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Probiotic Drinks Workshop - Recipes

By re-considered, May 19 2018 04:24PM

Probiotic Drinks

What are they ? Fermented drinks made using and containing beneficial bacteria/yeasts which help maintain a healthy microflora in our digestive tracts.

Probiotics –

• fight off harmful bacteria

• boost immunity

• increase energy and enhance digestion

Each probiotic drink has its own strains of bacteria and yeasts and each culture tends to have its own fermented drinks.

Process of fermentation is used to make these drinks – live organism growing and multiplying as it eats food supplied converting it into acid and alcohol.

Lactic acid produced by probiotics helps achieve good acid balance in our stomachs

Sugars from plants are metabolised and most water based probiotic drinks contain small quantities of alcohol – levels are small but can be manipulated e.g. in the case of ginger beer

Secondary Fermentation -

• allows probiotics to continue to multiply and drink becomes richer

• Adds flavour – with the addition of fruit/vegetables/tea etc

• Creates an effervescent drink


1. Beet Kvass – nutrient dense drink made from fresh beetroot. – Typically Russian and Eastern European. Beets are full of antioxidants, folate, manganese, potassium, vitamin C and fibre.

I large beet diced into ½ inch pieces

2 litres of water

1 tbsp salt

Scrub and chop beets – add to jar and fill with water.

Leave to ferment for a minimum of four days and up to two weeks, strain and drink.

2. Kanji - traditional punjabi fermented drink – served as an appetiser – again rich in nutrients and minerals

2 medium beetroots

6 medium carrots

2 ½ tablespoons ground mustard seeds

1 teaspoon chilli powder

8 cups of lukewarm water

Scrub or peel veg, chop into strips. Put mustard and chilli powder in jar and pour on water – stir until dissolved. Add chopped vegetables. Cover and leave on windowsill. Leave for three to five days stirring twice daily. Strain and bottle. Keep in fridge

3. Lacto fermented lemonade – uses whey to ferment lemon juice and sugar.

Strain natural yogurt until 1 cup of whey is obtained.

Add whey, 1 ½ cups fresh lemon juice and ¾ cup sugar to a large jar. Stir and leave at room temperature for 2 days. Bottle and store in fridge.

Can flavour with raspberries boiled and sieved. Sage boiled with lemon and sugar is also good to flavour.

4. Ginger Beer - three stage process

1. Make a ginger bug using 3 tablespoons grated ginger, 3 tablespoons raw sugar, cup of water. After 24 hrs, once a day for one week add 1 teaspoon grated ginger and one teaspoon sugar and stir. After one week the liquid should start to bubble.

2. Next pour 8 pints of water into a clean brew bucket and add 1 cup ginger bug, 1 ¼ cups of sugar, ½ cup lemon juice, half a cup of ginger. (could make ginger tea first by boiling up grated ginger in 2 cups water – add to bucket. ) Cover with tea towel. Stir twice a day – leave until bubbling. Taste and add more sugar if wanted.

3. Bottle and leave in dark room for two to four days. Be careful to check for fizz levels. Beware of leaving too long! Can add fruit flavours at this point.

5. Water kefir – uses kefir grains (matrix of bacteria and yeast)

Dissolve half a cup of raw sugar in 2 L of water and add kefir grains. Cover jar with cloth and leave at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. Strain and bottle for secondary fermentation.

To flavour add 100 percent pure fruit juice about 1 cup juice to 3 cups kefir. Pour into bottles and seal. Leave at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.

Flavourings: Orange and ginger (3 cups or, two tablespoons fresh ginger), raspberry (2 cups raspberries, 1/4cup sugar boiled up in 1 cup water.), Lemonade (1/2 cup lemon juice, ¼ cup water, ¼ cup sugar)

6. Milk kefir – uses a different strain of kefir “grains” which look like mini cauliflowers – colonies of bacteria and yeast. The resultant, yoghurt-like drink is very rich in probiotic bacteria, vitamins A, B1, B6, D and folic acid.

Add grains to a jar and pour milk on top. Cover with a cloth bound with an elastic band. Leave at room temperature to culture. Once it has become thick and sour tasting strain using a plastic sieve to extract kefir grains from kefir and start again. Store resultant kefir in fridge until ready to drink. Can be blended with fruit to make a delicious lassi style drink. NB Coconut milk can be used instead of milk.

7. Kombucha – a naturally effervescent drink made from fermented tea. Rich in probiotics and acetic acid (a mild natural antibiotic) It also contains lactic acid, B vitamins, folate and antioxidants. Uses a SCOBY which needs to be kept out of direct sunlight. It requires an optimum temperature of 23 – 29 degrees Celsius to flourish.

Brew a strong tea solution – 10 tea bags (can use black or green tea) and dilute to 8 pints. Dissolve 1 cup of sugar and add to a large jar. Cool and add SCOBY. Cover with cloth bound with an elastic band and leave in a warm (temperature range of 20 – 28 degrees celsius is optimal), dark place. Allow to brew for 5 – 7 days. IMPORTANT: If you see any mould on the surface of the SCOBY discard it and the entire batch. The SCOBY grows on top of the kombucha to fit the width of the jar. A new one will be produced every batch. This can be peeled off and given away. The kombucha can then be bottled with various fruit juices of your choice at a ratio of 1 to 6 juice to kombucha. These bottles should be left in a warm, dark place for 2 – 3 days to undergo secondary fermentation and then kept in the fridge before drinking. If you want to take a break from brewing leave the SCOBY in a jar in some starter liquid in a warm dark place covered with a cloth.

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