Ahhh summer is finally here!! And with those thoughts your feelings turn to refreshing summer bevys. Lemonade is definitely a personal favourite, but given the astronomical amount of sugar in most lemonades, I figured I could up the ante and come up with something super spectacular AND super healthy.
This week’s recipe is a probiotic strawberry lemonade. The base is made with water kefir (though kombucha would also likely work). Water kefir is a fermented drink that has between 15-20 different strains of beneficial probiotics that can help with gut healing, digestion, skin issues, sugar cravings and so much more!! And it couldn’t be more simple.
WHAT IS FERMENTATION IN PROBIOTIC STRAWBERRY LEMONADE?
Microbes transform foods or beverages through the fermentation process into something more palatable.
The right microorganisms “consume” and “digest” carbohydrates, creating valuable byproducts that help turn food into something that is nutritious, palatable, and useful to us.
Different ferments can cause by various kinds of microorganisms. Wild yeast fermentation and probiotic bacteria like lactobacillus and acetobacter are both present in fermented lemonade.
All of these microorganisms enjoy a little acidic environment, whereas harmful bacteria cannot tolerate it. It also gives us the ideal circumstance for allowing the beneficial, gut-healthy bacteria to flourish.
Typical fermented food varieties include the following.
- Made from fermenting chilies is sriracha.
- A fermented grape wine.
- Moreover, fermented malted grain beer.
- Traditional cucumbers pickled.
- Made from fermented cabbage, sauerkraut.
Also read: 2 Minute Paleo Porridge
WHAT TO CONSIDER FOR PROBIOTIC STRAWBERRY LEMONADE?
First you need 3 cups of water kefir (I used primary fermented kefir, but there’s no reason you couldn’t also use finished kefir). Normally I make my kefir with a mix of coconut sugar and cane sugar. but to get the nice color I was after, I used only cane sugar in this (don’t panic about the sugar, the bacteria/yeast culture eats pretty well all the sugar out of the mixture). Then add 1 c freshly squeezed lemons, and also 2-3 sliced large strawberries.
Tighten lid (if you want it fizzy, leave loose for flat) and also let sit for 12-48 hours and watch for the pretty pink color to develop!
Depending on your house temp will dictate how fast this gets fizzy. If your house is warm, check on this every 6-8 hours. If you also notice the sealer starting to bulge out, then this is done. Open carefully and serve over ice, or burp slightly, retighten the lid, and refrigerate for up to 6 months (just be warned it may taste slightly boozy if you leave it that long…unless that is what you are going for!).
Sweeten to taste with liquid stevia.
PREP TIME FOR PROBIOTIC STRAWBERRY LEMONADE
TOTAL TIME FOR PROBIOTIC STRAWBERRY LEMONADE
A healing summer drink!
Recipe type: beverage
Serves: 4 cups
INGREDIENTS FOR PROBIOTIC STRAWBERRY LEMONADE
3 cups water kefir (you can use primary fermented or finished)
1 c freshly squeezed lemon juice
2-3 large organic strawberries, sliced
optional: liquid stevia to sweeten (this is by far my favourite brand)
Also read: easy probiotic salsa
INSTRUCTIONS TO FOLLOW FOR PROBIOTIC STRAWBERRY LEMONADE
In a 1 L mason jar, add kefir, lemon juice and strawberries. Seal the lid tightly if you want a fizzy drink, or keep it slightly loose if you want it flat.
Let sit for 12-48 hours at room temperature out of direct sunlight. If you are going for fizz, keep an eye on the sealer. If your house is on the warmer side be sure to check it every 6-8 hours. You might notice the sealer feels hard or starts to bulge, then it is done. Open carefully and serve over ice, or burp slightly, retighten the lid, and refrigerate for up to 6 months.
If you are going for a flat drink, then let sit for 48 hours.
Serve over ice and sweeten to taste with liquid stevia, if desired.