One of my favourite fermented drinks is freshly squeezed orange juice, Kultured Wellness style. It’s an incredibly refreshing, slightly effervescent drink, and aside from its therapeutic benefits as a powerful probiotic, contains nutrients that support detoxing and rehydration, while reducing inflammation – a world away from the nutrient deprived, insulin spiking nightmare of packaged juice.
Oranges are packed with phytonutrients and polyphenols, which are amazing for boosting our immune system and helping help to fight viruses including coughs and colds. Polyphenols also lower blood pressure. For anyone suffering from inflammation in their body, oranges have anti-inflammatory properties, and both orange juice and fermented foods are highly alkalising, making this recipe a super alkalising concoction that helps to balance the minerals and nutrients in your body. Not only that, but it’s an excellent source of electrolytes including sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium.
The Vitamin C in oranges protects against and neutralises free radicals, which helps to prevent cancer. Vitamin C is also the precursor for Glutamine which is the major antioxidant that helps support the liver to detox and clean out.
Regular orange juice, with its high sugar content and without the fibre of the whole fruit causes a huge insulin spike, raises cortisol levels and makes you crave foods containing sugar, carbohydrates and salt. Fermenting your juice means that that you can experience all the benefits of oranges in a sugar-free probiotic form that is not only highly nutritious, but also helps to support a healthy gut microbiome.
Fermented juice also lasts much longer than regular juice (although ours never does!), while preserving all of its health benefits.
Kultured Wellness fermented orange juice
Freshly squeezed orange juice
Coconut water kefir made using a Kultured Wellness kefir starter culture (1/4 cup per litre of juice)
Mix your freshly squeezed orange juice with your Kultured Wellness kefir in a glass jar, leaving at least 5cm of room at the top. I like to include lots of pulp, which adds a lovely thick texture to the juice once it’s fermented.
Seal the jar tightly and place on the bench top for 8-16 hours. It will take less time to ferment in warmer weather, but be sure to taste at regular intervals from 8 hours. You are looking for a “fermenting sweet spot” where you can no longer taste the sugar, leaving a strong orange flavour and a slight effervescent texture. Your fermented juice will keep in the fridge for weeks, and you can use 1/4 cup of this batch as a starter culture for your next one (up to 4-5 times).