Probiotic Drinks at Home

Probiotic Drinks at Home

Probiotic Drinks at Home

Probiotic drinks are to 2017 what green smoothies were to 2014.

Get better gut health by drinking a daily glass of kombucha, water kefir, or other fermented drinks and it doesn't have to cost a fortune if you make them at home. This friendly handbook-sized guide demystifies fermented drinks and shows you how to create your own gut-friendly elixirs.

Author and Alchemist Felicity Evans started her journey with fermentation and probiotic drinks after a string of diseases left her lethargic and bedridden. After much trial and error, and positive personal health results, Felicity was invited to stock her water kefirs in a local health food store and so her company, which now stocks in over 200 stores, was born.

Through fermentation, you create a happy home for your gut microbes, the foundation for good health and wellness. This book covers both -fermenting using a culture' and -wild fermentation', with foundation recipes ranging from water kefir, coconut water kefir, milk kefir, jun and kombucha to beet kvass, pineapple tepache, ginger bug and honey mead. These basic recipes are then used to create some delicious flavours, such as lemon and ginger kefir, honey and vanilla ambrosia milk kefir and jun with raspberries. Complete with step-by-step instructions as well as the how's and why's of each fermenting process, Probiotic Drinks at Home is a must-have for anybody looking to optimise their gut health and boost their immune system.

Probiotic Drinks at Home
Murdoch Books
Author: Felicity Evans
ISBN: 9781743369296
RRP: $27.99

 

Basic Kombucha

In kombucha brewing, the sugars convert into acids, leaving a low-sugar drink. I like to harvest the kombucha when it's still a little sweet. However, if you want to make a vinegar or a totally sugar-free product, allow it to ferment for several weeks and use the kombucha vinegar in salad dressings.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Fermentation time: 1–5 weeks
Difficulty: Medium
Shelf life: Refrigerate for up to 3 months
Makes: About 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups)

Ingredients
1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) filtered water or springwater
4 black tea bags or 1 tablespoon loose-leaf black tea
3 tablespoons raw or white sugar
3 tablespoons kombucha starter culture liquid
1 kombucha Mother, a little smaller than the size of your palm

Method
Primary fermentation
Bring 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) of the filtered water to a simmer. Pour into a teapot or heatproof bowl, add the tea bags or tea leaves and leave to steep for 3–5 minutes. Strain the tea into a heatproof 1.5 litre (52 fl oz/6 cup) wide-mouth glass jar and discard the tea bags or tea leaves. Add the sugar to the jar and stir to dissolve. Pour in the remaining filtered water.
When the liquid has cooled to room temperature, add the kombucha starter culture liquid and Mother. Cover the jar with a piece of muslin (cheesecloth) and secure with an elastic band.
Place the jar out of direct sunlight in a cool spot where it won't be disturbed. Leave the liquid to ferment for around 4 days in hot weather and 14–20 days in cooler weather.

Bottling
Gently remove the Mother to re-use or rest (see page 89). Retain 3 tablespoons of the kombucha liquid as the starter culture liquid for your next brew (see page 88).
Mix in any sediment that has settled at the bottom of the jar, or leave it as it is. Put a funnel in the opening of a 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cup) glass bottle with a tight-fitting lid and put a strainer on top of the funnel. Pour the kombucha into the bottle through the strainer and discard any solids.

Secondary fermentation
Tightly seal the bottle lid and leave the bottle on the bench to build carbonation. This could take anywhere from 2–14 days, depending on the temperature. -Burp' the kombucha daily to release some pressure by opening the lid slightly and then tightening it again.

drink up
When the kombucha is as fizzy and sour as you like (this could range from a small spritz to a ferocious fizz), store it in the fridge to slow the fermentation process, and enjoy cold.

tip You can make a fabulous hair rinse from kombucha that will leave your hair soft and silky. Allow fermentation to continue to vinegar stage, so that no sugar is left – the kombucha will smell highly acidic. Bottle the kombucha and use it next time you wash your hair.


Interview with Felicity Evans

Question: What is a probiotic drink?

Felicity Evans: A probiotic drink is a liquid with probiotics in it. The word 'Probiotic" literally means 'for life" – and that is their function, they give you more life!

I prefer to get my probiotics from wholefood living sources like fermented products, rather than pills that are made in a lab.

The benefits are so many and varied – we are outnumbered around 10:1 bacteria to human cells, so we need to help these guys out by adding more good bacteria (probiotics) to our systems to help outnumber the bad bacteria.


Question: Water Kefir is so 2017; can you tell us why we need to drink it?

Felicity Evans: Yes, water kefir is where it's at! It's a low sugar, probiotic rich drink that tastes delicious. It's soft on the belly, easy to drink and really will leave you wanting more.

Being a living fermented probiotic drink, it's a great adjunct to your healthy lifestyle plan, which includes nutrition, sleep, movement and sunlight.

Plus, you can make it at home. You just need to get your water kefir culture from Imbibeliving.com and you are away.


Question: Should we implement probioitic drinks into our diet slowly?

Felicity Evans: It's up to the individual – some people can tolerate probiotics better than others…. So I suggest to start of slow, like ¼ cup a day for three days and work your way up over a week. I personally drink 500ml- 1 litre a day of water kefir, beet kvass and milk kefir and I thrive!


Question: What instruments do we need to make our own gut-friendly drinks at home?

Felicity Evans: You'd be surprise that you probably already have everything you need. A 1 litre glass jar, an empty bottle, a funnel and a sieve are your basic tools – then of course the ingredients are probably already in your pantry. The most exotic thing you may need is a culture (to make water kefir or kombucha), and you can get these from imbibeliving.com.


Lemon and Ginger Water Kefir

This classic water kefir combination is dry, tangy and subtly sweet. The water kefir thrives on the raw ginger and you may see the culture replicating furiously, sometimes doubling in 24 hours. Don't squeeze the lemon juice into the jar at the primary fermentation stage, as it will tip the balance of acidity – just add the whole slice. In the bottling stage, you can squeeze the lemon juice into the bottle.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Fermentation time: 1½–5 days
Difficulty: Medium
Shelf life: Refrigerate for up to 4 months
Makes: About 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups)

Ingredients
1 x basic water kefir ingredients (page 44)
4 thick slices fresh ginger, skin on, cut into matchsticks
2 thick slices lemon
juice of ½ lemon

Method
Primary fermentation
Follow the instructions for basic water kefir, adding half
the ginger and 1 slice of lemon along with the dried fruit.

Bottling
Scoop out and discard the dried fruit, ginger and lemon from the liquid.
Put a funnel in the opening of a 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cup) glass bottle with a tight-fitting lid and put a strainer on top of the funnel. Pour the water kefir liquid into the bottle through the strainer. Set aside the water kefir grains in the strainer to re-use or rest (see page 40).
Add the lemon juice and the remaining lemon slice and ginger to the bottle.

Secondary fermentation
Tightly seal the bottle lid and leave the bottle in a warm place to build carbonation. This could take anywhere from 12–72 hours, depending on the temperature. -Burp' the water kefir daily to release some pressure by opening the lid slightly and then tightening it again.

drink up
When the water kefir is as fizzy as you like (this could range from a small spritz to a ferocious fizz), store it in the fridge to slow the fermentation process, and enjoy cold.

Basic Water Kefir

Although this is called -basic water kefir', in my mind there is nothing basic about it. Think about the complex arrangement and symbiosis between the water kefir grains, transforming a plain sugar-water mixture into a bubbling, living probiotic drink.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Fermentation time: 1½–5 days
Difficulty: Medium
Shelf life: Refrigerate for up to 4 months
Makes: About 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups)

Ingredients
3 tablespoons raw sugar
3 tablespoons hot water
1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) filtered water or springwater
pinch of sea salt
1 dried fig
1 dried date
10 sultanas (golden raisins)
¼ teaspoon molasses
3 tablespoons water kefir grains

Method
Primary fermentation
Put the sugar in a 1.5 litre (52 fl oz/6 cup) wide-mouth glass jar. Add the hot water and stir to dissolve the sugar. Add the filtered water, sea salt, dried fruit and molasses and stir well to combine.
Add the water kefir grains to the jar. Cover the jar with a piece of muslin (cheesecloth) and secure with an elastic band.
Place the jar out of direct sunlight at room temperature and leave the liquid to ferment for 1–3 days, depending on the temperature.

Bottling
Scoop out and discard the dried fruit from the liquid.
Put a funnel in the opening of a 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cup) glass bottle with a tight-fitting lid and put a strainer on top of the funnel. Pour the water kefir liquid into the bottle through the strainer. Set aside the water kefir grains in the strainer to re-use or rest (see page 40).

Secondary fermentation
Tightly seal the bottle lid and leave the bottle in a warm place to build carbonation. This could take anywhere from 12–72 hours, depending on the temperature. -Burp' the water kefir daily to release some pressure by opening the lid slightly and then tightening it again.

Drink Up
When the water kefir is as fizzy as you like (this could range from a small spritz to a ferocious fizz), store it in the fridge to slow the fermentation process, and enjoy cold.

Page 40: Resting the culture

If you want to take a break from making water kefir or have an excess of culture, you need to rest the water kefir grains that are not needed in a sugar-water solution in the fridge to slow down fermentation.

Ingredients
Sugar-water solution
220 g (7¾ oz/1 cup) raw sugar
250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) hot water
750 ml (26 fl oz/3 cups) filtered water
or springwater, at room temperature
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon molasses
2 dried figs
2 dried dates

Method
Put the sugar in a 1.5 litre (52 fl oz/6 cup) glass or food-grade plastic container. Add the hot water and stir to dissolve the sugar.
Pour the cool filtered water into the container. Add the salt, molasses, figs and dates. Add the water kefir grains to the sugar-water solution and cover the container with a piece of muslin (cheesecloth), a plate or a very loose-fitting lid. Store in the fridge for up to 6 weeks.

Interview by Brooke Hunter

 

Probiotic Drinks at Home
Murdoch Books
Author: Felicity Evans
ISBN: 9781743369296
RRP: $27.99




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