The Fermentation Obsession & Probiotic Lemonade Recipe
Fermentation has become a buzzword lately, thanks in part to the medical technologies emerging over the past 30 years, allowing scientists to analyse DNA quickly and handle large bundles of data. Thanks to these advances, doctors, biologists, and pharmacists have rediscovered the largely unexplored universe within our bodies. What is the role of gut flora? Are probiotics going to be our salvation? How do you make your own probiotic lemonade? Blogger Zuzana Ouhrabková (zkvaseno.cz), has some answers.
Our bodies serve as a habitat for zillions of living organisms. Nearly nine out of ten of our cells are not actually human – and they are everywhere, covering our skin, occupying all of our bodily orifices, and of course, inhabiting our digestive tract. Microbes keep our skin healthy, help protect our teeth, affect our fertility, and make our food digestible. They produce vitamins and other essential nutrients and regulate the storage of fat and hormone production. They help us build immunity and fight off harmful microbiological intruders, and even influence our mood and mental health.
Read the whole article in Soffa 30 dedicated to Changes.
Recipe: Natural Probiotic Lemonade
We all know about carbonated ginger ale. But with a bit of patience, you can turn fresh ginger into a natural, homemade drink that is so much healthier.
50 g fresh ginger
50 g fresh turmeric
100 g sugar
900 ml apple must or juice
Re-sealable bag (½ litre capacity)
1-litre glass bottle with flip-top cap
300 ml re-sealable bottle
Buy fresh ginger and turmeric – preferably organic. Their outsides should be smooth, with no visible mould or rot. Keep refrigerated in a tightly-closed container.
To make the fermented syrup:
Take 20g of the ginger and 20g of the turmeric. Wash thoroughly in cold water and grate. Do not peel – the skin contains the microbial cultures that will allow the mixture to ferment. Squeeze the lemon. Mix the grated ginger, turmeric, and lemon juice with 40g of the sugar. Place the mash in a re-sealable bag. Remove as much air as possible and put the bag in a warm place, at around 25°C. Fermentation also works at room temperature but it will take a day or two longer.
The next day, grate an additional 10g of both turmeric and ginger. Mix with the mash already in the bag and add 20g of sugar. Let the mixture rest. Repeat the process over the next two days. Check for possible signs of mould or a foul smell (the juice should be bright yellow and contain bits of the roots). Try tasting the mixture – it should be sweet and sour, slightly spicy. If the mash starts to spoil, discard it and start again with fresh ginger and turmeric – it just means there was some sort of contamination.
On the third or fourth day, the mixture should be fizzing (the pouch will swell up). If not, wait an additional two to three days. Then strain the fermented mixture. You should have approximately 250ml of syrup. Pour the syrup into a sterilised bottle and store it in the fridge. The concoction should last for several months.
Use the remaining grated ginger and turmeric mash as a catalyst for the next batch of syrup. Mix approximately 5g of the syrup with 50g of fresh ginger, turmeric, and sugar. Let this rest for a day or two. Alternatively, you can deep-freeze the extract for later use.
To make the lemonade:
Use 100 ml of the ginger-turmeric syrup. Mix with 900ml of apple juice. Put this into a flip-top bottle and let it rest in a warm place for 24 hours. The bottle should fizz when you next open it – if not, wait another 12 hours and check again. Put the lemonade in the fridge to mature for 24 hours.
Drink within two to three days. The mixture will continue to ferment and therefore gradually lose its sweetness.
For variety, you can add spices to the lemonade, like cinnamon, cloves or cardamom. First, boil the spices in apple juice – otherwise they could contaminate the drink. You could also use plum, pear, or pineapple juice instead of apple juice. You might even want to skip the turmeric altogether, instead making fermented ginger syrup and adding sweetened black tea.
text: Zuzana Ouhrabková | illustrations: Jakub Mikuláštík