Tonight we made seven 32 oz. bottles of olde fashioned root beer from scratch. Literally, I used water, whey, and a mix of roots such as sassafras, sarsaparilla, and licorice root. We also used wild cherry, birch bark, in addition to other roots, barks, and herbs. The concoction comes from a great blog authored by Jenny McGruther, a cooking instructor specializing in real and traditional foods.
Anyway, the link to the recipe is here. She explains the history and how this wonderful concoction achieved popularity. My kids are not allowed to drink soda and that is about to change. After our experiment has fermented four days and chilled for two more we plan to pour it over homemade vanilla ice cream made from raw cream. I haven’t looked forward to a root beer float this much since my family frequented the local drive thru A&W in Mentone, California nearly 40 years ago.
Next on the list . . . ginger ale. If popular, these both will become new staples and tonics for what occasionally ails us.
I used whey from my curds to ferment the root beer and plan to try kefir grains next. I think we will try ginger bug for the fermenting agent in our ginger ale. Both of these concoctions should help in our long journey of optimizing our gut flora. Since some in my family are sensitive to grains and we all have received multiple doses of antibiotics, we cannot do enough to repair the damage done to our gut’s natural flora. Fortunately, we were all breast fed and have that advantage.
For new or expecting mothers: If you are interested in learning more about optimizing your children’s (and your health), I recommend this site by Chris Kressler. He is an excellent practitioner and a true inspiration for those practicing genuine preventive healthcare.