Monday, August 17, 2009

Lacto-fermented Fruit drink

This is a good recipe for when you have an abundance of fresh fruit that you know will spoil before you can use it all. When the drink is ready you will strain the batch, discard the fruit and drink the juice. It will be bubbly!

10 plums
10 peaches
1 tsp sea salt
1 squirt agave (optional)
1 quart Water kefir (excluding water kefir grains)*see recipe below for water kefir
Leaf layer (this is about 3-4 leaves layered top of the fruit to keep it sumberged under the liquid. You can use swiss chard leaves or bok choy leaves)
rock (use a rock that fits easily through the mouth of the jar. scrub, wash thoroughly and boil before use)

Coarsely cut up fruit and press into a half gallon canning jar.
Add salt and agave (optional)
Add leaf layer and rock.
Fill the jar with water kefir to cover the fruit.
Cover with canning lid and set on the counter for 2-3 days to ferment.

This drink will get very bubbly so when you’re ready to drink this, open jar carefully over the sink.
Allow bubbles to rise to surface.
Remove rock and discard leaf layer.
Pour it all through a strainer reserving the liquid.
Press the fruit to extract as much juice as possible.
Discard fruit and store juice in the refrigerator.
This is potent! Drink in small amounts.
Keeps for about a week.

Water Kefir

Prep time: 10 minutes
Fermentation time: 2-4 days

2-3 tablespoons Water Kefir grains *see resources below to purchase
2 tablespoons sugar (I find organic dark sugar works the best, but any sugar works)
20 raisins (or a comparable amount of figs or prunes)
1 quart of filtered or spring water
1 slice of lemon

Nearly fill a wide mouth quart jar with water.
Add 2 tablespoons sugar, stirring to dissolve, 20 raisins and a slice of lemon or lime.
Add the water kefir grains to the jar or if this is your first batch add the contents of your bottle of water kefir grains into the quart jar.
Cover with a paper towel or cloth and secure with a rubber band.
When raisins float to the top, scoop them and the lemon slice out and discard.
Ferment the water kefir for 6-12 more hours on the counter with the paper towel.
Then store, covered, in fridge and use as needed.
When you have used the liquid down to about an inch in the jar start a new batch in a new jar and pour the water kefir grains plus the liquid their in right into the new jar, cover and ferment.
Lasts about 1 month

To replenish:
Use up the water kefir to about an inch of water kefir and water kefir grains left in the jar.
When you are ready to make a new batch just a fill a clean jar with 1 quart of water, add sugar and dissolve, add the last inch of water kefir and water kefir grains, trying to get all the grains into the new batch. Add fruit, cover and let ferment.

Other uses for Water Kefir:
tonic, a small amount through the day
supplies lactobacillus and serves as an inoculant for lacto-fermented vegetables, fruits, chutneys 2 Tablespoons per quart -2 cups for 2 gallon crock
soaking grains before cooking (2 Tablespoons) predigests and increases availability of enzymes and B vitamins
soaking beans before cooking (2 Tablespoons) predigests and increases availability of enzymes and B vitamins

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