You may be surprised to discover that sweet potatoes aren’t just a holiday dish covered in marshmallows. They can be used in a lot of ways and eaten roasted with butter just as white potatoes. One reason you see them everywhere is that they actually thrive in climates where it is more difficult to grow other crops. In addition to roasting them whole or using them in a variety of recipes, you can use them to make this surprisingly delicious lacto-fermented sweet potato beverage. Spiced with whatever you please it is reminiscent of a ginger ale or other spicy, bubbly beverage. Like many lacto-fermented foods, it may take some getting used to, but once you acquire a taste you’ll find its sweet, tangy, spicy flavor quite refreshing!
INGREDIENTS AND EQUIPMENT AVAILABLE AT CULTURES FOR HEALTH
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- 1 gallon water
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup whey, from cultured dairy
- 2 lemons, zested and juiced
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. ginger
- 1 eggshell, cleaned and crushed
- Grate sweet potatoes using the coarse side of a box grater. Rinse in a sieve under cold water to remove starch.
- In a large non-reactive container combine grated sweet potatoes, water, sugar, whey, juice and zest from the lemons, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and crushed eggshell. Stir, cover, and allow to ferment at room temperature for around 3 days, or until fermented.
Strain through a fine sieve lined with cheesecloth and bottle into airtight bottles. Refrigerate and serve.