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RECIPES | Cheers to great health with 4 yummy, zingy drinks

Kick off 2022 with some liquid assets that will pack a punch of goodness to give you a spring in your step for fresh new beginnings

23 January 2022 - 00:00 By Aremediasyndication.com.au/Magazinefeatures.co.za
Green super juice is full of vitamins, minerals, powerful antioxidants, phytonutrients and dietary fibre.
Green super juice is full of vitamins, minerals, powerful antioxidants, phytonutrients and dietary fibre.
Image: Aremediasyndication.com.au/Magazinefeatures.co.za.

GREEN SUPER JUICE

Packed with “superfood” leafy greens, this drink is full of vitamins, minerals, powerful antioxidants, phytonutrients and dietary fibre, while being low-carb, too.

Serves: 2

Preparation time: 5 mins

Ingredients:

1 Lebanese/baby cucumber, coarsely chopped

2 celery sticks, trimmed, chopped coarsely

2 medium trimmed kale leaves

A small handful of baby spinach leaves

1 small ripe pear, unpeeled, quartered, cored

¼ medium lemon, peeled

1 sprig fresh mint

180ml coconut water or use bottled water

180ml (¾ cup) ice cubes

Method:

  1. Blend ingredients in a high-powered blender for 1 minute or until smooth.
  2. If necessary, stop the blender and push the ingredients down before blending again and serve straight away.
Beetroot & turmeric Kvass.
Beetroot & turmeric Kvass.
Image: Aremediasyndication.com.au/Magazinefeatures.co.za

BEETROOT & TURMERIC KVASS

A kvass is a traditional fermented Slavic and Baltic drink. Its anti-inflammatory probiotics support your digestive system by improving the balance of healthy gut bacteria. It’s also a source of curcumin, which soothes your digestive tract and helps reduce inflammation.

It’s nonalcoholic and many compare it to a different kind of kombucha, yet way simpler to prepare.

You will need to start this three days ahead.

Makes: 1.25l (5 cups)

Preparation time: 10 mins plus three days of fermenting

Ingredients:

800g or 4 large beetroot, peeled and chopped into 4cm pieces

140g fresh turmeric, peeled, chopped into 4cm pieces

8 black peppercorns

15ml (1 tbsp) sea salt flakes

Bottled filtered water, as needed

Method:

  1. Sterilise a 2l (8 cups) glass jar with a lid.
  2. Place beetroot, chopped turmeric, peppercorns and salt in a jar. Add enough bottled filtered water to cover beetroot, leaving a 3cm gap at the top to allow for fermentation; screw on lid to seal.
  3. Stand at a stable, cool room temperature (away from direct sunlight) for three days or until fermented. When fermented, the kvass will deepen in colour, have a slight sour flavour and small bubbles will appear on the surface.
  4. Strain kvass (reserve ¼cup of the liquid, as well as the beetroot and turmeric, for a second batch, if you like); pour the liquid into a 1.25l (5 cups) glass bottle with a lid. Refrigerate until chilled. Store kvass in the fridge; it will keep for up to two months. Serve kvass over ice with mineral water, or mix with freshly squeezed orange juice.

TIPS:

  • For an easy way to sterilise jars, place them in a preheated oven on 100°C for 20 mins. Cover the lids with water in a pan and boil for five minutes before removing.
  • Kvass will initially taste quite salty, but it will mellow in flavour and deepen in colour the longer it is stored in the fridge; it may thicken a little too.
  • To make a second batch, add 375ml (2½ cups) filtered water and 20ml (4 tsp) salt to the reserved liquid, beetroot and turmeric in a sterilised jar. Seal and stand at a stable cool room temperature, away from direct sunlight, for three days or until fermented. Strain kvass (discarding beetroot and turmeric) and pour into a 1l (4 cups) glass bottle with a lid, then refrigerate until chilled. The second batch will be slightly less strong than the first.
Iced lemon and mint tea.
Iced lemon and mint tea.
Image: Aremediasyndication.com.au/Magazinefeatures.co.za

ICED LEMON & MINT GREEN TEA

Green tea is a powerful antioxidant, which protects the body against disease; mint is a particularly good source of vitamin A; and lemon is full of vitamin C — a great pick me up.

Serves: 2

Preparation time: 5 mins plus refrigeration

Ingredients:

2 green tea bags

1 medium lemon, rind cut into long thin strips 10ml (2 tsp) lemon juice

500ml (2 cups) hot water

10ml 2 tsp) lemon juice

15ml (1 tbsp) fresh mint leaves

A handful of ice cubes

Method:

  1. Place tea bags, rind and the hot water in a small heatproof jug; stir to combine. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until cold.
  2. Discard tea bags; stir in lemon juice and mint leaves, then ice cubes.
  3. Serve straight away with lemon slices and extra fresh mint sprigs, if you like.
Water kefir soda flavoured with, from left, mango  lemon  cucumber, mint  raspberry & pomegranate.
Water kefir soda flavoured with, from left, mango & passion fruit; lemon & lime; cucumber, mint & spirulina; raspberry & pomegranate.
Image: Aremediasyndication.com.au/Magazinefeatures.co.za

WATER KEFIR SODA

Traditionally, kefir is a fermented milk product of Russian origin made by using a culture of kefir grains composed of a number of different bacteria and yeasts. The yeasts ferment the sugar in the milk to create carbon dioxide and alcohol. Water kefir grains are available from health food stores or are readily available to purchase online.

Freeze leftover grains for up to 12 months — they can be used with other liquids to create an effervescent mixture. Some sugar is needed for this to work, which is mostly converted to carbon dioxide to produce a refreshing, healthy sparkling drink. Store water kefir soda, with flavouring added, in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Rich in probiotics, this sparkling drink is a healthy alternative to regular soda that helps to maintain the balance in your digestive system. The unique compound in kefir, called kefiran, also helps clear candida.

Makes: 1l (4 cups)

Preparation time: 30 mins plus three or four days of fermenting. You will need to start this recipe at least four days ahead.

Ingredients:

30ml (2 tbsp) raw sugar

60ml (1¼ cup) boiling water

1l (4 cups) bottled filtered water

15ml (1 tbsp) hydrated water kefir grains — see introduction

1 lemon, sliced

1 dried apricot or fig

Method:

  1. Sterilise a 1.25l (5 cups) glass jar: see tips under kvass.
  2. Place sugar and the boiling water in a sterilised jar; stir until sugar dissolves. Add the filtered water. Check mixture is at room temperature; if it's not, leave it to cool.
  3. Add kefir grains, lemon slices and dried fruit.
  4. Cover the top of the jar with muslin and secure with an elastic band or kitchen string (this allows kefir to breathe and prevents contamination). Leave the jar on a work bench at a stable, cool room temperature, away from direct sunlight, for at least three days. In warmer months, kefir will ferment faster. Taste it after 24 hours; it should taste slightly sour. The longer it is left, the more the sugar will be converted to carbon dioxide and the more sour the taste will be.
  5. After first ferment, strain liquid into a sterilised 1l (4-cup) glass jar or bottle with a tightfitting lid; add one of the following suggested flavour combinations. (See list below.)
  6. Refrigerate after the second ferment to slow down the fermentation process. Strain flavourings before serving. Certain flavour combinations will fizz more than others, so open carefully when ready to drink.

Flavour suggestions:

  • Mango & passion fruit: Add pulp of 4 passion fruit and ¼ thinly sliced mango to the strained kefir liquid before second fermentation. You will need to start this recipe at least four days ahead.
  • Lemon & lime: Add 1 thinly sliced lemon and 2 halved and thinly sliced limes to the strained kefir liquid before second fermentation.
  • Cucumber, mint & spirulina: Cut Lebanese/small cucumber into thin slices lengthways; add to the strained kefir liquid before second fermenting along with teaspoon spirulina and 3 mint sprigs.
  • Raspberry & pomegranate: Add 8 fresh raspberries and the seeds of 1 pomegranate to the strained kefir liquid before second fermentation.

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