Drink Green

Beet, Carrot and Vegetable Kvass Juices from Zukay

The rich, health benefits of probiotic cultures typically come from milk and yogurt.

But Mid-Atlantic-based Zukay creates vegetable-based foods that all contain a generous dose of the healthy bacteria. The company produces salsas and dressings, but we're most smitten with the brand's new line of lightly carbonated drinks called kvasses.

Made with produce that comes from the same farmers who sell their products through local CSAs, the raw drinks ($3.79) are fermented and slightly tangy, like a vegetal kombucha.

But unlike the tea- and sugar-based kombucha, Zukay's kvasses–which are named for a Russian street beverage–are made simply with vegetables, salt, water and cultures.

The dark purple, beet-ginger drink has a lingering earthiness that plays nicely with the spicy ginger. Another beverage, carrot-ginger, has a mellow sweetness that nearly mimics citrus.

Many greens-based drinks are sweetened with fruit juices, but Zukay's veggie medley has a robustly flavored, garden-clearing lineup of cabbage, kale, carrots, parsley and other vegetables. Its only fruit juice comes from tomatoes.

Next month, Zukay will roll out its line of spice-enhanced Super Kvasses. Super Root will add turmeric, burdock and sarsaparilla to its beet blend, while the carrot-and-kabocha-based Super Gold will turn up the heat with spicy yellow peppers.

Available at Mom's Organic Market, 3831 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria; 703-535-5980 or momsorganicmarket.com