You have most probably heard of Kombucha, tasted it and maybe even be brewing your own but don’t kick back just yet as there is a new fermented drink making a comeback, Switchel! And you will definitely want to give this a go!
Like Kombucha, Switchel is a fermented drink that has been around for hundreds of years in various parts of the world. With an increase in those looking for natural ways to improve their health comes the desire to go back to these rituals and recipes passed on by ancestors that have lain dormant for years.
The 4 Key Ingredients Of Switchel
Traditionally Switchel is made from apple cider vinegar, fresh ginger, water and some type of sweetener. Most recipes use maple syrup or honey with the occasional one using molasses. To get the most benefits from this health elixir, it is important to have ingredients that are organic, raw and fresh.
There have been reports of making Switchel with regular white sugar and ground ginger. However, an unrefined sweetener and fresh ginger are more nutrient dense and therefore offer more to the body by way of vitamins and minerals.
With only four simple ingredients it seems a bit far-fetched to be labeling this drink as a health tonic but it’s the real deal! Each of the ingredients is a health hero in themselves and have been for thousands of years.
1. Raw organic apple cider vinegar
There are a plethora of benefits of consuming this including the ability it has to help stabilize blood sugar levels and also help your liver with the detoxification process. The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar also supports your digestive system, encouraging the absorption of vitamins and minerals offered to your body through the food you are eating.
2. Fresh organic ginger
One of the most ancient ways of treating nausea and other digestive issues, the ginger root has a lot to offer. It is anti-inflammatory and supports the immune system, relieving pain and irritation in the body.
3. Raw organic honey
This contains vitamins, minerals and enzymes needed for overall health, including vitamin C, iron and calcium. It also has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that aid in the removal of free radicals in the body.
4. Fresh mineral water
The most important nutrient for health and wellbeing, without it the body would not survive. Water needs to be replenished in the body to ensure that waste and toxins are removed through the kidneys and dehydration doesn’t occur.
Switchel Made Easy At Home
Unlike other fermented drinks like Kombucha, making Switchel requires ingredients that are easily sourced and no organisms are required for fermentation. It is, therefore simple, easy and doesn’t take a lot of time.
2 cups mineral or filtered water
¼ cup raw, organic apple cider vinegar
¼ cup raw honey
1 ½ tablespoons freshly grated organic ginger
For a little extra cleanse add a pinch of cayenne pepper
Combine all ingredients in a glass jar or bottle. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or leave to steep for 12 hours. When ready to serve pour through a muslin cloth into glasses and garnish by adding a few fresh blueberries, a sprig of mint and a wedge of lemon.
Try getting fancy and adding it to sparkling water, serving over ice and adding other fresh fruits. Experiment with the recipe and find what works for you, you may prefer less sweetener or more ginger for added zing!
If you are not the make at home type but are still keen to get the health benefits, check out your local farmer´s markets or organic health food shop for commercially brewed Switchel.
Make sure to note if you are buying Switchel it is best to check the ingredients and make sure only the best have been used, it is meant to promote health after all! Also look for one that has less than 5g of sugar per serve.
Jenny Barrow is based in the beautiful Mount Maunganui, New Zealand. Through her own health journey, Jenny developed a passion for food and nutrition and loves sharing this with others. She is passionate about eating plant-based, seasonally and sustainably as a way of not only nourishing the body but also supporting local farmers and producers. After working in a variety of fields and then completing more study Jenny is now settled in what she describes as her dream job, working in the Wellness Industry with Janesce Skincare and Bestow Beauty. Blessed with a job that brings her joy, Jenny also fills her soul with family, friends, nature and travelling. She is working towards living a ‘slow and simple’ life.