I have been following Julia Mueller’s blog, The Roasted Root, for awhile. Over the winter I was excited to see her publish a new book about probiotic drinks. I was even more excited when I won a copy in a giveaway! You see, I love to sip on various beverages when I am working at my computer. Many times the liquid refreshment is coffee, but after reading Julia’s book I’m going to try some healthier options. This will be the summer of probiotic drinks for me!

So, what are probiotics? According to Julia they are “good bacteria that help promote and maintain the microflora in your digestive tract to achieve digestive balance and overall gut health.” Sounds like a wonderful thing! There’s nothing worse than having an upset stomach. Since I tend to have some rather unhealthy eating habits when I am writing, I could certainly use some help keeping distracting tummy troubles at bay.

The book has easy, step-by-step instructions on how to make everything from beet kvass (fermented beet juice) to kombucha (fermented black tea). While I have heard of both of those drinks, there are others that are unfamiliar to me. Rejuvalac is the liquid drained off of sprouted grains, like rye or barley. Jun is the green tea cousin of kombucha.

Some of the drinks require starter cultures, like the kombucha and kefir. However, there are other that can be made using just fruits or vegetables, salt and water. I am going to start with those. I have tried bottled kvass from the health food store and I have to say it’s an acquired taste. The sweet, earthiness of beets combined with what I can only describe as the tang of pickle juice. So I’m going to start with something a bit more familiar, a fermented lemonade that uses whey strained from yogurt. There are quite a few versions of fermented lemonades, from lavender to blackberry, to choose from. Many of the drinks have variations and there are even recipes for things like smoothies to use the beverages in. One of my favorite cocktails is the Dark & Stormy. It’s the perfect drink for a summer evening. I can’t wait to make it with my own, homemade ginger beer.

Fermentation can be a bit scary, but the book includes steps on how to safely make all of the drinks, as well as how to tell when the beverages are ready to drink. All you need are a few basic supplies like glass jars and bottles. Simple and easy! Julia has recipes for some of the probiotic drinks on her website, if you would like to check them out.

I’ll let you know how my probiotic drink experiments go this summer. Have you ever fermented anything? Do you drink probiotic beverages?

This post is part of Weekend Cooking at Beth Fish Reads. Stop by and check out more posts from people who are passionate about food.


24 thoughts on “Cookbook Review: Delicious Probiotic Drinks

  1. I take probiotic capsules, but have never tried to make drinks. Yes, fermentation sounds scary. Looking forward to your reporting the results of your experiments. 🙂

    1. True confession. I tried making kvass with golden beets a few months ago and it didn’t seem to work right. I got the beets from the super market, instead of nice fresh ones from a farmer’s market, and I wonder if they had dried out and lost their good bacteria needed for the fermentation. The kvass never turned sour, just stayed salty, so I didn’t drink it. BUT…I will try again with the lemonade recipe!

  2. I’m always looking for healthful alternatives to plain old water. I’ll have to give this book (and the blog) a look.

    1. Fermentation fascinates me. I call it a kitchen science experiment. Julia’s blog has many other healthy recipes beyond probiotic drinks. Do check it out!

  3. What an interesting concept for a book. I’m nervous about the idea of fermentation also, but the drinks that don’t require a culture sound interesting!

    1. I like drinking milk kefir, but it is pretty expensive. Since I’ll have to mail order the starter for it, I’ve decided to try my hand at some of the other drinks first.

  4. Fermented lemonade sounds intriguing. I’ve never gotten into the fermentation experiments, but now you’ve piqued my interest. Mostly, I love unsweetened herbal teas in the summer. Gotta keep that hydration going.

    1. I love iced tea in the summer too, although I’m more of a plain black tea girl. However, I do love Arnold Palmer’s (iced tea and lemonade) for a change. Will be trying the fermented lemonade for that, once I make it.

    1. I have been seeing a lot of blog posts and even entire blogs about fermenting. Definitely looks like a trend to me. Love the idea of foods being tasty and coming with additional health benefits.

    1. I chatted with the author about ginger beer and she warned me about possible explosions! Definitely something to keep in mind.

  5. I’ve been interested in good bacteria in the stomach since reading Michael Pollan’s book, Cooked. But I haven’t done anything about it yet.

    I strain yogurt to make yogurt cheese. I usually throw the whey in my bread, but it might be fun to find other ways to use it.

    1. I like yogurt cheese too. You can go savory with herbs or sweet with honey or maple syrup.

  6. I had no idea this was a *thing* — very cool! I eat a ton of yogurt and take probiotic supplements, so this is definitely something to look into.

    1. I loved reading this one just to find out the backgrounds on all of the different drinks. Some are tied to different parts of the world. So you can take a bit of a vacation by sampling drinks from different countries. 🙂

  7. Oh Janel, thanks so much for sharing!!!! I’m so glad you like the book and I can’t wait to see which drinks you whip up. I hope you had a lovely weekend and thanks so much again 🙂

    1. My pleasure! Loved your book and I am looking forward to trying many of the drinks.

    1. Yeah, my hubby refuses to try anything fermented and he thinks I’m kind of crazy for wanting to!

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