cherry ginger bug fizz … a success story

Hi all.

Remember how sad we were I failed so miserably on my first ginger bug attempt?

But I figured it out.

The ginger bug is happy and healthy and making some great probiotic bacteria on the counter in our kitchen.

Go ginger bug!

So, of course, now I’m back to Holistic Squid’s cultured strawberry soda.

Because that’s one of the reasons this adventure got back on track.

A pound of hulled and washed strawberries wrapped in a cheese cloth, a cup of ginger bug, 3/4 cup of sugar (which is HALF what Holistic Squid used), a 3/4 of a gallon of water and two days later …

strawberry soda 2

But even this was a second attempt.

Because the first time I made it the amount of sugar and the suggested amount of water in the original recipe was just … not so yum.  I found it kind of sickly sweet and unappetizing.  Which is why I tried again and reduced the sugar by half and increased the water by half.

And a few days ago I was the lucky recipient of 20 pounds of fresh organic Flathead cherries …

IMG_0341

So I went nuts and am trying cherry soda.

I took a bold step and didn’t pit the cherries before boiling them into a “wort.”  (The “wort” is the juice made from the berries, the filtered water and the sweetener… in my case, it’s grade B maple syrup.)

And after doing every step except waiting for the ginger bug to do it’s fizzy work, I’m really excited about the prospects for this concoction.  I taste-tested before bottling.  I love the earthy sweetness of the maple syrup … a perfect balance to the perfectly ripe cherries!

cherry ginger bug fizz

Two days later?  A perfectly tasty fizzy refreshing probiotic “soda” that I’m happy to serve the littles.  Very exciting!!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups of Flathead cherries (mashed)
  • 3/4 gallon filtered water
  • 3/4 cup grade B maple syrup
  • 2 cups ginger bug (strained)

DIRECTIONS:

Put 2 cups of cherries into cheese cloth and tie it into a sachet using cooking twine.  Put the sachet into a one gallon heavy-bottomed saucepan and, using a potato masher, mash the sachet to break open the cherries and get access to their goodness.

Next, pour the filtered water into the saucepan, tie the cherry sachet to the pot-handle to make sure the cherries won’t burn on the bottom of the pan and bring the water to a boil.

Once it’s at a boil, add the maple syrup and stir to “dissolve” then lower the heat and cover to simmer for about 20-25 minutes.  (NOTE: You could also use evaporated cane sugar or maybe sucanat.  But I wouldn’t recommend honey as honey is naturally antibacterial and I’m not sure that it wouldn’t “kill” the ginger bug.)

Remove the sachet and let it cool to room temperature (between 70-75 degrees), add the strained ginger bug so no ginger ends up in your soda and then decant into bottles that have a tight sealing lid.  (Did you notice that the bottles are only 3/4 full? … that’s because the last time I used these bottles the strawberry soda “exploded” when I popped the top, so I’m hoping to avoid that this time. I’ve also been off-gassing the bottles every 8 hours or so and it seems to be working!)

Set the bottles in a warm spot in your kitchen, out of the sunlight, and let stand for 2-3 days to reach optimum fizziness (and give the ginger bug enough time to break down the sugars into usable probiotic bliss.  If you’re not going to pop the pop after 2-3 days, put it in the refrigerator to stop the fizzing-probiotic-building process.

NOTE:  We popped open our cherry fizz with dinner last night (burgers and that crunchy cashew Thai peanut quinoa salad that Abby posted about) and it was really good!  But here’s the twist … the maple syrup was a little too maple-y so I will probably use organic cane sugar next time … but since we had maple-y cherry fizz … and we already had limes on the table from the salad … we squeezed a little in and … PERFECTION!  Light, delicious and refreshing.  My brother-in-law asked for the recipe and my kiddos asked for seconds.  SUCCESS!!

Let us know how it goes …

We’re linked up:

Kelly the Kitchen Kop
This Chick Cooks
The Nourishing Gourmet

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