You know what makes you the coolest mom on the block? Ice cold root beer floats made with real ice cream and real old fashioned root beer.
I recently whipped up the food and drink for a healthy kids party and we did not skimp on fun! The kids had a great time and the parents did not have to wrangle sticky fingered, sugar drunk monsters as they departed the party. A good time was had by all!
There are many Root Beer recipes. Some more intricate, layered, and complex than others. Let’s begin with this simple and beautiful recipe. It is a summertime favorite of mine.
Did you know the lacto-fermented beverages of our ancestors were refreshing health tonics? The recipes for the delicious drinks of yore are built on herbal remedies passed down from mother to daughter and on and on. The roots of Root Beer are said to ease tummy discomfort, aid digestion and promote radiant skin. Lacto-fermented beverages are high in probiotics, organic acids and electrolytes. These are the are the original rehydration sport drinks sans all the sugar.
Don’t care about any of that? The taste is outrageous. Get Real. Be Well.
Old Fashioned Root Beer Ingredients:
- 1/2 gallon filtered water - find quality water filters for every budget here
- 3 tablespoons sassafras bark – find it here
- 3 tablespoons sarsaparilla root - find it here
- 3 tablespoons ground vanilla bean – my favorite ground vanilla beans
- 1 cup ginger bug from previous Real Food Devotee recipe
- 1-2 cups coconut palm sugar or dehydrated cane juice – find unrefined sweeteners here
Old Fashioned Root Beer Method:
- In a heavy bottomed pot, add the sassafras, sarsaparilla and ground vanilla bean.
- Cover with 1/2 gallon water. Bring the water to simmer and cover for 20 minutes.
- Add sugar and stir to dissolve completely.
- Turn off the stove and leave the pot covered for 30 minutes.
- When your Root Beer wort* has cooled to room tempurature (approx. 75F), use a cheese cloth or fine mesh strainer to remove the herbs.
- Now, add the ginger bug liquid* to your Root Beer wort.
- Pour your soon-to-be-soda into two quart sized bottles (old apple cider vinegar bottles are a convenient choice). Place a tight lid on the bottles and allow it to sit in a warm or room temperature spot in your home for 2-3 days. If your home tends to be cool at night, consider getting a seedling mat. Just set the bottles on top of the mat and out of direct sun light.
- After 2-3 days of fermentation (watch for bubbles rising to the top of the bottle and if you are unsure your bevi is ready, give the lid a slight twist and listen for a gas release), you will have a lovely probiotic rich, old fashioned root beer.
*Wort: The soda liquid before the addition of your culture starter of choice.
*Remember to strain out the pieces of ginger when adding the ginger bug liquid to your Root Beer wort.
Yield: 2 quarts
This post was generously contributed by Monica Ford of Real Food Devotee. Check back next Friday for more delicious recipes from Monica that will make your mouth water and your tummy purr. If you’re lucky enough to live in Los Angeles, Real Food Devotee can make your life easier by delivering nutrient dense goodies directly to your door.
Photo credit: An Eye Full Studio