If you haven’t dabbled in homemade ferments before, turmeric soda is a great place to start. Fermenting turmeric is actually the secret to dramatically increasing its bioavailability, meaning you’ll reap even more of the orange root’s amazing anti-inflammatory benefits. Even better? Making fermented soda requires only two ingredients—plus, a little bit of patience.
You start with a “bug,” or culture of beneficial bacteria. “It is similar to a sourdough starter for bread or a SCOBY for making kombucha,” explains Tanita de Ruijt, the author of Tonic (from which the below recipe was excerpted). “Though not overly tasty by itself, the bug acts as the base for homemade tonics such as root beer, ginger beer, and fruit ‘sodas.’ The turmeric imparts its flavor and, as it naturally ferments, creates a mixture of beneficial bacteria.” She also recommends rinsing but not peeling the turmeric, as the peel is rich in bacteria and yeast that will aid in the fermentation process.
Probiotic Turmeric Soda
Makes 200 mL (7 fl. oz.)
Ready in approx. 3 to 5 days
- 200-g (7-oz.) piece of fresh (ideally organic) turmeric root, unpeeled
- 3 to 5 tablespoons rapadura sugar or raw cane sugar
- Filtered water
- Chop the unpeeled turmeric root up finely or mash in a pestle and mortar. Transfer to a container with the lid left slightly ajar and keep on your kitchen counter.
- Take 1 tablespoon of the turmeric paste and add to a glass jar with 1 tablespoon of the sugar and 3 tablespoons of filtered water. Mix well, cover, and place in a warm spot—around 72°F is ideal.
- Every day, add 1 tablespoon of turmeric paste, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and 3 tablespoons of filtered water to the mixture, mix well, and leave to stand again.
- Repeat until the turmeric bug is nice and bubbly. It can take between 3 and 5 days. You can drink it straight or add additional flavorings and do a second ferment!