I have one last trick up my sleeve…
If you won't eat your probiotics, surely you'll DRINK them!
In case you can't tell, I have made it my mission in life to help you find fermented foods you and your family actually want to eat.
And this is the biggest fermented round-up yet. On a personal note, it was also the most fun for me. I mean, who knew there were so many variations of kvass?!
One thing you'll notice is that I haven't included kombucha or dairy kefir (except in smoothies) or water kefir. Although those beverages are super yummy and super good for you, they're also very common. Kombucha was the very first ferment I learned to make, and it happens to be my most favorite still. I love kombucha, and it has a permanent place in my home (and my belly!).
Buuuuuut… the greater the variety of fermented foods you include in your diet, the more strains of beneficial bacteria and yeast (a.k.a. probiotics) your gut is receiving.
Let's Get Scientific, Shall We?
Kombucha contains a few strains of bacteria (acetobacter and gluconacetobacter are the most common) and a few strains of yeast too, like Saccharomyces boulardii and Zygosaccharomyces kombuchaensis — a strain unique to kombucha (source).
Milk kefir contains many more strains of bacteria (lactobacillus, leuconostoc, and acetobacter to name a few) and yeast (candida, kluyveromyces, and saccharomyces; source).
Bacterial strains such as lactobacillus acidophilus and bulgaricus and bifidobacterium bifidus occur in whey, so any ferment made with whey as a starter will contain them. While helpful for gut health, the bacteria and yeast strains will be vastly different when using a veggie starter culture (lactobacillus plantarum and Ped. acidilactici; source). And who can tell what beneficial strains will occur in foods that are allowed to ‘wild ferment' — gathering the yeasts and bacteria that are naturally in the air or on the skin of whatever fruit or veggie you're fermenting.
So if you're only drinking kombucha or kefir as your sources of fermented beverages, you're denying your body the thousands of other helpful, healing strains that occur in kvass or cultured cider, for example.
It all boils down to this: your body benefits from ALL of them! More variety of fermented foods = more variety of probiotics = happier tummy and body overall. 🙂
How to Achieve Variety
Am I saying you have to make all the fermented foods out there in order to achieve glowing health? No.
I am saying that you should try to incorporate as much variety with your ferments as you do with the other foods you eat. Eating the same thing over and over gets boring and deprives your body of the joy and health that comes from eating many foods in all colors of the rainbow. The same is true with ferments.
The beautiful thing about fermenting is that it really ebbs and flows with the changing of the seasons.
Just don't be afraid to experiment until you find several you love! And in my opinion, fermented drinks are a delicious place to start!
A simple and fermented root beer that's teeming with gut-healing action and old-fashioned root beer flavor! Via wellnessmama.com.
The summer flavor of peaches combined with whey and fermented makes this most refreshing beverage. Via naturalfertilityandwellness.com.
Want your kids begging for more probiotic drinks? Then make this slightly effervescent and aromatic sweet potato fly! Via divinehealthfromtheinsideout.com.
Send the kids out with a big bowl and let them gather all the dandelion blooms they can find. Then make this fizzy soda! Weed control and gut health … who could ask for more? Via alifeunprocessed.blogspot.com.
There's an undeniable charm to mixing roots, twigs, herbs, and berries together for homemade root beer. Via nourishedkitchen.com.
Just as being in nature and gathering elderflowers is healing for the spirit, so is using those elderflowers in a fermented soda healing for the body. Double win! Via andhereweare.net.
With just three ingredients, you can enjoy soda again! Via nourishingtime.com.
This low-maintenance fermented soda uses whole rose hips, which are super high in Vitamin C and fantastic for the immune system. Via theprairiehomestead.com.
This family-friendly soda is a great one to keep on hand during cold and flu season since both elderberries and honey are powerful anti-virals! Via empoweredsustenance.com.
The amazing flavor of watermelon is magnified when fermented into soda. Via fermentationpodcast.com.
Do you happen to have some foraged berries in your freezer that aren't very sweet? Using them to flavor a fermented soda is a great use for them! Via andhereweare.net.
Fizzy, sweet, refreshing, and all natural … this is what soda is supposed to be! Via naturallymindful.com.
Feeling a teeny bit guilty about all those apple peels in your compost? No more — just turn them into cider! Via andhereweare.net.
This recipe literally calls for one ingredient: unpasteurized apple cider. Nature does the rest and makes it good for your belly! Via deliciousobsessions.com.
Did you know you can ferment any fruit juice, including apple juice? Fermentation reduces the sugar content, adds beneficial probiotics, and adds natural carbonation. It's kind of a no brainer! Via realfoodfamily.com.
If you're up for a bit of adventure, capture your own wild yeast and try this hard cider. Have fun! Via www.creativesimplelife.com.
According to Nourishing Traditions, beet kvass is “an excellent blood tonic, promotes regularity, aids in digestion, alkalizes the blood, cleanses the liver, and is a good treatment for kidney stones and other ailments”. Wow! Via TraditionalCookingSchool.com.
Enjoy beet kvass without whey, if you find that flavor unpleasant. Via thecoconutmama.com.
Fruit-based kvasses are a wonderful way to get kids to enjoy this healing drink. Black raspberry sounds like a pretty darn good flavor for grown-ups too! Via fearlesseating.net.
Adding orange and ginger is the key to a really good batch of beet kvass! Via picklemetoo.com.
You can use endless combinations of fruits and veggies to create your own unique kvass. This formula shows you how! Via findyourbalancehealth.com.
If you've been dreaming of putting probiotic goodness into your body, try this recipe TODAY! Via theelliotthomestead.com.
Who knew kvass could have so many variations?! Via eatbeautiful.net.
A beet kvass that you actually want to drink? Yes! And it's not as hard as you think. Via homemademommy.net.
This interesting take on kvass uses a root vegetable, but it's not beets; it's carrots! Via culturesforhealth.com.
This is a super-duper healing kvass with the addition of lemon and ginger. Via divinehealthfromtheinsideout.com.
An inexpensive fermented drink that is the perfect color and flavor for fall: orange! Via thesimplemoms.com.
Mead may be one of the world's oldest ferments. Learn how to make this not-so-barbaric honey wine. Via homestead.org.
Basically “honey wine”, mead pairs well with everything from roasted meat to pecan pie. Plus, it's a digestive aid by default since it's fermented! Via sustainablekentucky.com.
Kefir and Yogurt Smoothies and Lassis
A nutrient-dense smoothie that combines health and yumminess with the addition of water kefir or kombucha. Via TraditionalCookingSchool.com.
You won't even believe how many powerhouse ingredients are in this smoothie! Via myhumblekitchen.com.
This would be a wonderful drink to serve on a holiday morning to get the festivities started the right way! Via eatbeautiful.net.
Creamy goodness that's full of gut-healing kefir! Via theantidotelife.com.
This recipe uses a mildly flavored Piima yogurt for those of you who don't enjoy a too-tart-and-tangy fermented flavor. Via blog.culturesforhealth.com.
Do you like orange creamsicles? Then you'll LOVE it's healthier cousin! Via yummymummykitchen.com.
Now here's a great way to start the day! Via cheerfullyimperfect.com.
Maybe your family doesn't care for kefir yet. Give this smoothie a try, and see if it doesn't make them converts! Via TraditionalCookingSchool.com.
Lemon, ginger, turmeric, raw honey, AND kefir?! I'm not sure I can come up with a more healing drink than that! Via theroastedroot.net.
Crisp and refreshing mint comes together with kefir to create a truly digestible treat! Via localfoods.about.com.
A tasty chocolate dessert that's packed with all the benefits of kefir! Via TraditionalCookingSchool.com.
This is a step-by-step photo tutorial of Nourishing Traditions' Grape Drink! Via projectfamilycookbook.wordpress.com.
Did you know turmeric has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties? Now your body will be better able to utilize it! Via www.sarahwilson.com.
Try this healthy orange soda that's full of flavor and probiotics! Via deliciousobsessions.com.
Quench your thirst with this refreshing and fermented Mexican “aqua fresca”. Via mexicoinmykitchen.com.
Kanji is a traditional winter drink — even though it isn't served warm, its ingredients are warming to your body. Via vegrecipesofindia.com.
Inexpensive, easy to make, and refreshing, Rejuvelac is an ancient wheat drink that's good for the soul. Via rawmazing.com.
Use up all your extra whey (from soured raw milk or homemade sour cream) with this not-too-sweet, fruity, fermented drink. Via eight-acres.blogspot.com.au.
A shrub is an 18th century method of preserving fresh fruit with sugar and vinegar. This beautiful drink may make you want to try this old-fashioned preservation method! Via raincoastcreativesalon.com.
Maybe your family doesn't care for all this fizziness. This water kefir tea solves your problem! Via TraditionalCookingSchool.com.
Perfectly tart and fresh, fermented grapefruit juice is amazing on its own. (Hey, grown-ups, I hear it's pretty good mixed with a bit of vodka too.) 😉 Via ohlardy.com.
Who doesn't like lemonade?! Here's a recipe that's easy on the wallet and the tummy. Via hellonatural.co.
We hear a lot about kombucha, but have you ever heard of Jun? It's like kombucha's big sister. You're sure to love it! Via nourishedkitchen.com.
Here's a recipe to use something that always goes in my compost: pineapple peels! Via healthfooddesivideshi.com.
Fermenting coconut water reduces its sugar content, making it an even more beneficial beverage than plain coconut water! Via TraditionalCookingSchool.com.
A unique and not-so-common drink here in the States, lemon and barley drinks are very popular in Australia and New Zealand. Sounds like an idea we need to import! Via eight-acres.blogspot.com.au.
Aren't you excited to try some of these beautiful, probiotic-rich drinks?! Which one will you make first?
This post was featured in 82 Ways To Heal Your Gut.
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