Warm weather is upon us now and I find myself reaching more often for a refreshing drink these days. This is the time of year that I really depend a lot on having a variety of fermented beverages around. What a great way to stay hydrated, get electrolytes as well as a probiotic hit to keep your gut and whole body healthy!
Today, I’m sharing with you a compilation of fermented beverage recipes. My hope is that you may try something new. And, if you haven’t tried any of these yet, perhaps this post will inspire you!
Water Kefir – A Healthy Homemade Soda Alternative
Water kefir is a staple beverage in my home year round. I have two kids in particular that crave their fermented beverage daily, and water kefir is easy to keep on hand at all times. It’s easy to make and flavor various ways. It may take some time to adjust your palate to the taste of water kefir, especially if you are/were a regular soda drinker. You can purchase water kefir grains here, to get started brewing!
Kombucha might be the most commonly known of all the fermented beverages. Perhaps you’ve tried a purchased version from the store. More and more varities are starting to pop up in health related foods stores as well. Maybe you even heard about Lindsay Lohan’s kombucha controversy. Regardless, this popular ferment stems way back and for good reason. Kombucha is probably the least rich in probiotics of all the fermented beverages, but it packs a powerful B vitamin punch. Read more about Kombucha’s health benefits. I highly recommend you try your hand at making this at home. It will save you a pretty penny!
Kombucha Brewing Supplies
You can get everything you need to brew kombucha through Kombucha Kamp. There you can purchase tea for making kombucha, and a scoby to start the brew with, along with many other supplies, such as heating systems and continuous brew system kits. I recommend you spend some time on Kombucha Kamp if you are a newbie -there is a TON to learn and videos to watch too! If you are not ready to invest in a special vessel – a large glass jar will do – see the one at the bottom of this post. You want something with a WIDE opening and with lots of space. The first phase of the ferment is aerobic in nature so you want plenty of air to get to it. You will need a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) and Kombucha Kamp is a great place to purchase high quality healthy fresh/live scobies. I purchase my organic cane sugar in 10 pound bags from Costco for about $1 per pound. Get your free Kombucha DIY Guide.
Beet Kvass should be categorized as more of a medicinal fermented beverage. It is like nothing most Americans drink. However, it’s strangely refreshing and compelling I find. I recommend beet kvass to many of my clients with gallbladder issues. Beet Kvass is a powerful intestinal mover and a great liver tonic as it helps to build healthy bile. Which means it’s also super supportive to those with what I call ‘cranky’ gallbladders. Drink 2-4 ounces twice per day as a supplement to your health – once you get used to that amount you can drink 4-6 ounces twice per day.
This is a fun one! Something I usually find myself enticed to enjoy in the fall. Since I can’t drink beer anymore and sometimes want an ‘adult’ beverage -this is my go-to! It’s so delicious and pretty easy to make too!
There are numerous other types of fermented beverages. I’ve made a Fizzy Ginger Limeade in the summer ( a recipe I currently need to revamp), Sweet Potato Fly, Fermented Lemonade and more! I’ve tried my hand at making my own mead (working on a post about that), wine is fun and my man brews his own beer at home (a much healthier way to drink beer). Here are a couple fermented beverage alternatives you can try out as well.
If you need a handy guide for both recipes and a brine chart, check out my friend Lisa Herndon’s book; ‘ Lisa’s Counter Culture: Pickles & Other Well Bred Foods.’ This is a great resource, one I refer to time and time again and every recipe I’ve tried has been excellent. I highly recommend you have a copy of your own! Also, check out Lisa’s site: Lisa’s Counter Culture – it’s all about fermentation and is a fabulous wealth of information.
The majority of the recipes I shared here are from my good friend Melanie over at the blog, Pickle Me Too. And yes, her blog is all about fermented/pickled foods. So, be sure to head over to her site and sign up for her feed to get some great fermentation advice, resources and recipes. Also, you can listen to an interview/talk I did with Melanie about fermented foods. We cover some of the basics of how to get started with fermentation, how to’s, what equipment/vessels you need, should you use whey or a starter and much more! It was a fun and energetic chat, I hope you will take some time to listen. Fermentation Basics with Melanie Hoffman and Lydia Shatney.
Online Fermentation Course
Lastly, if you are wanting even more help with learning how to ferment, you can check out this video based lacto-fermentation course from Cooking Traditional Foods. You’ll learn how to make just about every ferment you can think of in a step by step simple to use format.
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Lydia Joy Shatney is a certified Nutritional Therapist Practitioner through the Nutritional Therapy Association. Additionally, she is the chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation in Delaware County, Pa. (Find the group here on Facebook). Lydia is also a member of the Nourished Living Network. Lydia founded Divine Health From The Inside Out in March of 2010. You can find Lydia on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest. Sign up for the Divine Health From The Inside Out newsletter! Pick up a copy of Lydia’s eBook; ‘Divine Dinners: Gluten-Free, Nourishing, Family-Friendly Meals’.
Lydia offers specialized step by step counseling to transform your health. Personalized consultations to suit your specific needs are offered via phone, Skype or in person. Lydia offers a variety of packages offered to suit your individual needs. Contact Lydia today to get started as well as to learn more about what she has to offer you!