Sunday, April 8, 2012

Cultured Mondays - Lacto-Fermented Lemonade


This week I am posting a recipe for Lacto-Fermented Lemonade.  This came out delicious and is a less sweet version of your typical lemonade; plus it's full of probiotics, a win-win!  It had an amazing fizz to to it, just like soda does, and it was fun to actually hear it bubbling away!

My husband brought home some lemons from a co-worker this past week that were the biggest lemons I have ever seen in my life!  Some of them looked like they were maybe meyer lemons that had been crossed with oranges, as they were so large with very smooth skins and an orange tint to the inside.


I got 8 cups of lemon juice from these lemons!  So, I put up 2 gallons of my lemonade.  I will give you the measurements for one gallon of lemonade.  

*2 cups of lemon juice
*1 cup of sucanat
*1 cup of whey
*1 gallon, minus 3 cups, of filtered water

Simply pour all the ingredients in the the gallon jar, giving the water a good stir to help dissolve the sugar (some of it will end up on the bottom, but that is OK).

Place the lid on the jar and set in a dark place for two days.  You will be surprised to taste how carbonated this drink has become.  It's just like soda!  
Now, this is not a sweet drink, so if you want it a little sweeter, you will need to add some raw honey or extra sucanat.  I also recommend not drinking this on an empty stomach and starting out with half a cup with a meal, as it is a pretty powerful drink.  It can be placed in the fridge after two days.  Because this beverage is going to naturally produce some alcohol, I would avoid drinking this while pregnant.

My lemon juice - can you see how orange it is?  That is why I think these lemons must have crossed with some oranges!

19 comments:

  1. I thought I'd stop by and tell you that I love your blog, having found you on Pinterest. Those lemons you used for this recipe are Italian ones.
    You'll find lemons growing most everywhere in Italy -- potted trees that people move into their greenhouses (or simply indoors) for the winter in the north, and in the ground in the south. The most famous Italian lemon regions are the Peninsula Sorrentina and the Costiera Amalfitana, which are the source of Limoncello. They are often referred to as Sorrento or Almifi lemons, as these regions produce the finest lemons.
    Here's how we use to eat them when we lived out there..Here's the recipe: Peel and chop several lemons into wedges and toss them in olive oil with chopped red onion, mint, and dried chilli flakes. Season with salt. No soaking. No cooking, just straight up eat those lemons or you can add them to salads. You can persevere them, but they have never lasted that long in our house.
    I do have one question for you. in this recipe you use 1 cup of sucanat. Could you tell me what that is. I'm thinking it's a form of sugar/sweetener. As I live in the UK, I doubt I could find this product, so was wondering if you have any ideas as to what I could use instead.
    Thanks for sharing so much on this blog.

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    1. Lia, Thanks so much for the info about my lemons! So cool! Sucanat is just unrefined sugar. It is brown and has a caramel flavoring to it - contains a lot of minerals and will not raise your blood sugar the same way that white sugar does. For this recipe, you can use regular sugar if you need to, as the good bacteria feeds on the sugar and by the time you drink it, there is very little sugar left, that is why it will not be particularly sweet.

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  2. This looks so delicious! I'm thinking of trying it with honey (we're on GAPS).

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    1. I would love to hear how honey works with this recipe!

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  3. So many recipes I want to try! They all call for whey, though ~ guess I better hurry up & figure out how to get my hands on some! :)

    By the way (or whey ;), I am totally pinning this!

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    1. Heather, you can make whey very easily by lining a very fine mesh strainer with cheesecloth over a bowl and pouring yogurt into it and letting it sit over night. The next morning you will have clear liquid in the bowl, which is whey. The thickened yogurt is almost like cream cheese and you can use it as you would that. It is best to make whey from homemade yogurt, as the bacteria are stronger and your cultured products will do better. You can click on the link to Cultures for Health for a number of yogurts you can do at home. We also have a recipe for whey on the Nourished Living Network Recipe page.

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  4. I adore all of your fermented recipes Jessica-always so unique and delicious!

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  5. I love this recipe, totally going to try this! And I love Cultures for Health!

    Jane
    http://thehealthybeehive.com

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  6. I love this recipe, heading out today to get some lemons. Thanks so much for sharing!!

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  7. My daughter and I have been nervous in trying to make fermented foods but your recipes are calming our nerves. Must Try!!

    -Paula
    http://www.zenhealthwithpaula.com/

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    1. Paula,
      I'm so glad to hear that! Your senses should be able to tell you if your ferment is off. If is it slimy, stinky, moldy, or does not taste good, then discard. Your ferment should have a tang and sometimes a fizz to it, and it should taste good! Please let me know if there are any other questions I can answer. I felt the same way when I started fermenting a few years back, but I'm still around to tell the tale! =)

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  8. So after two days, do we store in the refrigerator and will it still have the fizz in it if it is refrigerated? Thanks, just made a batch tonight.

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    1. Halle, you can put it in your fridge or feed it with sugar tomorrow and leave it out for another day if you like. It will get stronger and fizzier. Mine has been in the fridge for a few days now and is still fizzy, but almost gone! =)

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    2. Ok Jessica,
      So I have made this, it has no fizz after 3 days :( Followed the recipe exactly and even used my own whey from my raw milk yogurt...what am i doing wrong? Thanks you so much, I am looking so forward to this!

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    3. Did you use the sucanat? Have you used that whey to culture other foods before? Where is the culture coming from to make your yogurt? I ask because sometimes I am finding that the heirloom varieties of yogurt and kefir make a stronger whey that works much better for culturing. I use the Bulgarian yogurt from Cultures for Health (see their link just on the right side of my blog). I have found the whey from this yogurt to be quite powerful and I have been making yogurt from the same starter now for about 2 years. Maybe you just need a better starter for your raw milk yogurt.

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  9. mmmmm delicious! I'm certainly up for giving this a go! Thanks for sharing this at Natural Mother's Seasonal Celebration Sunday! x

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  10. What a fantastic idea. Next time I get a big batch of lemons I will definitely try this. Thank you for your inspiration and thanks for coming by and sharing it at Whole Food Wednesdays.

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  11. We make our own yogurt, We have tried this. It gets fermented (I know because it blew the balloon off the jar), but not fizzy. My kid loves it! This week we took a trip, and he didn't get his yogurt or daily lemonade, and his tummy was unhappy... Probiotics are certainly good for you... ferment on!!!

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