Switchel: A Natural Probiotic Gatorade and PS Its delicious!

So if you are interested in health and haven't been living under a rock for the last few years you have likely heard of Kombucha, you may have even tried to make it yourself - tracked down a Scoby and let it asexually create babies on your counter top while producing a slightly vinegary beverage; maybe you even went the extra mile of bottling it to create bubble - I am a little jealous of the extra time you must have to accomplish this :) . There are clear benefits from adding a fermented beverage to your diet, it's a great source of probiotics and its bitter qualities also aid in digestion but here I have a much simpler, inexpensive and far tastier source of fermented probiotic goodness: Swtichel! Chock full of ginger, apple cider vinegar and a little of your favourite sweetener. So yummy - So Good for you!

The origins of this beverage are like that of Pizza - there are a couple of groups trying to take claim including the Amish who coined it with the name Hay Makers Punch but more likely it came from the Caribbean where they call it Switchel, Swizzy or Ginger Water. While I am sure it is gaining popularity among the hipsters it truly deserves a little bit of everyones attention as the ingredients are some of the simplest 'super foods' there are and it is so easy to make. You likely have the ingredients to make this in your kitchen right now and it only takes a minute to combine them. After that you just put it in your fridge and its ready to enjoy the next day. Thats right this little gem relies on already fermented apple cider vinegar so you don't have to let it do weird things on your counter for days. So without further ado here is the recipe:

8 Cups of Water

1/4 Cup of Apple Cider Vinegar (the good kind with the mother - Bragg's etc)

1/4 Cup of Honey (Can sub Maple Syrup, Molasses, Brown Sugar or other sweetener)

2-4 inch piece of ginger minced

1 Lemon or Lime

Combine all ingredients in a container with a lid (bottle, jar etc) shake well and refrigerate overnight. Voila! A wonderful probiotic electrolyte drink!!!

You can add soda water or try any sort of variation you like. For example I tried one with Turmeric - I used dried and it wasn't that tasty though I intend to try with some fresh chopped along with the ginger and I think that will work out much better, the dried was alright though a tad earthier then I wanted. You could also switch the ginger for cinnamon and it would be more like apple cider or the lemon for an orange etc the sky really is the limit. But lets take a look at these ingredients and their benefits while we're here:

Obviously it is fermented so it is great for digestion, it is fun of vitamins and minerals so it is a wonderful electrolyte beverage and other benefits include:

Honey:

Anti-Viral, Anti-Bacterial, Anti-Fungal, Soothing to the throat, Helps lower cholesterol, Full of Vitamins and Minerals, Tasty!

Apple Cider Vinegar:

Contains Probiotics and a type of acid that benefits the growth of other probiotic, Helps to regulate the boys PH, Lowers blood pressure, Balances blood sugar - even helps with diabetes, Supports weight loss, Helps to kill candida, Helps with Heartburn and Acid Reflux, Helps with liver function, Aids in Lymphatic function.

Ginger:

Amazing for digestion, Helps relieve inflammation and pain, Eases tummy upsets and nausea, Helps treat the common cold, Yummy!

Citrus:

Great source of Vitamin C, Lemon and Lime help to aid in liver function, Helps aid in digestion, Refreshing!

So you can see that there are so many benefits to this beverage and it really tastes delicious which is great compared to the tradition diluted ACV or homemade 'buch.

Please give it a try and enjoy!

Oh and Its picky toddler approved: