Strawberry-Lemon-Lime Soda

Strawberry-lemon-lime sodaThis bubbly Strawberry-Lemon-Lime soda has quickly become a family favourite this summer.

The kids love it cause it’s bubbly and refreshing and is a nice alternative to what they usually get… water.

I love all that too… but I love it even more because it is fermented.

If you don’t already know about fermented foods and why I think they are the #1 thing you can do to boost your health and the health of your kids, see this post here.

Making a fermented drink such as this Strawberrty-Lemon-Lime Soda is super simple… and super nourishing.  It’s one of the easiest ferments to start with and one of the easiest ways to introduce the fermented taste to your kids.

Once you get the hang of the basic technique you can experiment with your own recipe and flavor combinations.  It’s really not as scary as you might think it is!

A few nutritional highlights of this type of soda…

1. fantastically supportive of your immune system – for 2 reasons.

  • First, it’s really high in vitamin C – from the fruit, yes, but also the fermentation process creates even more vitamin C.
  • Second, the digestive system is the heart of the immune system.  About 80% of that system lives within the gut.  In order to have a strong immune system you need to have a healthy digestive system.  A probiotic drink like this one helps to keep the digestive system humming (see number 3).

2. low in sugar but still tastes great

The recipe starts with sugar, but the bacteria introduced consume the sugar through the fermenting process.  The finished product has about 20% of the sugar  you started with (which isn’t all that much to begin with!)

3. It helps kick those sugar cravings

One of the reasons you might be craving sugar is an imbalance in your yeast-bacteria balance in the gut.  The 2 kg of microbes living in your gut are super important, actually indispensable, to your well being.  Simply put, these bacteria and yeast eat sugar…. especially the pathogenic bacteria.  If there is an imbalance “down there” (lots of pathogenic species, not enough beneficial) you will crave sugar.  This type of probiotic drink satisfies your desire for “sweet” while introducing beneficial bacteria that keep your cravings in check.

4.  The bubbles are natural 

The word “ferment” comes from the latin word meaning “to boil”.  This is because the process of fermentation produces gas and that gas makes a fermented drink like this fizz.  The kids find that fascinating!

Here’s how to make Strawberry-Lemon-Lime-Soda:

You will need a few things on hand to make this.  They take a bit of planning but once you get the hang of it you will find it easy.

First, make a strawberry extract:

Chop up 1 quart of strawberries, place them in a bowl and add 1 cup natural sugar.  Mix very well, cover, and let it sit on a counter over night.  In the morning, the sugar will have drawn out all the flavour from the strawberries.  Strain out the liquid.  This is your extract.

WheySecond, make Whey: 

This whey is going to kick start the process of converting the sugar to probiotic bacteria.  It is the “starter” that introduces the bacteria that eat the sugar from the extract and produce the fizz.

To make Whey all you need to do is strain a good quality yogurt or kefir through a dish cloth.   Simply place a strainer over a bowl, line it with the cloth, dump the yogurt into the cloth and let it sit for several hours.  The liquid that drips into the bowl is your whey.  What is left in the cloth is cream cheese. (Tip… mix it with the leftover strawberries from the extract for a strawberry cream cheese!).  Here’s a quick video tutorial on how to make whey.



Now… to make the actual soda…

  • In a 1.5L mason jar, combine:fizzy soda
  • 1/2 c strawberry extract (see above)
  • 1/2 c whey (see above)
  • juice from 2 lemons
  • juice from 1 lime
  • fill the rest with pure water (do not use chlorinated tap water as the chlorine will kill the bacteria in the whey)

Cover tightly and let it sit on the counter for about 2 days.  You will know it is ready when it tastes a little fizzy.

TIP: The time it takes to ferment will depend on the temperature.  On really warm days it will ferment faster.

ANOTHER TIP:  If you want it to get really fizzy, use a very tight sealing container like a Grolsch-type beer bottle (like the one pictured to the right).

YET ANOTHER TIP: You can make straight lemonade using this same method.  Simply leave out the strawberry extract and add 1/2 cup of pure cane sugar instead (or to taste)

Chill well before serving…. and make another batch right away 🙂



  • Justin

    Reply Reply July 11, 2013

    Hey Jess,

    Just wondering what you use as your water source? I had a brita that attached to my tap and I used that for fertments (seemed to work alright), but that has broken. So, now I just boil water and cool it but that takes quite a bit of time. Thanks.

    • Jess

      Reply Reply July 12, 2013

      We have one from Santevia. We installed it about a year ago and have really liked it. It’s a reverse osmosis unit with a remineralization series after. It fits under the sink. I think the RO with remineralization is a good option – it gets rid of all the nasty stuff and then puts the good stuff back in. By the way you can’t ferment with water that has no minerals in it (i.e. reverse osmosis) – the bacteria need minerals.

  • adele reeves

    Reply Reply November 12, 2013

    how much yogurt do you need to make 1 cup of whey?

    • Jess

      Reply Reply November 12, 2013

      I depends on the type of yogurt. If you are talking a typical tub of organic store bought yogurt, you will get a cup or so out of a 1 L tub. But really it depends on the yogurt.

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