Lacto-fermented ginger ale

ginger tea.jpeg

This drink is great any time, but I really enjoyed it when I was sick with a cold. This recipe is mild, but I like a lot of ginger and add more.  You don't use powdered whey, but instead make your own fresh whey from yogurt. Line a strainer with a dish cloth and place it over a bowl. Pour in some yogurt and let the liquid whey (yellow liquid) drip out over 24 hours. Whey has beneficial lacto-bacteria which helps make the soda bubbly. What you have left is a lovely yogurt cheese. The liquid whey can be stored in a jar in the fridge for a few months.

Ingredients:

1 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 1-2 lemons)
1/4 cup raw honey (has its own batch of probiotics!)
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 tbsp. fresh whey
1 qt. filtered water (do not use water that has chlorine as it will kill the good bacteria)

Mix all of the ingredients in a glass jar or bottle. Cap it and let it sit at room temperature for 3-7 days. Fermentation times vary according to temperature so keep checking and taste test often. The warmer the air, the quicker the ferment. The longer the ferment sits, the less sugar is present as the bacteria digest it. If you don't have a fermentation cap, make sure that you burp your soda every day so the gas doesn't build up--this can make a big mess or a dangerous explosion. I sometimes cover the top of my bottle with a washcloth and rubber band. Once the soda is to your liking, store it in the refrigerator.