A gut-friendly alternative to soft drinks plus fruit that's been fermented to remove most of the sugar (great if you have issues digesting fructose). Fermented foods contain loads of prebiotics which help you get your intestinal bacteria into the right balance.
Without being too icky on the details, this optimal gut flora really helps all digestive problems and many menstrual health problems too: immunity starts in the gut!
You will need:
- 1 litre glass jar
- Bruised or a-bit-beyond-fresh fruit of your choice (I've used apricots, pears, nectarines, peaches, strawberries -- pears have been my favourite so far, but any of these, or a combination, are good)
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- A teaspoon or two of spices of your choice (ginger works particularly well, but cinnamon and other sweetish spices are good)
- Filtered water
What to do:
Fill about one quarter of the jar with roughly chopped fruit. Add the tablespoon of honey and spices. Nearly fill the rest of the jar with filtered water (leave a few centimetres at the top). Put the lid on and give it a good shake until the honey dissolves.
Set the jar aside, with the lid only on loosely somewhere where you'll remember it. I usually sit mine on a saucer, in case there are spills as the fruit starts to ferment and the liquid bubbles. You'll need to give it a shake at least once a day, to make sure there's no opportunity for mould to grow on the fruit at the top, but otherwise, this is the bit where you do nothing! Leave it for 2 or 3 days, depending on how warm the weather is (the warmer the weather, the quicker the fermentation occurs), or until bubbles start to appear.
When it's a bit fizzy, have a sniff. It should still smell like the fruit and spices, slightly fermented (but not alcoholic -- if it smells alcoholic, you've left it too long, I'm afraid). Strain liquid from the fruit.
Bottle the liquid and stick it in the fridge. It will continue to ferment very slowly, so the flavours will continue to develop and get fizzier, but it will keep in the fridge for at least a couple of weeks. This is a gut-friendly alternative to soft drinks!
Keep the fruit in the fridge too. You can add the fruit to anything you might usually add stewed fruit to. Keep in mind that much of the sugar in the fruit has been eaten up in the fermentation process, so if you want a sweet treat, you may need to add some honey. The fruit will also keep for a week or two, and will also get fizzier.