Hi! I'm Heidi.

 Hi! I'm Heidi, and here is my Homestead Journey.....

Hi! I'm Heidi, and here is my Homestead Journey.....

 

Hi! I'm Heidi--I'm a modern-day homesteader starting out in middle age! I'm all about plant medicine, raising animals for love & food, preparedness, traditional food practices, and being a natural health rebel for life! Join me on this journey!

 I'm Heidi, and this is Ranger.  He has been with me for over ten years, and I love him dearly.  

I'm Heidi, and this is Ranger.  He has been with me for over ten years, and I love him dearly.  

How to Make an Easy Berry Fermented Soda (This Recipe is Healthy and Delicious!)

How to Make an Easy Berry Fermented Soda (This Recipe is Healthy and Delicious!)

I made pancakes the other day with my extra sour dough starter, and they turned out quite tasty! When I make pancakes, we don't use syrup to sweeten them. Instead, I just heat frozen berries on the stove and create a yummy unsweetened chunky fruit or berry syrup! It's always a hit.

But on this day....I had leftover berries! About a cup and a quarter, to be exact. I can't stand waste....so I decided to experiment with fermenting them. 

Fermenting vegetables and fruits are totally different. For one thing, the natural sugars in fruits can turn to alcohol in a ferment if you're not careful. Also, the fermentation process generally happens more quickly than with vegetables, and there is also a greater chance of mold or it just not working out.

(Vegetables are pretty fool proof, as long as you keep the vegetable matter under the liquid, and especially because you use salt, which creates a poor environment for the bad micro-organisms to stay alive.) 

Well, I have been meaning to make my own natural fermented soda for a LONG time, but have never gotten around to it. I don't have much of a sweet tooth, and Mr. V. and I stopped drinking any kind of soda decades ago. However, when the grand kids come over, it's good to have their kind of foods and drinks around, even if they are a healthy version, right?

So...I decided I'd actually ADD some additional sugar in the form of raw honey to these unsweetened berries and see if I could create a fermented berry soda! Here is the result of my little soda experiment made with leftover berries!

FTC Disclosure: There are affiliate links scattered throughout this article. If you click through and make any kind of purchase I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. 
 Here's how to make fermented berry soda using leftover defrosted, cooked berries! There's not much in that little glass because I almost drank it up before I remembered to take a picture! My recipe experiment for making fermented berry soda is easy, healthy, and it turned out delicious! Worth a try!

Here's how to make fermented berry soda using leftover defrosted, cooked berries! There's not much in that little glass because I almost drank it up before I remembered to take a picture! My recipe experiment for making fermented berry soda is easy, healthy, and it turned out delicious! Worth a try!

How to Make Fermented Berry Soda

Ingredients for Making Berry Soda:

1) Defrosted organic unsweetened berries.

Mine were cooked down into kind of a mushy syrup because we used them on pancakes. However, you could probably just defrost them without cooking them, too. I had about a cup and a quarter of berries and juice. I just used the frozen berries from the store.

2) Raw honey

I don't measure things, generally, so I'd estimate I used about 1/3 cup of raw honey for a quart size Mason jar.

3) A starter culture

If you are using salt/brine in your ferment, you don't need a culture necessarily. However, I wanted this to be a soda-like drink (a little sweet with some fizz), and salt would not have worked in this ferment. And, fermenting fruits has to be a quicker process because the potential for spoilage is much greater than with vegetables, especially without using salt. 

Good starter cultures can be whey or liquid from another ferment, as long as the tastes match up for the most part. I even considered using a little bit of culture used for making wine, like this Lalvin from Amazon, but I didn't want to take the chance of alcohol forming too fast. This is what I use when I make beer using herbs, like this Chamomile Ale, or even Hard Apple Cider.

You see, the bacteria and yeast consume the sugar, and if the timing isn't right, you get a bit (or a lot) of alcohol...and that was NOT what I was going for in this experiment. 

I had just run out of whey, so I decided to use some of my beet kvass I had in the refrigerator. Beet kvass is a delicious, tangy/slightly salty fermented drink---so I knew it would be a good choice for this ferment. 

I decided to use about 1/4 cup of the beet kvass. Find out more about kvass and how to make beet kvass and golden beet & turmeric kvass

 Here is how the berry soda looks right after getting it all set up. Usually, you do not want floating fruits or veggies in your ferment, but I knew this wasn't going to take too many days, so I decided not to be concerned this time. The white froth on top is from stirring it to mix in the honey. It hasn't actually started fermenting yet.

Here is how the berry soda looks right after getting it all set up. Usually, you do not want floating fruits or veggies in your ferment, but I knew this wasn't going to take too many days, so I decided not to be concerned this time. The white froth on top is from stirring it to mix in the honey. It hasn't actually started fermenting yet.

Tools I Used to Make Berry Soda

1) Mason jar, wide mouth quart size

2) Airlock fitted for a Mason Jar

I used the Fermentools kit. It's great for turning a quart size Mason jar into a fermenting mini-crock. 

You don't have to have an airlock, though. Alternatively, just place a lid on the jar and be sure to burp it once or twice a day. 

 Here it is on the morning of the third day. Look at those bubbles! I decided to open it up, check it out, taste it using a clean utensil....and then get it strained! If I felt like it wasn't ready enough, I would have let it go a bit longer. With fruit, though, I don't leave them like I'll leave vegetable ferments. 

Here it is on the morning of the third day. Look at those bubbles! I decided to open it up, check it out, taste it using a clean utensil....and then get it strained! If I felt like it wasn't ready enough, I would have let it go a bit longer. With fruit, though, I don't leave them like I'll leave vegetable ferments. 

Directions for Making Fermented Berry Soda

Step 1) Place the berries in the jar.

Step 2) Pour the honey over the berries.

Step 3) Pour in your starter culture.

Step 4) Add water to within an inch and a half of the top. Stir the mixture to get the honey to dissolve somewhat.

Step 5) Place your lid and airlock if using, on the jar.

Step 6) Put it aside on your counter to ferment.

Step 7) After about three days (or even sooner if it's warm in your kitchen), it should be ready. You don't want to let it go too long because a) you risk mold forming, and b) you risk getting an alcoholic beverage.

Mine was nice and bubbly when I decided to strain it.

NOTE: If it smells bad or the berries have mold going on, compost it. Some fermenters believe in just scraping off the mold and still using the ferment, but I am not one of these folks. Mold can be dangerous, so why risk it? 

Step 8) When it's nice and bubbly, strain out the berries and place the liquid in the refrigerator. 

Step 9) ENJOY! 

 Yum! A delicious quart of berry soda. If you want it sweeter or fizzier, increase the amount of honey you use!

Yum! A delicious quart of berry soda. If you want it sweeter or fizzier, increase the amount of honey you use!

What Does Fermented Berry Soda Taste Like?

I personally think it's delicious! I was kind of worried about it being too sweet, since I used quite a lot of honey. However, at the time I strained it, the honey had been mostly consumed by the yeasts and bacteria, leaving just a slightly sweet taste that perfectly complemented the berry flavors!

There is a very slight overtone from the beet kvass if you're tasting it hard--so you do get some beet"ness" in the drink, but I don't think it's unpleasant at all. It enhances the health aspect of this soda, for sure! 

I think if I had used whey instead, it would definitely have tasted different, and perhaps it may have fermented differently too. I can't say if it would have been better that way or not? That's an experiment for another day! 

If you like a sweet soda, then you could increase the honey to about half a cup, even! It's all an experiment, right?

 I almost forgot to take a picture before I drank it all up! 

I almost forgot to take a picture before I drank it all up! 

Final Thoughts About Fermented Berry Soda: The Experiment

You know what the cool thing about fermentation is? It's that once you know the basics, you can try all kinds of experiments with different foods! Do they all turn out? Nope. They don't. And that's ok, because everything is a learning experience. I guess this is the mad scientist in me that gets to come out and play! 

At any rate, don't be afraid to ferment things! You might want to read my article about the Myths of Fermentation and Why You Should Be Eating Fermented Foods Daily, too! Fermenting is fun, it produces incredibly nutritious foods and drinks, and it helps keep your micro-biome healthy and strong! 

What do you think of fermentation? What have you fermented lately? I'd love for you to share your comments, questions, thoughts, ideas, and even disagreements so we can all learn!

Hugs & Self-Reliance,

Heidi

P.S. If you haven't done so yet, I hope you will sign up for our newsletter! You'll never miss a thing, you'll get tips and hacks not found on the blog, AND I have three free eBooks for you on using herbs to relax, essential oil blends, and how to get your homestead started no matter where you live! Awesome stuff! :-) 

 Hey, have you wanted to learn to make hot process soap?  Find out how, in my eBook ! It's also available on  Amazon Kindle  too!

Hey, have you wanted to learn to make hot process soap? Find out how, in my eBook! It's also available on Amazon Kindle too!

 Want a healthy homemade soda recipe that is filled with probiotics and is actually good for you? Here's my fermented berry soda recipe. You use frozen or fresh berries, and it turns out delicious! Serve this drink cold for a summer refreshment everyone will love--even your kids! #fermented #berrysoda #soda #sodarecipe #sodapop #sodasubstitute

Want a healthy homemade soda recipe that is filled with probiotics and is actually good for you? Here's my fermented berry soda recipe. You use frozen or fresh berries, and it turns out delicious! Serve this drink cold for a summer refreshment everyone will love--even your kids! #fermented #berrysoda #soda #sodarecipe #sodapop #sodasubstitute

How to Make an Herbal Tea Blend for the Lungs...Helps With Cough and Wheezing. Good for Children Too!

How to Make an Herbal Tea Blend for the Lungs...Helps With Cough and Wheezing. Good for Children Too!

How to Make Natural Cough Syrup, Throat Soothing Too!

How to Make Natural Cough Syrup, Throat Soothing Too!

0