Bring that classic summertime drink up a few notches with a big probiotic boost from this simple fermented lemonade! Refreshing *and* nourishing all in one!
I can’t think of many other things more “summer” than lemonade, but if we are going to be sipping on something more than a couple times a month during a season, I want it to have some nourishment to it.
You can ferment lemonade a couple different ways. I find using just simple whey to be the easiest for me to handle right now. With 3 very young children, I tend to forget about water kefir grains too easily and then end up having to revive them…again more time! And ginger bugs are great too – but again it’s more time to make, and to keep it alive for more batches they need to be kept fed just like kefir grains…I have enough mouths around here to remember to keep fed, so right now lacto-fermenting (using whey dripped off from yogurt) is the simplest method for me! If you have water kefir grains or a ginger bug alive you can use that versus the whey! (That is also how you will want to ferment if you are dairy free.)
To get your whey, just scoop a container of plain whole yogurt into a dishtowel, tie it up onto a cupboard door, and let it drip into a jar – the liquid dripped off is probiotic-rich whey! The leftover yogurt in the towel is like Greek yogurt or cream cheese – yum!
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- 2 lbs lemons (I get 2lb bags of organic lemons at our grocer - usually around 9 of them total)
- ¾ cup to 1 cup organic pure cane sugar (Note - honey, maple syrup etc will not work as effectively - the probiotic bugs in the whey feed on the sugar the best)
- 1 cup whey (Just scoop a container of plain whole yogurt into a dishtowel, tie it up onto a cupboard door and let it drip into a jar - the liquid dripped off is probiotic rich whey! The leftover yogurt in the towel is like Greek yogurt or cream cheese - yum!)
- Water to fill a gallon glass jar
- Put your lemon juice, sugar, and whey into a gallon glass jar, and fill the rest of the way with water leaving a few inches at the top.
- Put your lid on the jar, shake it up carefully, and leave it in a warm spot in your house for 3 days. If it is extra warm/humid you may only need about 2 days. The longer you leave the lemonade the more sugar the bugs will eat up - you can taste it every day if you want to test for sweetness.
- Transfer your fermented lemonade to the fridge - I like to transfer mine into swing top bottles (fills about 6 of my swing top bottles) to keep it fresher - and because I like to give them a second ferment to make it bubbly! You can do this by leaving your fermented lemonade in the swing top bottles for about 3 extra days. Just add another tablespoon of sugar to each bottle to feed the bugs. The second ferment may take longer if the temperature in your house isn't very warm. Just test it after a few days to see if it is where you like it to be. It will get fizzier with time.
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