Lemonade is the language of summer. Nothing comes close to enjoying a glass of sweet lemonade during the warmest time of year.
Spring is almost here. That means it’s the perfect time to practice making homemade fermented beverages. You’ve probably made lemonade before. But have you tried fermented lemonade?
Fermented lemonade is a delicious, tarty treat that turns a blistering hot day into a cool, refreshing one. Plus, it’s great for your gut!
Keep reading for the fermented lemonade recipe!
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Did-You-Know Facts About Lemons
Lemons (citrus limon) have grown for centuries, dating back to ancient Egyptian times. The lemon was introduced into Spain and North America between 1000 and 1200 CE.
By 1494, Crusaders distributed the sweet and sour fruit across Europe.
Cultivars don’t grow the lemon tree as much anymore. Growers have found it easier to graft the plant into other citrus trees, like oranges and grapefruits. Still, you can find lemon trees growing in coastal places like Italy and California.
People use lemons for everything, from pastries and oils to soaps and perfumes. It’s hard to miss lemons as an ingredient in anything.
Aside from how great they taste and smell, lemons are full of vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, and Potassium.
Lemons are about 10% carbs and 88-89% water, with only 20 calories for a medium-sized fruit.
The carbohydrates in lemons are mostly fibers and simple sugars. The primary fiber in lemons is pectin.
Pectin lowers blood sugar levels by slowing down sugar and starch digestion.
Ultimately, the best health benefits lemons offer are:
- Reduced heart disease
- Kidney stone prevention
- Prevention of anemia
- Reduced risk of cancer
The Benefits of Fermented Lemonade
Lemonade can be a healthy beverage, but it’s highly processed and full of sugar most of the time.
However, fermented lemonade, also known as lacto-fermented probiotic lemonade, adds probiotics to the drink.
The fermentation process also reduces the amount of sugar that’s usually found in traditional lemonade.
Companies that sell probiotic beverages on the market partially pasteurize their drinks. This process kills many beneficial bacteria that make fermented drinks healthy.
Making lacto-fermented probiotic lemonade at home ensures that you’re consuming all the natural bacteria that are great for your gut health.
On top of that, high-quality juices are not cheap. Making your fermented lemonade saves you a lot of money in the long run.
Drinking kombucha and kefir all the time can get boring. Fermented lemonade is a great way to shake things up and add a little zest to your fizzy ferments!
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A Closer Look At Whey
This recipe requires whey. Whey protein is a liquid byproduct from products like cheese and yogurt and is full of essential amino acids.
Whey helps the fermentation process move along much faster. The best way to get whey protein is naturally taking it from a dairy product like yogurt.
Scoop a container of plain yogurt into cheesecloth and let the liquid drip into a bowl. The liquid dripping from the yogurt is whey! It’s full of probiotics and is key to creating the deliciously tart fermented lemonade.
How To Make Fermented Lemonade
You’ve waited this long. Let’s dive into the recipe!
For this recipe you will need:
- 6 cups filtered water
- ¾ cup raw cane sugar
- 1 cup lemon juice
- ½ cup fresh whey
- Flip-top bottle or any other acceptable container for fermentation
- Warm water to about 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Whisk sugar in until sugar is completely dissolved.
- Add lemon juice and whey into the sugar water. Whisk until fully incorporated.
- Using the funnel, carefully pour the lemonade into the container of your choice, leaving a couple inches of head space at the top. Seal the container and let it sit between four to seven days.
There you have it! A simple recipe that takes only a week for a healthy, tart drink that will leave you begging for more.
To make your fermented lemonade batch even better, here are a few more tips to consider:
- Your house temperature matters. The warmer the environment, the more sour and fizzy your lemonade will turn out. If your house is cold, you may need to leave your beverage out longer than seven days.
- The longer you leave your drink to ferment, the more sugar the bacteria eats. You can taste-test your drink any day to check its flavor!
- Substitute honey as a sweetener if you don’t want to use sugar.
- The sugar amount varies based on your preferences. You can tweak the recipe depending on how sweet a beverage you want. This advice is the same for honey. Fiddle around with the formula and determine how sweet you want your drink.
RELATED: How To Make Water Kefir: Delicious and Easy Recipe
How To Get Lemonade Fizzy
Fermented lemonade is also called lemon soda because of its fizziness.
The natural fizz of any fermented beverage comes from releasing carbon dioxide (CO2) during the fermenting process. The CO2 dissolves into a liquid and is kept under pressure creating carbonation.
Many fermentation recipes require you to “burp” your ferment to release the pressure in the container. When the carbon dioxide isn’t burped, your beverage becomes naturally fizzy.
The amount of fizz in a drink depends on the bacteria activity. Sometimes your drink is foaming, and other times it tickles your tongue slightly.
Some people are surprised by how mild their drink is. The flavor isn’t as shocking as they expected.
For a fizzy drink, keep the CO2 under pressure as much as possible.
RELATED: Water Kefir Grains: Make Homemade Probiotic Drinks
Other Probiotic Drinks To Try
Probiotic drinks not only heal your gut, but they give you a boost of natural energy. You might start refusing that second cup of coffee!
If you’re looking for other probiotic drinks to try, check out our probiotic shots. We offer all kinds of flavors like elderberry, ginger, and lemon. All of our probiotic shots are dairy-free and gluten-free.
Give our shots a shot and tell us what you think! We hope you love them as much as we do.
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