It is hard for me to grasp that 1 can of soda can contain 10-12 teaspoons of sugar!!  And its even harder for me to imagine that a parent would willingly give 2-3 cans or more of these a day to their child or forego breakfast and give a sugared drink instead!

Young people make up the largest soda-drinking portion of the population, which is why it is so critical for us parents to provide nutritious alternatives.  Great nutrient packed vegetable juices supply large amounts of nutrients and vitamins and enzymes for growing bodies. By providing lacto-fermented beverages is taking the nutrient density 10 steps further. They taste great, pack a fizzy punch and their outstanding health benefits will serve you and your family all life long.

These fermented beverages infuse the gut with lactobacilli and lactic acid to sustain their growth, plus add a large amount of raw enzymes and nourishing minerals.  Traditional populations knew that these drinks were more hydrating and thirst-quenching than water.  In Nourishing Traditions it states that these drinks were valued for medicinal qualities including the ability to relieve intestinal problems and constipation, promote lactation, strengthen the sick and promote overall well-being and stamina.  Taken with meals they promote thorough and easy digestion of food, taken after physical work they give a lift by replacing lost mineral ions in a way that renews the body’s reserves. The process of lacto-fermentation of both foods and beverages creates a host of beneficial micro-organisms. Many of these bacteria are crucial for detoxification.  A great way to start a toddler on these is to mix a few tablespoons into a juice or smoothie, as too much at once even for an adult starting out on fermented drinks may be best.Lacto-fermentation is best done using no added sugar as the fruit or vegetable will provide enough, and the more sugar that is added results in a higher alcohol content ferment- something pregnant women should be mindful of.  So by adding whey and a little salt can minimise the alcoholic content whilst fermenting. By using raw juices to make your ferments, retains more nutrition than pasteurized options, as the native microflora they harbor enhance the microbial level of your finished brew. If you do not have a juicer then a good quality organic juice from your health food store will still work as the juice will be revitalized with enzymes and lactobacilli.   In the work of Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz, he explains that any juice even nut milk can be fermented using kefir grains. Keep a backup batch just in case there is a mishap. Whey is also another culturing agent that is well endowed with yeasts and bacteria.

So if you haven’t yet joined us on a journey of fermentation, keep your eyes peeled for the next workshop date, bring a friend and learn and taste the wonders of these great tasting drinks and foods.