Naturally cultured and fermented beverages are not only a simply way to incorporate more fermented foods into your family's diet, they are often quite easy to make.
Lacto-Fermented Soda: Using whey or a "ginger bug", homemade lacto-fermented sodas harness wild yeast to culture the beverage consuming much of the sugar and leaving beneficial yeast and bacteria in its place. Making lacto-fermented soda at home is not only easy, it's a great way to get kids excited about kicking a commercial soda habit. Here are a few recipes to get you started:
- How to Make Lacto-Fermented Homemade Soda
- Ginger Ale
- Root Beer, "Cola" and Ginger Ale
Juice from Cultured Vegetables: Don't waste all the liquid left over from making Sauerkraut, Cultured Beets, Carrots, etc. The leftover juice makes a wonderful probiotic-rich beverage. Often the juice will be quite salty and strong so it may need to be watered down a bit depending on your taste preferences. No time to make your own cultured veggies? We now have ready-to-drink cultured veggie juice in five varieties shipped chilled to your door!
Kvass: A traditional fermented beverage originating in Russia and at one point was the most common drink across all classes of society. Kvass can be made with stale rye sourdough bread or beets. The bread based version tastes somewhat like beer--but without the high alcohol content. Click here for more information on making Rye Bread Kvass (scroll down for recipe). Click here for more information on making Beet Kvass.
Kombucha: A fermented tea containing significant quantities of B-vitamins, Kombucha is made from a culture often known as a Scoby or Mushroom. The mother culture is composed of yeast and bacteria and is similar to cultures used to make vinegar. The flavor of Kombucha can be influenced by several factors including the type of tea used and the length of time beverage is allowed to ferment (can range from a sweet, slightly acidic beverage to a stronger vinegar-taste). Kombucha can be consumed plain or flavored with fruit, herbs or fruit juice following the initial culturing process. While Kombucha is often available commercially through health food stores, it can run $3+ for 16 oz. but can be made at home for about $1 a gallon. Click here to learn more about making Kombucha at home.