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As you may have learned in 10 Best Probiotic Foods for Gut Health, consuming fermented foods regularly is an incredibly healthy and easy way to support various systems throughout our bodies. Fermented foods like these Powerful Probiotic Drinks are made with a process called lacto-fermentation, wherein friendly bacteria and yeast break down sugar to form lactic acid. The nutrients produced by this process have amazing health benefits including improved digestion, a stronger immune system, and weight loss support. Studies suggest that consuming these foods may also improve mood, skin health, and can prevent and heal a host of health problems, including autoimmune diseases, brain fog, fatigue, IBS, and even cancer!
Most of these drink recipes call for sugar, but that doesn’t mean they’re bad for you. Remember, the lacto-fermentation process that makes these probiotic drinks uses sugar to produce all the healthy nutrients you’ll find in the end product. This means that even though sugar is added at the beginning of the process, friendly bacteria will consume most of it. In fact, it’s more likely these probiotic drinks might not be sweet enough. If this is the case, feel free to add a little juice or fresh fruit to sweeten.
Since these drinks are fermented, they get slightly carbonated, which makes them a wonderful healthy replacement for sugar-laden sodas. The fermentation process also adds some alcoholic content – just around 0.5 to 1.0 percent – which is so little, these drinks are considered non-alcoholic and can still be sold at all regular grocery stores.
PRO TIP 1: Make sure you make these recipes with non-chlorinated water. Chlorine kills bacteria, and we’re, technically, trying to grow (healthy) bacteria in these drinks. I have well water, so this isn’t an issue for me, but you can also buy spring water at the grocery store.
PRO TIP 2: You may want to get a case of glass flip top bottles you can use again and again to store your fermented drinks. Glass is healthier (no BPA and other dangerous chemicals) and lasts longer than plastic.
For more healthy living tips, check out these related posts:
Powerful Probiotic Drinks That’ll Heal Your Gut in No Time!
You may have seen kombucha cropping up in grocery stores lately – even my local store has a nice selection! I love kombucha. I started drinking this fermented black tea beverage a few years ago when I was having unexplained digestive troubles. This drink was the only thing that could make me feel better. My doctor even prescribed different conventional medicines, but they had no effect on my nausea and upset stomach. I guess I just needed to consume some beneficial bacteria to heal my gut.
Kombucha is an amazing superfood that’s actually really easy to make at home, which will save you money over store bought kombucha, which often costs $3 to $4 per 16 ounce bottle! This Kombucha Starter Kit gives you everything you need to get started – loose tea, sugar, kombucha culture, a glass brewing jar, and more – plus, it’s all organic! This kit includes detailed directions, but you can also check out the link below for a step-by-step tutorial with pictures.
From Health Starts in the Kitchen | Kombucha
If you’re not a fan of kombucha (or even if you are, of course), you may like Jun tea better. Jun tea is similar to kombucha except it’s made with green tea and honey instead of black tea and sugar, and it’s fermented with a Jun starter for a healthy probiotic drink with a milder, less sour taste. Another benefit to making Jun tea is that it ferments faster and in colder temperatures than kombucha, making it the perfect choice for colder kitchens.
From Nourished Kitchen | Jun Tea
When we think of old fashioned foods our grandmothers used to enjoy, we may think of butter, grass fed meats, organic vegetables (they were just regular vegetables back then), and, of course, buttermilk! More recently, we’ve discovered that those old fashioned foods are much healthier for us than we thought. Just like raw milk, milk kefir (keep scrolling), and yogurt, fermented dairy products offer many amazing health benefits, including the wonderful probiotics featured in this post. I love the sour, tangy taste of buttermilk with a little sprinkle of salt and pepper, but if you don’t care for the taste, you can still enjoy all the benefits by adding it to recipes like dips and salad dressings. You can also add buttermilk to pancakes, biscuits, and more, but the heat used to prepare these foods may kill off the probiotics and enzymes.
To learn more about fermented dairy, check out why I recommend raw milk and 10 Best Probiotic Foods for Gut Health for more healthy recipes, including dairy foods like yogurt and easy raw milk cheese.
From The Prairie Homestead | Buttermilk
Kefir is another healthy fermented drink you may have seen in the grocery store. It is a tangy fermented milk product with the consistency of thin yogurt that is made by fermenting milk with kefir grains.
You may be able to consume dairy kefir if you’re lactose intolerant! Since kefir heals the gut, it can actually heal lactose intolerance! I’m lactose intolerant and feel great drinking 1-2 servings of milk kefir per day. Of course, everyone’s different, so give it a try to see how you feel.
Don’t consume dairy products? You can also use water kefir grains to make kefir with water, fruit juice, or coconut water to suit all dietary needs! Learn how to make milk and dairy-free kefir at the links below.
Consider making your dairy kefir with raw milk to increase its health benefits even more! Learn how raw milk is much healthier than pasteurized milk.
Kvass is a traditional fermented beverage that originated in the Ukraine and tastes similar to beer. While it’s considered a non-alcoholic beverage at just 0.5 percent to 1.0 percent alcohol, kvass can become more alcoholic if you let it sit and ferment long enough.
Kvass is rich in nutrients and has many health benefits, including preventing cancer, cleansing the liver, providing probiotics to heal the gut, and alkalizing the blood. The taste varies widely depending on the type of kvass. It is typically made from sourdough rye bread, but can also be made from beets and fruits, which is a great option for people who avoid grains in their diet.
Bonus: You won’t need to buy a typical starter culture like you do for the other fermented drinks on this list. You can use whey or homemade, probiotic sauerkraut juice to ferment your kvass – and this is even optional. Check out the tutorial below to learn how to make your own great-tasting beet kvass [with fun, free printable labels]!
From Tasty Yummies | Beet Kvass
A soda recipe may seem out of place on this list of healthy, gut-healing drinks, but homemade, lacto-fermented soda is totally different from the unhealthy, sugar laden stuff you buy in the store.
To make this soda, you’ll need to make a ginger bug first. A ginger bug is a natural lacto-fermented ‘soda’ starter that’s made with fresh ginger, sugar, and water. It’s really easy to make, and once you have the ginger bug, you can add it to fresh juice or tea to make healthy probiotic soda! Learn how to make Ginger Beer and other flavors at the links below.
Probiotic lemonade is similar to homemade soda, but can be fermented in a couple different ways. The recipe at the link below uses whey as a starter to ferment the probiotic lemonade. If you are avoiding dairy, you can also use water kefir grains, kombucha, or a ginger bug. Learn how to use water kefir grains here, kombucha here, and ginger bug here.
Raising Generation Nourished | Probiotic Lemonade (made with Whey)
Feasting at Home | Probiotic Lemonade (made with Water Kefir)
Natural Organic Families | Probiotic Lemonade (made with Kombucha)
Whole Lifestyle Nutrition | Probiotic Lemonade (made with Ginger Bug)
PINEAPPLE GINGER TEPACHE
This traditional Mexican fermented drink is loaded with vitamins, enzymes, and probiotics. The pineapple rind provides the yeast to facilitate fermentation, and this recipe uses pineapple juice for an extra fruity and refreshing beverage. Pineapple, ginger, and Manuka honey, which is prized for his naturally occurring live enzymes, provide additional digestive benefits to make this probiotic drink the ultimate gut healing superfood!
From Hello Glow | Pineapple Ginger Tepache
HOMEMADE ELDERBERRY WINE
Elderberries are one of the top natural remedies for a variety of ailments, including cold, flu, sinus, allergies, and inflammation. Some say elderberries can even prevent cancer! You may not think of alcoholic beverages as a health food, but we are talking about fermented drinks here. Making alcohol isn’t that much different – you basically just let it sit and ferment longer to let alcohol form. That means that homemade alcohol, like the following wine and beer recipes, contains healthy probiotics, vitamins, and enzymes like the other drinks on this list!
You’ll need at least 6 months to develop the flavors in this elderberry wine. That sounds like a really long time, but the time will just pass anyway. Wouldn’t it be so cool to enjoy your own homemade wine at Christmas this year?? Just be sure to drink responsibly – moderation is important even with “healthy” foods.
From And Here We Are | Elderberry Wine
HOME-BREWED SOUR BEER
Sour beer is hugely popular in Europe, and now, its popularity is spreading to the states. If you enjoy the complex flavors of sour beer, try this easy “fast souring” technique to make your own delicious and healthy beer in about a month! Plus, this beer calls for yogurt for its live cultures. Make your own easy, delicious, and inexpensive homemade yogurt with this recipe.
From Serious Eats | Sour Beer
I know from personal experience that healthy foods like these 10 Superfood Probiotic Drinks can really help your digestion and overall health. Plus, when you make them at home, you save loads of money compared to store prices ($4+ kombucha anyone?) and get the fun experience of making your own foods and learning about fermentation. So cool, right?!
I would love to hear from you!
Please comment below to share your thoughts on these 10 Super Healthy Probiotic Drinks sure to heal your gut in no time! Have you tried any of these drinks, and did they improve your health and digestion? Please let me know!