I’m so into probiotics right now. My belief is that adding them to food and beverages is an even better way to absorb them. I ferment and grow cultures starting with a purchased starter or probiotic powder and sometimes starting with the good bacteria existing on foods like cabbage when I make sauerkraut. I understand that fermentation has about 4 strains of good bacteria, while a broad spectrum probiotic has as many as 16 strains.
Cultures are grown by consuming sugars in food and so most drinks are cultured using sugar. My issue with cultured beverages is the amount of sugar that is left in the beverage. My aim is to let the culture grow to the point it has consumed most of the sugar. The timing is critical as:
- too soon – you have a sugary beverage,
- just right – you have the sugar level you want and the carbonation you desire and
- too long – the beverage becomes vinegar and undrinkable.
Time to prepare: 20 minutes prep plus cleanup and daily stirring
Makes: 6 cups
Serves: 6 each – 1 cup servings
Equipment: 2 quart pan, glass storage containers
5 1/2 cups of your favorite tea (I use a Wellness, Detox or Rooibos tea)
1/3 cup coconut palm sugar
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup ripe fruit (peaches, plums or apples)
pinch probiotic powder
How to make
Make your favorite tea and strain it.
Boil 1/2 cup of water and stir in 1/3 cup coconut palm sugar until dissolved. Add to the tea in a 2 quart pan.
Add 1 cup of ripe fruit somewhat mashed up to the tea in the 2 quart pan.
When the tea mixture is below 80 degrees F, add the pinch of probiotic powder and stir.
Cover with a cloth so the CO2 produced can escape. Let sit at room temperature for 2-4 days stirring twice a day.
Taste test to determine if done, based on the amount of sugar you desire. Strain out the fruit solids.
Store in jars or bottles in the fridge until you serve it.
In the air tight bottle or jar, the mixture continues to create CO2 and this is the fizzy part. Be careful when opening because it might froth over or explode. If it has too much pressure – open the lid a little and close it quickly to let the pressure off slowly. Remember it does keep culturing so it will turn to vinegar if kept too long.