Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Healthy Probiotic Diet, plus free recipe for Pineapple-Cinnamon Tapache (like Kombucha)

If you've visited a Whole Foods or health food store recently, you must have noticed how much real estate the "kombucha section" is starting to occupy. Probiotic drinks, including kefirs, kombuchas, and ciders are extremely popular. There are lots of live sauerkrauts and kimchis available there, too. And it isn't only healthy stores; even the chain supermarkets in my area sell kombucha now. For good reason: all of these are not only tasty, but incredibly healthful.

I am proud to announce that my new book, The Heathy Probiotic Diet: More Than 50 Recipes for Improved Digestion, Immunity, and Skin Health, has just been released by Skyhorse Publishing in hardcover and e-book formats. It has beautiful full-color photos in addition to the text and recipes.

To get you in the mood for probiotics, here is a free recipe from my earlier e-book on fermented drinks. A version of this also appears in The Healthy Probiotic Diet. You can make it with water kefir grains (tibicos, described in the book), use a tablespoon or two of yogurt whey (liquid) for the culture, or just rely on the naturally-present yeasts on the pineapple for fermentation. (Note: Be cautious with that wild fermentation option if you suffer from any immune or serious medical issues.)

I can't seem to write a book without including this one because it may well be my all-time favorite drink. Enjoy!
Free Recipe

Pineapple-Cinnamon Tapache: This is a traditional fermented drink from Mexico, which has become one of my favorite quick fermented drinks. It involves cutting up a whole pineapple and fermenting it in water for a couple of days, along with some sugar and spices. This creates a concentrated drink that you can dilute with more water for a delicious and refreshing tropical beverage. You could also use another kind of fruit if you prefer, or you could adjust the quantities of spices to suit your taste preferences.

Traditionally, people placed the pineapple rind (skin) in the water also and just cultured the drink using the wild yeasts and bacteria that were present on the skin. You could try this (making sure there is no mold on the bottom of the pineapple rind). I prefer to use water kefir grains, which means there is no reason to leave the rind in the water (I give fruit rinds to my chickens, who peck them clean).

1 fresh pineapple, cut into cubes
4 quarts water (16 cups)
3 cups brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
Optional: 1 tablespoon apple pie spice (or 2 cloves)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Put the cut pineapple in a large container and cover with water (using about half of the water, or enough to cover the pineapple). Add the sugar, spices, and vanilla also. Add 1-2 tablespoons of water kefir grains, either loosely or suspended in the water in a cloth bag. Let it sit for a couple of days. After about 48 hours, add another quart of water, and let it sit for another 12 hours.

Then taste it using a clean spoon. If it tastes good, remove the fruit and kefir grains and pour the drink into bottles or into a clean container and refrigerate what you cannot drink. This will slow down the fermentation and give you a few days in which to drink it. If the drink is not ready yet (too sweet or too mild), you can add more water and give it another 12 hours of fermentation before cleaning and storing it as described above. At the end, if it’s not sweet enough for you, add a little honey, apple juice, or sugar when you drink it.


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