Quick and Easy Probiotic Lemonade

I’ve been sharing some recipes for natural fermented sodas in the last few months using a “ginger bug” starter culture as a base.

I thought I’d share a natural fermented probiotic drink that’s even easier to make, and doesn’t require a ginger bug to start.

All you need for this probiotic soda to culture is whey. Whey is something you can’t buy in stores, but is incredibly easy to make at home. It is the liquid that separates from the curds when milk curdles, and it is also the common byproduct of cheesemaking or straining homemade yogurt.

To get whey purely for the sake of this recipe, you can either simply curdle milk, or, using natural yogurt that is free of additives and flavoring, and preferably not Greek-style yogurt. What you do is strain the yogurt in a fine mesh strainer, cheesecloth, or thin napkin over a bowl. Over time, a yellowish liquid will collect in the bowl. This is your whey, and starter culture for this delicious probiotic lemonade. 

Ingredients and supplies:

  • 1/2 cup liquid whey
  • 6 lemons
  • 1/2 quarts (roughly) of filtered water
  • 1 cup sugar of choice
  • 1 half-gallon mason jar
  • ring and lid

Directions: 

  1. Juice your lemons and strain out the seeds. Set aside.
  2. Pour your water into your half-gallon mason jar and stir in the sugar until dissolved.
  3. Pour in your whey, lemon juice, and more water, if needed to fill the jar to a few inches below the lip.
  4. Cover, and leave on a counter, out of direct sunlight, for 2-4 days. Burp regularly.
  5. You can now pour into fermenting bottles, leave in the jar with the lid tightly sealed for a few more days to ferment. Be sure to check regularly so that your jars or bottles don’t explode!
  6. Transfer to the refrigerator. It will keep for a week or so, but you will probably drink it all by then!

This is a great summer drink, and an easy way to get probiotics into otherwise resistant small children. The great thing about it is there’s not culture to grow, just throw in your whey and you’re good! Enjoy.

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