Orange Kefir: Bubbly Sunshine

It’s nice to imbibe in a refreshing, bubbly brew that makes my gut happy! Not as nice- a flat, sour kefir that no one wants to drink… So- here’s some secrets for making a great “natural orange soda”- delicious!

Grateful-Table-Kefir-Orange-SodaA good Kefir (or Kombucha) soda will need more than just the brew itself. Once the kefir has fermented in its original container for a couple days, it can be poured into bottles. However! One then needs to add more sweetener for it to feed on, to build up the carbon dioxide. (Ya know, AKA fizz!)

When I first started making “water kefir” a few years back, I was very enthusiastic. I juiced the plentiful Concord grapes I’d harvested that summer, and froze ice-cubes of the juice, to add to my brews. Ditto for the apples we got off our tree. Couldn’t eat that many apples as-is, but the juice turned the overabundance of fruit sugar into more probiotics. It was great!

For awhile, I was also into buying fresh ginger. I would cut it into match-stick sizes, rolling up portions in aluminum foil for the freezer, so I’d also have the makings on hand for Kefir Ginger Ale. If I wasn’t adding any other sweet thing, I found it best to bottle the “2nd ferment” kefir while it was still somewhat sweet, so some of that sweetness would feed the carbonation.For more ginger zip, I started juicing the fresh ginger, freezing ice-cubes of that potent, zesty juice, for future brews. That was an exciting drink!

As with many things, I started looking for an easier way out. I buy pomegranate juice when I can- it makes a wonderful addition to kefir or kombucha. And I like having organic black cherry concentrate and tart cherry concentrate on hand, since it keeps well. If nothing else, I’ll use that for flavoring and sweetening the 2nd ferment.

However! Orange seems to be kefir’s very favorite thing to feed on. So now I grab some nice organic oranges, processing the peel, and adding orange juice and sugar to it. I make a lot of this “orange concentrate” at a time, and it flavors many batches of kefir. I can make a bunch of the concentrate at a time, since it keeps about a month in the fridge.

Oh, by the way, kombucha just doesn’t like citrus. So it will be best to use this stuff with kefir. Happy brewing!

INGREDIENTS

  • Peel from 2 organic oranges
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • Juice from 6 oranges
  • Optional: Half can frozen organic orange juice

PREPARATION

Process the peel from 2 oranges in a Vitamix or other blender, until fine.

Add the sugar, process again.

Add freshly-squeezed juice from 6 oranges. Optional: add some orange juice concentrate too.

Store in glass jar in fridge. Use about 1/2 c. or so per bottle.

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