Fermentation of grains, fruits and herbs into refreshing and delicious drinks is nearly universal in ethnic cuisines. However, the rush to convenience in our modern society means that this practice is largely forgotten with the rise of factory produced sodas. Commercial versions of ancestral beverages offer no redeeming nutritional benefit. Worse, the consumption of these sugar laced or artificially sweetened drinks encourages obesity and other chronic ailments.
Soda really can be healthy! Learning traditional preparation techniques is all that is required. Leaving the belly bulging and backside expanding sodas from the store far behind is really not such a difficult task after all. You can still enjoy a tart, fizzy drink on a hot afternoon without all the health risks!
Homemade Ginger Ale
This easy recipe below for fermented ginger ale is a popular choice of readers of this blog. Note that raw whey is the recommended starter, but if a dairy allergy is present, a ginger ale starter is necessary. In addition, while sucanat is the recommended sweetener, jaggery is a healthy option as well that produces great results.
This recipe plus video provides convenient instructions for how to make a “ginger bug”.
Homemade Ginger Ale Recipe
Easy recipe for ginger ale made at home that is fermented to enhance nutritional value and add probiotics.
Mix all ingredients together thoroughly in a half gallon glass jar. Be sure to leave 1 inch at the top else the soda will get moldy instead of ferment.
Leave at room temperature on the counter for 2-3 days and then refrigerate. D not leave near a fruit bowl. Homemade ginger ale is mildly fizzy. You can then mix with a bit of natural mineral water to add even more fizz if desired.
Alternatively, you can bottle the homemade soda and leave on the counter for an additional 1-2 days before refrigerating to produce a very fizzy beverage. Be sure to let the bottled soda get very cold before opening. Opening in the sink is also a good idea.
If the finished homemade ginger ale is not sweet enough for your taste, add a tiny pinch of optional stevia or stir in a small amount of mild, raw honey.
2 tablespoons of freshly chopped ginger root may be substituted for the ground ginger.
If you have a dairy allergy, you may substitute 1/4 cup ginger bug starter for the liquid whey.
Alternatively, you can use coconut water kefir or the liquid strained from coconut milk yogurt as the fermentation starter.
Other Fermented Beverages You May Enjoy
Sarah Pope has been a Health and Nutrition Educator since 2002. Her work is dedicated to helping families effectively incorporate the principles of ancestral diets within the modern household. She is a sought after lecturer around the world for conferences, summits, and podcasts.
Her work has been covered by major media including USA Today, ABC, NBC, and many others.