Growing up I moved around quite a bit (well, actually, a lot…13 schools in 12 years!), mostly between California and New Jersey…two completely different places with very different food cultures.
One of my biggest food memories of living in New Jersey (besides the amazing NY style pizza!) was going to our local bagel shop and getting a toasted plain bagel slathered with butter and a bottle of ice cold Orangina. I visited this fall for a high school reunion and took my daughter to the same bagel store for the same treat!
I can vividly remember cracking open the bottle of Orangina and loving the subtle sweetness of the sparkling orange beverage. I realize you can buy Orangina many places but for me, it will always be associated with New Jersey and bagels. It seemed ‘fancy’ to me at the time, a step above other traditional American sodas.
Unfortunately, in the US, the second ingredient in the drink is HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP. Yuck!!
I have been looking for a way to make a simpler, healthier version at home.
One easy way is to simply mix fresh orange juice with sparkling water. You could also add a splash of grapefruit and lemon juice as well. But I wanted to go even healthier!
I saw in the book Nourishing Traditions that there was a lacto-fermented orange juice recipe of an ‘Orangina’ type drink. This seemed promising. Having a tasty, sparkling orange beverage WITH added benefit of good bacteria, enzymes and vitamins!? Why not! You know, here at Oh Lardy, we love our lacto-fermented foods and all the benefits that come with them!
I gave the Nourishing Traditions recipe a go, but the end result was too salty for me and seemed to be a tad complicated of a recipe for such a simple beverage.
I ended up making my own simple recipe for lacto-fermented orange juice. My daughter absolutely LOVES this drink and I feel it is much better for her than plain juice. It is full of probiotic goodness, deliciously sparkling and subtly sweet.
Lacto-Fermented Orange Juice (an Orangina-like beverage)
- Take 1 quart mason jar.
- Add approximately 2 1/2 cups fresh squeezed orange juice (I cheated and bought the fresh squeezed oj at the store instead of juicing my own)
- Add 1/2 tsp powdered culture starter (or 2 tbsp whey)
- Fill with approximately 1 cup room temperature filtered water, leaving 1 inch or so of headspace.
- Cover tightly , give a quick shake to mix and leave at room temperature for 48 hours.
- Refrigerate and enjoy!
- Be sure to open carefully as gases do build up during fermentation!!
***Update: if your kitchen is warm, it may ferment faster. Look for pressure on your lid and bubbles. 48 hours worked fine in my 70 degree kitchen with halogen under-cabinet lights turned on.
Also, it really should be fresh squeezed orange juice, not from concentrate and not things like the refrigerated 100% juices. They may turn out tasting a bit different. Click here to read more on bottled orange juice.
- I did the same process except used all oj (no water). This turned out great, but it fermented much quicker…24 hours. This was a little bit more ‘sparkly’ but I felt I could get more for my dollar by doing the recipe above with added filtered water.
- Instead of all orange juice, you could do a mix of mostly orange juice and add a bit of grapefruit, lemon and mandarin juice to get closer to the Orangina flavor.
- You could easily double this recipe and use a 1/2 gallon mason jar if you wish.
- If you like to imbibe every now and again, this is AMAZING with vodka
For more information on fermenting foods, check out our other posts: health benefits, what are the bugs in our belly, what you need to ferment foods at home, how to use fermented foods and more fermented recipes!
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