So you jumped on the kombucha train. You delight in its probiotic fizziness and the feeling that you’re oh so hip. Maybe you’re even brewing the fermented tea at home, extra hipster points for you! I’m not here to argue against kombucha’s awesomeness (#boochobsessed). I am here to tell you there’s a new and equally awesome drink crew in town. Move over kombucha, make room for some friends. The health drink category is exploding and I couldn’t be happier. As a nutritionist I’m all for lower sugar, gut friendly, delicious tasting drinks that provide an alternative to commercial sodas and sports drinks.
Plus, they come with some snazzy names like kvass and switchel! Here’s the lowdown on the latest healthy sips to hit our shelves.
Also known as “Ukrainian Gatorade” Kvass is a fermented beverage traditional to Eastern Europe. Offering probiotic benefits similar to kombucha, Kvass is made using beets, ginger, sea salt and water. This makes it an excellent liver tonic and blood purifier. People have been drinking Kvass for thousands of years, clearly we’ve been missing out!
Popular in the colonial era, this hydrating drink made from apple cider vinegar, ginger and cane sugar is making a comeback. Potassium rich apple cider vinegar offers an electrolyte boost while ginger offers immune support as well as anti-inflammatory and digestive benefits. With flavour options like juniper and molasses switchel makes a great cocktail ingredient. Fun fact: this lemonade drink was historically known as Haymaker’s Punch, Swizzle or Switzel. Swig a swizzle, be happy.
Packed full of beneficial bacteria and infused with detoxifying flavours like spirulina + turmeric water kefir is a great caffeine free kombucha alternative. Flavour infused water sweetened with cane sugar is fermented using a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast to create a fizzy and dairy-free drink. Water kefir is a great stomach settler – perfect for hangovers or stomach bugs. Of course it’s a refreshing beverage anytime!
While the above drinks offer a probiotic benefit, tigernut milk is a complementary prebiotic. Tigernuts, also known as chufas, are not actually nuts but root vegetables. They are naturally high in resistant starch and fiber. These indigestible plant fibers feed bacteria, supporting a healthy gut biome. While probiotics introduce bacteria to the gut, prebiotics nourish existing bacteria. Incorporating both into your diet is beneficial. Tigernut milk is a rich and creamy vegan option that makes a satisfying snack. Try the matcha for an energy kick or the horchata for something deliciously different.
Bottled and sold right here in our Juice Bar these elixirs contain anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and immune supportive ingredients like turmeric, ginger, dragon fruit and lemon. Highly concentrated these cold pressed elixirs are the perfect companions during cold and flu season. Add a splash to flat or fizzy water or your daily green juice. Or throw back a straight shot!
Whether you’re kicking a cold, trying to get your gut in order, or simply wanting to add a little extra zest to your day this new drink crew is here for you! Happy sipping!
Kate McMurray Certified Holistic Nutritionist