Blueberry Ginger Switchel

I remember my first time trying a switchel. It was at the Minnesota State fair last summer. It was on tap at one of the fruit stands called The Produce Exchange. By the way, they also have the best peaches ever! It was so worth $3 for one! So juicy and sweet! 

Anyway, the switchel was so delicious and refreshing. I went home and started searching recipes on the web. I needed more of this in my life! 

So you might be sitting there wonder, what is a switchel? It kind of tastes like a kombucha, but it’s just made with water, ginger, apple cider vinegar, and some sort of “natural” sweetener (which I omit from my recipe. Honey and maple syrup are still considered “added sugars.” A healthier option here would be to use date paste or molasses. However, the molasses would add a very distinct taste to the drink. So I caution use of that unless you love the taste of molasses). Since the switchel at the State Fair was on tap, it was slightly carbonated and bubbly, which I love and wanted to incorporate into my recipe. 

The switchel is super refreshing and it’s my favorite thing to sip on in the middle of the day or after a hot yoga class. 

Let’s be real here. I am all about easy and quickness when preparing my recipes. Many switchel recipes call for boiling the fresh ginger, and then allowing it to cool. But I prefer the quick method! Blend the fresh ginger with some water and strain out the pulp (you could also leave it in for some added fiber– but personally, it’s not as appealing for me to drink this with the fiber strands in the drink).   

Ginger and apple cider vinegar may sound like an odd combination for some folks. However, my taste buds hardly can tell there is apple cider vinegar in this drink, as the ginger is so powerful. I have tried the “Poor man’s kombucha” before which is also another lovely, refreshing drink (basically just soda water, apple cider vinegar, and some sort of fruit if you’d like). However, sometimes the apple cider vinegar in that drink give me the chills. It’s just so tangy, my body naturally starts to get shivers (maybe I am making it too strong?). Regardless, I love how the ginger balances out the apple cider vinegar in the switchel, and I am a ginger lover- so I enjoy the ginger taste. It’s slightly sweet and spicy. Plus, ginger is packed with powerful nutritional benefits. I love having it a regular part of my routine.

Blueberry Ginger Switchel

Ginger: appears to be beneficially for a number of conditions, especially in regards to pain. Just an 1/8 teaspoon of powdered ginger may work as well as leading drugs used for migraine headaches. Ginger may also help alleviate painful periods for females and may even help reduce the amount of blood lost during menstruation. 

I know for me personally, anytime I feel some sort of pain- from jet leg, exercise, or my period- ginger is my go-to remedy. It does the trick! 

Apple Cinder Vinegar: there are also some benefits for including vinegar into your routine too. Vinegar may help with blood sugar control , as well as improving cholesterol and triglycerides. It may also help improve artery function. Are there any side effects to vinegar? How much vinegar is too much? You’ll find those answers in this video, “Vinegar Mechanisms Side Effects” on NutritionFacts.org. 
 
switchel

A few notes about my recipe before we get started. Like I said previously, this is the quick method. You are more than welcome to look up some other recipes online. Most recipes suggest boiling the ginger in water; I prefer just making a ginger concentrate and then diluting it with soda water.  

If you have a soda streamer of sorts, you can get this drink really bubbly! That is my preferred method. I love lots of carbonation in my drink. However, it works fine with store bought soda water. Which, you could also go crazy and try this with a lemon or orange soda water flavor too! You could also just dilute it with plain water. 

Dilute the ginger concentrate as needed. I like mine a bit stronger and tangy, but add more soda water or water as needed to reach the desired taste you like. Add more blueberries to taste too! If it’s not blueberry enough for you, put more in your drink and in your concentrate. 

If you absolutely need to sweeten it, try adding some date paste first. That will be your healthiest option for whole food sweeteners. I prefer mine just sweetened with the blueberries.

 

Blueberry Ginger Switchel
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Ingredients
  1. 1/3 cup ginger, chopped
  2. 1 & 1/3 cup water
  3. 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  4. 1/2-1 cup frozen blueberries*
  5. Soda water
Instructions
  1. Wash the ginger well. Optional to remove the skin, but be sure to cut off any unwanted pieces. Chop the ginger and measure off 1/3 cup. Blend well with 1 and 1/3 cup water.
  2. Using a mesh strainer or a nut milk bag, pour the ginger water over a glass container/ jar (preferably one that has a lid). Add in the vinegar and the frozen blueberries. Store the mixture in the fridge.
  3. Shake gently before use, it's likely the ingredients will separate a bit. Pour about 1/4 cup of the ginger concentrate into a large glass. Add some more frozen blueberries, if desired. Muddle the berries, if you want, to get more blueberry taste. Then pour in about 12-24 oz of carbonated water. Enjoy!
  4. Makes enough for about 6-8 people.
Notes
  1. My recipes vary with how many blueberries I add to the concentrate. A cup will give it a more blueberry taste, less blueberries will make it more subtle. Feel free to play around with this. You can always add more blueberries too! I like to have some in my class and eat them at the end! Yum!
Kristina DeMuth https://stonebreakerswebgroup.com/