Bubbly, refreshing and full of warm spices, this apple cinnamon probiotic drink is going to be your favorite fall treat! In just a few simple steps, you can create a delicious drink packed full of gut-healthy bacteria that is sure to make you feel great! Jump below to grab the recipe!
Fall Drink Recipe
Apples, spice and everything nice.
Those are the standard fall flavors, aren’t they? Well let’s not forget the obvious fall favorite, pumpkin. But we shall’t be discussing pumpkin desserts in this post. The star of the show today is apple.
Come end of August, beginning of September people start to dream of all things fall. Kids head back to school. Department stores start to sell sweaters and jackets. Our hearts long for cool days and the changing of the leaves. Fall has to be my most favorite season of all. There are so many wonderful things about autumn. The top one being, apple picking.
We get most our apples from a local fruit farm about 45 minutes from us. Every September we head to the farm, fill our bags up with as many fuji apples as will fit, then we stop by the shop to grab a jug of apple cider and of course, a freshly made donut for my husband, Matt.
Apples and spice are my dessert of choice! Apple pies, crisps, applesauce, if it’s got apples and plenty of cinnamon and warm spices, it is a sure bet, I will love it! So when I delved into the the probiotic drink world, I knew I’d have to come up with a fall drink recipe with apples and spice.
This homemade apple drink is made with 100% apple juice, water, cinnamon, clove, sucanat and a little bit of whey. The combination of apple juice and spice gives the probiotic drink the essence of apple cider. The sucanat provides the drink with a light molasses flavor, without the kick of intense sweetness. Remember the sugar in the sucanat and the apple juice is what feeds the bacteria in the whey. It’s not used to make the drink super sweet. As the drink ferments, the bacteria in the whey will turn the sugar into lactic acid thus producing a probiotic rich drink.
If you’re searching for a cozy fall drink that is also great for your gut, give this apple spice fermented drink a try!
What is Sucanat?
Sucanat, also known as “sugar cane natural” is an unrefined sweetener made from sugarcane. Because the molasses in the sugar is not removed during processing, it gives the sucanat a brown coloring and a unique taste. Sucanat is not considered a low glycemic sugar but it is minimally processed compared to granulated cane sugar and brown sugar. As an unrefined sugar, it retains more of the natural vitamins and minerals. Sucanat has a deep molasses flavor which makes it a delicious addition to this apple flavored drink recipe.
What is Whey Soda?
Whey soda is a bubbly, probiotic rich drink. Simply strain the whey out of milk kefir or even plain yogurt with live cultures, stir it into juice or a sugar water mixture and the bacteria in the whey will convert the sugar into lactic acid, creating a tasty fermented drink.
How to Get Whey
The easiest method to collect whey is to strain it from a cultured dairy product such as milk kefir or homemade yogurt. Place cheesecloth or a coffee filter into a mesh strainer. Set the strainer over a bowl and allow the whey to drip out for about 12 hours. I often will place the bowl inside the fridge overnight. The remaining translucent liquid that can be slightly yellow in color is called the whey.
Don’t toss of the strained milk! Whey removed from kefir is considered kefir cheese. It is an excellent to use in homemade dips, ice cream and more. If you strain the whey from yogurt, keep the remaining dairy and use it as you would sour cream.
Best Bottles for Fermenting
When fermenting, use high-quality, thick glass bottles that are meant for brewing beer such as a clear glass jug or a Grolsch bottle. Because of the pressure built up from the natural carbonation the bottles can explode. Using cheap or decorative bottles from a craft store is not recommended. If your brewing bottle has a lot of pressure, simply pop the top daily to release some of the fizz. This will help to prevent it from exploding.
Apple Spice Kefir Soda
Support your digestive system with this gut healthy drink recipe! A fall favorite, this apple spice soda is full of probiotics and plenty of nourishing ingredients. Cozy up to a glass of this apple and spice drink this autumn.
Makes: 1 half gallon
Ingredients to Make a Probiotic Drink
2/3 cup sucanat or organic brown sugar
1 1/2 cup apple juice
6 cups water
1/2 cup whey
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp clove
How to Make a Drink to Improve Gut Health
In a saucepan over medium heat, add 3 cups of water, sucanat, cinnamon and clove. Warm until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside and cool to room temperature before adding the whey and juice. (Do not mix the hot water with the whey are this will kill all of the live bacteria in the whey.)
In a half gallon glass container, such as clear glass jug or mason jar, add the remaining 3 cups of water, apple juice, whey and cooled sugar mixture. Seal the jar with a tight lid and allow to ferment for 2 to 6 days, depending on the temperature of the room.
When the soda has finished fermenting, it should be very fizzy. Either place the liquid directly into the fridge to chill or transfer the liquid to airtight bottles such as these Grolsch flip-top bottles. Serve chilled or over ice. Consume within one to two weeks.
Note: Do you prefer your soda to be extra carbonated? Second ferment your kefir soda by transferring the liquid to an airtight Grolsch bottle and fermenting for an additional 1-3 days. Mind you, keep an eye on the bottles as kefir whey can turn the apple juice soda into alcohol if it ferments too long.
*If you don’t have any sucanat on hand, you can swap it in equal proportions for organic brown sugar.
Fresh whey is a must in this recipe. The older the whey is, the longer it will take to ferment your soda and the less likely it will create carbonation. When I create a homemade soda, I use kefir whey that is no more than a couple of days old.
To quickly make another batch of this delicious gut healthy soda, use 1/3 cup of the finished cherry limeade soda to start a new bottle. Simply add 1/3 cup of the kefir soda to the other ingredients and ferment again. The liquid acts as a starter culture and ferments the soda within just one day! I learned this fantastic tip from Donna Schwenk over at Cultured Food Life.
Kefir grains love warm temperatures. During the summer when I use the kefir whey to create a probiotic soda, I leave the bottles on the counter in our kitchen where it is regularly 75-80° F. When the weather turns cold in the fall and winter months, the temperature in our home is much cooler, approximately 65° F. The cooler temperature slows down the speed of fermentation quite a bit. To keep the fermented soda happy, I suggest placing the bottles in a warm place in your home such as in the kitchen or near a wood stove. On average a whey soda takes 2-6 days to ferment. The cooler your home, the longer it will take the drink to become bubbly and delicious.
Want more flavorful probiotic drink recipes? Try out our summer favorite, cherry limeade.
- 2/3 cup sucanat or organic brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cup apple juice
- 6 cups water
- 1/2 cup whey
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp clove
- In a saucepan over medium heat, add 3 cups of water, sucanat, cinnamon and clove. Warm until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside and cool to room temperature before adding the whey and juice. (Do not mix the hot water with the whey are this will kill all of the live bacteria in the whey.)
- In a half gallon glass container, such as clear glass jug or mason jar, add the remaining 3 cups of water, apple juice, whey and cooled sugar mixture. Seal the jar with a tight lid and allow to ferment for 2 to 6 days, depending on the temperature of the room.
- When the soda has finished fermenting, it should be very fizzy. Either place the liquid directly into the fridge to chill or transfer the liquid to airtight bottles such as these Grolsch flip-top bottles. Serve chilled or over ice. Consume within one to two weeks.
Do you prefer your soda to be extra carbonated? Second ferment your kefir soda by transferring the liquid to an airtight Grolsch bottle and fermenting for an additional 1-3 days. Mind you, keep an eye on the bottles as kefir whey can turn the apple juice soda into alcohol if it ferments too long.