While some people have been on a Kombucha craze, I’ve been on a Probiotic Lemonade craze. Ok, I’ll admit it, it’s not because I necessarily like Probiotic Lemonade more, but because I haven’t been able to get my hands on a SCOBY (for all you Komucha makers our there *hint*hint*.) That being said, this lightly fermented lemonade is delicious, healthy and refreshing!
Because it’s lacto-fermented you’ll need to make basic whey first, which is super easy–don’t let this discourage you, the benefits of fermenting this beverage far outweigh the hassle of making whey. The fermentation process causes this lemonade to be rich in gut-healthy probiotics, and low in sugar, unlike traditional store-bought lemonade. Also created during the fermentation process is carbon dioxide, which causes this lemonade to be slightly carbonated.
I usually let my lemonade ferment for 3 days. During this time the beneficial organisms feed on the sugar, and break it down into lactic acid and carbon dioxide. The longer you let this lemonade sit, the less sweet it will be. I accidentally let my lemonade sit for a week and it started to taste a bit boozey, but depending on your taste, may be your preference. If the lemonade is too tart for your taste after fermenting, add a couple drops of stevia when serving. My kid loves this stuff! And just a hint for the adults…this probiotic lemonade goes great with a bit of soda and vodka 😉
You need to use a slightly refined sugar for the best results. I usually don’t cook or bake with white sugar, but have a bag around just for this. I’ve tried using honey, my mom’s tried syrup, and it doesn’t turn out at all–no fermentation, no carbonation. But not to worry, like I mentioned before, most of the sugar is transformed and broken down during the fermentation process anyways.
Lastly, it’s best to use mineral, spring water because the natural minerals in the water aid in the fermentation process. Don’t use boiled water because it purifies it too much. I am lucky enough to be able to use the tap water, and have had great results.
- 5-6 Lemons, juiced (can also use oranges or limes, or a combo of all three)
- 1/3 Cup Lightly refined sugar
- 6 Cups of Water (not boiled water)
- 1/2 Cup of Basic Whey
- Dissolve sugar in water in a large, glass container with an air-tight lid.
- Allow the mixture to become room temperate before stiring in the lemon juice and whey.
- Leave at room temperature for 2-3 days.
- I then trasfer the lemonade into 2 Grolsh-sytle bottles for easy storage and servings, but this is optional.
- Refrigerate. It will continue to ferment but at a much slower pace.
- Serve with ice, sweetener, vodka, soda, or whatever your preference may be!