Well, I am on a roll it seems of late with inspiration for unique fermented beverage flavors. A new goal of mine when creating flavors for kombucha or water kefir is to get some healing benefits in addition the brew. I recently started an online herb course called; ‘A Taste of Herbs’ taught by Rosalee de la Foret through Mountain Rose Herbs. One of the exercises for a lesson on Carminative herbs, had us make this awesome digestive blend with fennel, orange peel and candied ginger. Of course I made it immediately, as I had all the items on hand and loved it. It dawned on me that it would make a great flavor for kombucha or water kefir, so I tried it out and I was right!
Ginger is one of my favorite things to add to second ferments of kombucha or water kefir. It gives the end product a nice little zip and seems to go a long way towards developing that effervescence we all aspire to obtain. Ginger is also a wonderful digestive support, it helps with all sorts of digestive complaints. I personally keep candied ginger on hand just for that very reason. Though not all of my kids like it, so I have to try to sneak it into them in different ways if needed. I buy my candied ginger from Trader Joe’s as it is uncrystallized, which basically means it’s not coated in sugar.
Fennel has some awesome benefits too. It’s an anti-microbial, anti-spasmodic and helps to dispel gas and alleviate colic in infants. Fennel is an herb I absolutely adore, so I was thrilled to find another way to sneak it into our daily life. Orange peel is a fun addition to this mix as well as has health properties and happens to be where the most nutrition from an orange is housed.
- 3 Tbsp. fennel seeds
- 2 Tbsp. candied ginger pieces, minced
- 1 Tbsp dried orange peel
- Blend all the ingredients together in a small jar.
- After your kombucha or water kefir has finished its first ferment, prepare to do a second ferment.
- For this recipe, you have two options as to how to do the second ferment.
- First, I recommend using a larger airtight vessel to brew it with the blend for 24 hours, and then strain out the herbs and bottle it up in individual bottles.
- So, for example, when I brew a 3-liter batch of water kefir, I would strain out the grains and add in the mixture of fennel seeds, candied ginger, and orange peel. Clamp down the lid and let it ferment in my cupboard for 24 more hours.
- After 24 hours, strain the water kefir again and bottle it up. (I usually get about 5 -16 ounce bottles.)
- OR, you can add the blend directly to the jar and second ferment it that way. The downside to this method is that you may end up having the herbs in there for a while depending on how quickly you drink the brew. This may make the finished product too strong or even a bit thick. I much prefer the first method. That way you are brewing the herbs like you would in a cold infusion. Use about 1 Tbsp. of the blend per bottle if you do it this way.
Also, check out my post on How To Second Ferment or Flavor Kombucha to learn how to flavor either kombucha or water kefir. This Fermented Beverages post includes loads of links to recipes for other awesome flavors of kombucha and water kefir, as well as beet kvass and hard cider.
I buy most of my herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs, though sometimes I pick them up in bulk through Amazon Prime from Frontier Herbs. Either way, both are excellent quality.
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