Ginger bug is a homemade culture that can help you make naturally fermented sodas and other healthy cultured foods. Here’s how to make it.
You’ve probably heard of the health benefits of consuming probiotics, but did you know that the best source of probiotics is actually not supplements, but naturally fermented foods? Some natural health experts have theorized that the decline in fermented foods in the modern Western diet is part of the reason for the recent rise in modern diseases and other health issues.
The good news is, fermented foods are incredibly easy (and very safe) to make in your own kitchen! For example, this naturally fermented “ginger bug” is a super simple way to harness some of the healthy bacteria found in ginger root and in the air around you, and use it to create your own fermented sodas or other beverages. Not only will it add healthy probiotics, but it will also create natural carbonation to give your sodas that delicious sparkle!
I have been making ginger bug for a couple of years now, and I would add a couple of tips to the video below.
You don’t need to peel the ginger root at all if it is organic. In fact, some of the healthy bacteria that will colonize your culture are found on the peel, so if you can find organic ginger, use the whole thing, skin and all.
The video shows her adding ingredients to an already existing batch. If you are starting from scratch, you will need to add a bit more water – maybe half a cup or so. MAKE SURE your water is filtered or bottled, and contains NO chlorine, as this will kill your bacteria and you’ll end up with a rotten or moldy mess instead of good culture!
When you start a new batch, you should leave it out on the counter at room temperature to get the fermentation going for at least a few days. Once it starts bubbling, you can refrigerate and feed weekly.
If you have trouble with your bug not starting (e.g. it is still not bubbly after a week or so), try experimenting with the ratio of ingredients. I have found that sometimes I need to add a little bit more water to start the fermentation if it gets too thick.
Check out this quick video to see how easy it is to make your own ginger bug, and start fermenting natural sodas, hard ciders, and other yummy and healthy probiotic beverages!