Kvass may also be used in place of vinegar in salad dressings and as addition to soups.

Professor Zabel observed that sick people always lack digestive juices, not only during the acute phase of their illnesses but also for a longtime afterward. In addition, he never saw a cancer victim that had a healthy intestinal flora…Thus, the different lacto-fermented foods are a valuable aid to the cancer patient. They are rich in vitamins and minerals and contain as well enzymes that cancer patients lack. Of particular value are lacto-fermented beets, which have a very favorable effect on disturbed cellular function. Many scientific studies have demonstrated that beets have a regenerating effect on the body. Annelies Schoneck Des Crudites Toute L’Annee from Nourishing Traditions Sally Fallon

No Ukrainian home was ever without its ‘beet kvass.’ The kvass was always handy and ready when a pleasing, sour flavor had to be added to soups and vinaigrette’s. Lubow A. Kyivska Ukrainian Dishes from Nourishing Traditions Sally Fallon

It is very simple to make. All the recipe requires is 2 to 3 medium or large organic beets peeled and chopped but not  grated. 1/4 cup of whey, 1 tablespoon of sea salt and filtered water and a 2-quart glass container. Place all ingredients in the glass container, fill with water allowing for 1 inch from the top, put lid on tightly and let it sit at room temperature for 2 to 3 days then refrigerate. Simply drink the juice every day, 1/2 to 1 cup with meals to act as a digestive aid, or in the morning and night on an empty stomach. We alternate drinking Kombucha Tea and Beet Kvass with each meal as a digestive aid.

I will admit, while it is pretty, it isn’t a milk shake. But like many other things I do in my life, I just do it for the benefits. It was a bit salty for me so the next batch I will be sure to decrease the salt from 1 tablespoon to 3/4 or 1/2 tablespoon. My dad is my guinea pig. He will try some of these ‘different’ foods because they remind him of his childhood. He tried it and liked it. I have a feeling the more it sits the less it will taste like salt.

A note about whey. Don’t mistake this as “Whey Protein” or the ingredient you find in protein powder and drinks. Whey is something that is incredibly good for you in so many ways. We use it in so many recipes as well as take it alone. I had no idea what whey was until I started cooking from Nourishing Traditions. You can easily make your own whey, it is made from whole-milk buttermilk and its by-product is cream cheese. I buy our whey from our farmer. It is so inexpensive and yet is the starter culture for lacto- fermented vegetables, fruits, for soaking grains, and as a starter for many beverages.

We mix a tablespoon with water and drink in the morning and night on empty stomach and it acts as a great digestive aid. More importantly it is super good for joints and muscles. My dad came to me the other day and reported that all of his aches and pains have largely disappeared. His ankle is riddled with arthritis which causes him a great deal of pain and it wasn’t more than a few months ago that he was in so much pain that he wanted his foot amputated! Of course he was just talking, but he was in a lot of pain and he didn’t want to take drugs, can’t say that I blame him. He was so happy to tell me and is now listening to me with much more enthusiasm. He eats out very little and eagerly anticipates dinner. He is realizing that being 85 doesn’t mean that he has to be old and feeble or weak and crabby. While his body might be aging, he can have much vitality along with strength. Suffering and pain don’t have to be a regular or ongoing occurrence. He realizes that his body is working very hard to reverse and repair itself and he needs to do as much as possible to provide it with the tools it needs to heal itself. He was not a believer of this way of eating when we started. He is now convinced.

Side Note: Do not refrigerate whey, but leave out on the counter. The longer it sits the more potent it becomes.

Whey is such a good helper in your kitchen. It has a lot of minerals. One tablespoon of whey in a little water will help digestion. It is a remedy that will keep your muscles young. It will keep your joints movable and ligaments elastic. When age wants to bend your back, take whey…With stomach ailments, take one tablespoon of whey three times daily, this will feed the stomach glands and they will work well again. Hannna Kroeger Ageless Remedies from Mother’s Kitchen from Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon


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