My kitchen is always brewing up some sort of fermented beverage. Upon switching to a cleaner and healthier diet, I felt the need to eliminate pop, and also to increase probiotics. I am happy that I was able to both, all the while still being able to enjoy a “fizzy” beverage that satisfies my desire for pop.
At-home fermenting has turned from test phase to an all out passion, or perhaps even addiction for me. It is much simpler that I thought possible, tastes delicious, is healthy, and is affordable. In fact, it saves me money in the long and short term. For example, rather than pay the steep $6.99 price for a tiny bottle of kefir, that oftentimes has a weird cheese flavour and smell, perhaps from sitting too long, I can now make a giant batch and change up the flavors as I see fit. I choose the likes of strawberry or ginger and everything in between for flavour over cheese let me tell you!
One of the main and important ingredients when fermenting and/or flavoring probiotic beverages is fruit. However, like most things, not all fruit is created equal. So today I want to share some of the fruit types in order of best to worst (in my opinion).
This list is valid for fermenting:
- some alcohol, including wine and beer
- soda pop
- mead (sometimes)
1) Wild Fruit
If you have the opportunity to choose wild fruit, do so! It is probably the most cleanest, nutrient-dense option you can find. Plus, it’s free! This also ensures that you are choosing fruit that is in season (because it wouldn’t be fresh otherwise), and also, you will be getting local foods for all the advantages that going local provides.
2) Fresh Fruit
I realize the “wild” fruit mentioned just before this item qualifies as “fresh” but for this section I am referring to fruit that you grow in your home garden, or buy in the local grocery store. Some people argue that home garden fruit beats wild, and perhaps that argument can hold true when the food is “grown with love”. However, I often look at home gardening… while a beautiful thing, as food that needs to be “coddled”. Meaning… wild food stands the tests of nature without any human intervention, that’s all. And of course, I prefer home grown fruit over store bought. When going fresh… local, fresh, organic, and affordable is best. If the fruit tastes great eaten by itself, it is more likely to result in a tasty beverage.
3) Frozen Fruit
Frozen fruit will ferment and assist in preparing your fizzy concoctions. It’s not the best choice, but certainly not the worst. If you freeze the fruit yourself great, but if you rely on store bought frozen fruit, naturally you cannot try it before bringing it home. Because it only has the potential to produce a yummy bevvy when it starts out yummy. Choose organic when at all possible, or as mentioned… freeze your own.
4) Fruit Juice
100% fruit juices are an OK choice. This means, if you go with a juice (that you do not squeeze yourself from fresh or wild fruits), then choose juice that does not have added sugars or preservatives. Non-pasteurized is best when using juice, otherwise the finished product will look a little hazy in many cases.
5) Dried and Canned
Dried is probably better than canned. Dried fruit is usually just good for small batches, and for flavoring. When using canned, I have never had good results. Plus, it is often difficult to find canned fruit without added sugars and preservatives.
There you have it. A list of “fruit types” from best to least-best when brewing your own fermented drinks at home. Now, with some fruity/sugary liquid, some yeast (and perhaps a bit of friendly bacteria added for some types of brews) you are well on your way to some delicious fermented beverages. Enjoy!
Antonia is a science enthusiast with a keen interest in health nutrition. She has been intensely researching various dieting routines for several years now, weighing their highs and their lows, to bring readers the most interesting info and news in the field. While she is very excited about a high raw diet, she likes to keep a fair and balanced approach towards non-raw methods of food preparation as well. Read more by Antonia here, and SUBSCRIBE!