Sunday, March 1, 2015

Fermented Lemonade

 It's been a snowy winter which has been beautiful at times. Working for the local government means I've had several snow days at home while they've closed for the weather. It's been wonderful to be at the house- time for projects and rest and sleeping in. 

Our backyard.



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But along with everyone else I am ready for spring. 

Ready to see my bulbs come up and plant my wildflowers all along the fence in the backyard. Ready to plant tomatoes and lettuce and sit outside on the deck and eat dinner with friends.




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So what is more summery than lemonade? And fermented lemonade at that.

I have long believed in the power of probiotics, not only for digestive health but for many other benefits; including boosting your immune system, allergies and even depression and anxiety. As a society where everything is processed and we take a lot of antibiotics, most everyone needs to be taking good bacteria on a daily basis.




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I take a probiotic every day but I'm lucky to have a mother in law who has introduced me to the many other ways to actually eat or drink probiotics. Cathy and I have been making fermented vegetables for a while now and recently we tried making sauerkraut and fermented lemonade. The lemonade was a hit.

Saturday Witt and I went to the local farmers market where there is a raw milk booth and I was hoping to get some to make whey so I could make lemonade again. The raw milk man was out of raw milk but I got some yogurt which is just as good and I made some whey on the kitchen counter.




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It's so easy to make whey, you just need cheese cloth or a thin towel, a bowl and if you can't find raw yogurt, you can use organic full fat yogurt from the store.




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Once the whey has filtered out and you are left with cream cheese (which you can eat), you can start your lemonade. The recipe I used takes 3 qts filtered water, 3/4 cup sugar, 10 lemons and 1 cup of whey. 

The whey will interact with the sugar and if you let the lemonade sit for a while in the fridge, your finished product will be low sugar and tart. At that point you can always add stevia and agave, but when Cathy and I made it I didn't add anything to mine as I thought it had a nice balance of sweet and tart already.




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Make sure you compost your lemon rinds for that spring garden!



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The finished product has to sit for at least 2-3 days on the counter, room temp, and then you store in the fridge. You can drink it then, but the longer it sits, the better it will taste. The lemonade ends up being fizzy and delicious.

Cheers to good health and yummy probiotics! 
When it's ready I'll imagine I'm sipping it in a lawn chair in the sunshine.




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