You’ve probably heard of or even made your own probiotic kombucha drink, which has been all the rage among foodies and health-minded folks over the last few years. You can easily find it bottled in many grocery stores and restaurants these days, and you can also pretty easily brew it at home, as an easy, super-healthy, homemade probiotic.
A lesser-known homemade probiotic drink is those that can be made using a ginger bug, which is a culture grown with ginger and sugar and used as the base for healthy, delicious sodas.
Back in the day, this is how drinks like ginger ale, cream soda, and root beer were made, and you can make your own at home very easily using this simple recipe.
How it works is that the ginger and sugar culture together and create a multitude of beneficial, living bacteria that can further ferment the ingredients in whatever soda you choose to make with it. While both the ginger bug and the sodas you can make with it require sugar to be made, the bacteria essentially “eats” the sugar, converting it to beneficial probiotics. So, this is not only a great alternative to the sugar and chemical-packed commercial sodas because it is probiotic, it also has significantly less sugar.
Note: this is the recipe for the ginger bug, which is similar to the SCOBY of kombucha brewing or sourdough culture to sourdough baking. For the actual sodas, it is a different recipe that simply uses the product of this one. We’ll follow up with some delicious homemade soda recipes using a ginger bug so you can give yours a whirl!
How to make a ginger bug:
- 1-2 fresh ginger roots
- 1/2 white sugar
- 2 cups filtered water
- mason jar
- paper towel
- rubber band
- Grate or finely chop part of your ginger root until you have about 2-3 tablespoons. Save the rest of the ginger root for upcoming steps.
- Put the ginger in your mason jar with an equal amount of sugar (note: using white sugar is crucial).
- Cover with 2 cups filtered water.
- Stir with a non-metal utensil, and cover with the paper towel and rubber band.
- This is where the culturing begins. Let your mixture sit overnight, stirring once or twice, and then the next day, add 1 more tbs of ginger and 1 more tbs of sugar.
- The culture is active when bubbles appear on the surface and you hear a distinct “fizz” when you stir it. This might happen the first day and it might happen on the fifth; but once it is ready, use in your soda recipe right away.
We’ll bring you a recipe for how to use the ginger bug in the next few days, so you can make your own healthy, nutritious, delicious homemade soda.
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