My children and husband LOVE fruit juice. Sadly, there’s not much nourishment in most juices (even the 100% juice kind) besides a whole bunch of highly concentrated fructose and a few vitamins.
In an effort to provide them nourishing beverages that satisfy their cravings, we’ve relied heavily on kombucha (which you can brew yourself for as little as $.50/gallon) and raw milk. But sometimes we break out of that rut, and when we do, we aim for other frugal, naturally fermented, probiotic beverages.
Beverages like this fresh, natural, and healthy lemonade.
Fresh Healthy Lemonade — A Probiotic & Lacto-fermented Treat
This recipe makes one gallon.
- juice of 12 lemons
- 1/2 cup to 1 cup of sucanat* (where to find sucanat and other natural sweeteners)
- 1 cup of whey (the liquid kind you drain off yogurt!)
- 1 gallon of water
Put all ingredients together in a one gallon glass container and stir well. Cover tightly with a lid and let sit on your counter at room temperature for two days. It is now ready to drink or refrigerate.
Juice your lemons at room temperature. They will yield more juice that way. I recommend using a quality stainless steel hand juicer or press for juicing citrus fruits like lemons, limes, and oranges. They’re so much easier to use than the plastic juicers, and they’re far easier to clean up than a mechanical juicer. The one I’ve had for nearly 5 years and use regularly is pictured here, and it’s the Norpro Stainless-Steel Citrus Juice Press.
*Sucanat is a brand of organic, naturally-evaporated sugar available here in the U.S. Adjust sugar content according to your tastes. Remember that most of the sugar will be eaten up and used as fuel for the lacto-bacillus culture, so your end result will be significantly more tart than what you originally stir together.
Be sure to use living whey that was drained off yogurt (as shown here) or separated from raw milk. The goal here is to get a living culture of probiotic bacteria, so you don’t want to use the whey left over after the cheese making process (which has usually been heated/cooked). And, as always, filtered water is best.
(photo by chotda)