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52 Weeks of Bad A** Bacteria – Week 2 – Orangina (Lacto-Fermented Orange Juice)

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Orangina - Lacto-Fermented Orange Juice Recipe Follow Me on Pinterest

UPDATE 7/26/12: I no longer use whey as a starter for my ferments (learn why here). I also no longer use Mason jars for my ferments (learn why here). I use Fidos and Pickl-Its exclusively and the improvement in the taste and texture of my ferments is unbelievable! I encourage everyone to take a look at the information regarding Mason jar ferments and come to a decision that best fits their family. I will be releasing updated versions of these recipes soon, as it applies to the Fido and Pickl-It jars.

I got such an awesome response to last week’s lacto-fermented garlic! I received a ton of questions and did a follow-up post on how to use your LF garlic. The subject started a lot of conversations and I learned a lot of new things from readers. Thank you to everyone who left comments, sent me emails, and joined our Facbeook discussions. I had no idea that garlic could cause such a buzz!

Last week, I ate more garlic in one week than I have in my entire life, resulting in half of my bottle of LF garlic already being eaten! I’m wondering how I ever survived without it. I even started another batch of it this weekend so that I won’t run out. Since I discovered how to peel garlic in less than 10 seconds, whipping up a batch was a piece of cake. That trick really does work (though, it takes a little longer than 10 seconds to get all of the cloves peeled, but it’s still much easier than doing it by hand!). Did you make or eat any LF garlic? What is your favorite way to eat it? I was putting it in soup, salads, on my tortilla pizzas, as well as eating it plain. It’s delicious!

This week, I decided to make a lacto-fermented beverage called Orangina. This recipe is from Nourishing Traditions. My health food store has been running organic oranges on sale and I decided it was the perfect fermented food to do, since I already had all of the ingredients on hand. One thing I am trying to be careful of during my journey through 52 weeks of probiotic foods is to utilize produce when it’s in season, so I’m trying to schedule my posts around what is available at my grocery store or at my farmers market. I always try to eat in season, but now, I’m really focusing on the importance of it.

Orange You Glad I Didn’t Say Banana?

Ha! I don’t think LF bananas would taste very good. Well, actually, they might. I can’t say I’ve come across and LF banana recipes though. Hmmm … wonder if I’m on to something? Anyone out there tried LF bananas? :)

Anyways, oranges are a great winter fruit. I don’t usually drink orange juice (or juice of any kind really) because of the amount of fructose in it, but when you ferment juices, most of the sugar gets eaten up by the bacteria and you end up with a much lower sugar beverage. Also, I was intrigued because Sally Fallon said that this beverage develops “an interesting banana-like flavor“. Well, then, I have to try it!

Sweet oranges are the most commonly grown fruit in the world, yet they don’t occur naturally in the plant kingdom. The sweet orange is actually a hybrid between the pomelo and a mandarin. This hybrid was cultivated centuries ago and it is said that it originated in Southeast Asia and was cultivated by the Chinese around 2,500 BC. Now the largest population of orange trees and production is in Brazil, Florida, and California.

There are a few different species of oranges:

  • Sweet Orange – The kind you most typically see in the grocery store. As a matter of fact, sweet oranges make up 70% of the world’s orange production (think Valencia, navel, etc.).
  • Bitter orange – known as Seville orange or sour orange, and the marmalade orange.
  • Bergamot orange – Grown mostly in Italy and the primary use for the fruit is the peel, which is one of the strong flavors in Earl Grey tea.
  • Mandarin orange – This variety has a bunch of cultivars, including the satsuma, the tangerine, and the clementine. It is easy to get these confused with the sweet orange, but typically, they are smaller and not as round. They are also easier to peel and less acidic (think “Cuties”).
  • Trifoliate orange – A thorny shrub or small tree grown mostly for its flowers. Makes a great hedge and bears a fruit that looks like a small orange. These fruit are sometimes made into marmalade.

A Little Citrusy History

Follow Me on Pinterest The orange has long been regarded for its nutritional compounds, mostly vitamin C, but they do contain large amounts of potassium, as well as some calcium. The Persian orange was first introduced to Italy, around the 11th century and was initially very bitter. It was regarded as a medicine, as many bitters are. Around 1500, Portuguese explorers may have introduced sweet orange trees to the Mediterranean area and they were immediately a hit. So much so that it was considered a type of aristocratic fruit and the wealthy had their own orange groves planted so they could have a private, personal supply. After that, the sweet orange spread through Europe and became common.

Sailors and explorers would planted citrus trees along trade routes to help prevent scurvy. Scurvy is a disease that happens as a result of vitamin C deficiency. It initially shows up with symptoms of malaise and lethargy. As it progresses, the affected person may get spots on the skin (showing up primarily on the legs), spongy gums, and bleeding from the mucous membranes. If it is not treated, it can lead to open wounds, tooth decay and loss, fever, neuropathy, and eventually death.

Sailors (and pirates) were especially prone to scurvy because of their long voyages and limited access to fresh fruit and vegetables and therefore they were not eating adequate amounts of vitamin C.  Scurvy often killed large numbers of these men. It wasn’t until 1932 that the cause of scurvy was formally discovered as a lack of vitamin C. Despite that, sailors and physicians knew for centuries prior to that that citrus fruits helped prevent it. They just didn’t know that it was specifically the vitamin c that worked the magic.

Sally Fallon states in Nourishing Traditions, page 109, that “…oranges from Spain came to Northern Europe in the form of marmalade. Originally, marmalade was a lacto-fermented food. The oranges were mixed with salt water and pressed into large casks. The long sea voyage gave them plenty of time to ferment and develop rich flavors. Sugar was too expensive to be added in large quantities, so marmalade was traditionally quite tart.”  I will definitely be making LF marmalade before citrus season ends!

Eventually, oranges were brought over to the Caribbean by Christopher Columbus, who took the seeds of oranges, lemons, and other citrus and gave them to the native people. in 1513, oranges and lemons made their way to Florida by the Spanish explorer, Juan Ponce de León. They continued their journey, landing in California in the 18th century, and then on to Hawaii by the late 1700’s.

Probiotic Tip of the Week

Keep a calendar to track your ferments Follow Me on Pinterest Get an extra calendar and keep it in the kitchen. Hang it somewhere where it is easy to see and easy to update. Since I’ve began making more probiotic foods, I am forgetting when I started my new batch of kombucha, when I need to bottle the old batch, when I need to move my fermented veggies to the fridge, etc. I started keeping a calendar in the kitchen two weeks ago and it has really helped. In addition to tracking my ferments, I’m also tracking food use, like making a note of when I froze this or when I opened that or when I purchased the other thing. I do this in addition to labeling the stuff I put in the freezer.

Lacto-Fermented Orange Juice

The fermenting process of foods not only allows the flavors to develop, but it also allows the nutrients in the food to become more bio-available so that they can be more easily assimilated by our bodies. So, if you love orange juice, this is a great way to consume it. You get the benefit of the vitamin C and the probiotics, without suffering that dramatic impact on your blood sugar. Always use organic oranges since citrus fruits are one of the highest sprayed produce items. Also, I have started saving the rind when I juice fresh oranges, because the white flesh on the inside of the skin is full of biflavonoids. I trim out the white insides of the skin and eat them. The rind is bitter and fragrant from the high oil content, and you can use those in this handy cleaning solution. So, making this juice should leave you with little to no waste, which I think is fantastic!

 

Sources:

Wikipedia “Orange (Fruit)” and “Scurvy

Image Credit and Image Credit and Image Credit

Cultures for Health Starter Cultures and Supplies for Real Food

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About Jessica Espinoza

Jessica is a real food nut, coconut everything enthusiast, avid reader and researcher, blossoming yogi, and animal lover. She has had a life-long passion for food and being in the kitchen is where she is the happiest. Jessica started Delicious Obsessions in 2010 as a way to help share her love for food and cooking. Since then, it has grown into a trusted online resource with a vibrant community of people learning to live healthy, happy lives through real food and natural living.

Discussion

16 comments

  1. I did your fermented garlic last week, can’t wait to taste it!

    What is & Where does one find Orange extract?

    reply 

    Mary C.
    Posted 01/16/12

    • Yay! I hope you like it! If you like garlic at all, you’ll love it! :) Orange extract is exactly that – extract of orange. Just like vanilla or peppermint or any other flavor that you use in baking or cooking. It’s made from the oils in the skin of oranges. When used in baking and cooking, it gives you a very strong orange flavor (though in this drink, I couldn’t taste it). You can buy it anywhere you buy any baking extract. The organic brand that I know of is called Simply Organic I think. You can also make your own from scratch. I’m going to post a recipe on that. It’s really easy. :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 01/16/12

  2. I may have to give this a try. I don’t do a lot of fruit anymore but I know it can be good for me and might be good for that whole sweet love of mine.

    Mary, I would suspect that if you can’t buy it you could make it from orange peel. That will just take a while to be ready.

    reply 

    Soli
    Posted 01/16/12

  3. Isn’t it sad that I have Sally’s book and yet have only made 1 thing out of it!!! Im hoping your posts will help me get back on track! Im gonna try the garlic probably tomorrow and this Orange drink sounds nice….maybe I should crack that book!! LOL

    reply 

    Cari
    Posted 01/16/12

    • Lots of great stuff in there, but I know where you’re coming from. The book sat on my bookshelf for years before I finally got the courage to crack it open! I’m hope my posts are helpful and inspirational! Thank you for stopping by :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 01/17/12

  4. Organina: Didn’t recipe call for 12 oranges? I don’t have orange extract but have neighbors tree full of oranges?
    Do you think grapefruit LF would work? I have grapefruit tree?
    Would prepeeled garlic in bag work for LF garlic recipe?

    reply 

    Ann
    Posted 07/03/12

    • Hi Ann – I don’t have my copy of NT with me right now, but I do think that I halved this recipe, because two quarts would have been too much, especially for something I had never tried before! :) I did try doing a grapefruit version, but it developed mold and I tossed it and never tried again. However, I think the mold development was my fault, so I would say give it a try!

      In regards to the garlic, I think it would work fine to use the pre-peeled garlic, but I’ve never tried it before. Maybe try a small batch and see what the outcome is? I hope that helps! Thank you for stopping by! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 07/03/12

  5. I didn’t really like the idea of “salty” juice, but the idea of reducing the sugar in my Orange juice intrigued me. I made ‘Kefir Orange juice’. I filled two lock top bottles halfway with water Kefir and then filled them to the base of the neck with Orange juice and let them sit for 24 hours for the second ferment before putting them in the fridge. It smells interesting, but it tastes great! :)

    reply 

    Sarah
    Posted 08/20/12

  6. Hi, if you haven’t read her blog’s you really need to ready KellyAnn Foster’s blogs about fermentation, mason jars, pickl’it jars, etc. They are very scientific and very educational–especially info about mold in ferments made in mason jars: http://www.cookingtf.com/controversy-pickl-it-vs-mason-jars/

    reply 

    Joyce
    Posted 03/13/13

    • Hi Joyce – Thanks for stopping by. KerryAnn is actually a very dear friend of mine. I have read all her stuff and she was actually the one who encouraged me to do my own research when it comes to fermenting. You’ll notice at the top of this post, I wrote “UPDATE 7/26/12″ stating that I no longer use Mason jars for my ferments. That update paragraph links to several posts that I have written on why I choose not to use starter liquids or Mason jars anymore. KerryAnn was the one who sparked that research and subsequent update. At some point, I will revise all of my ferment recipes for anaerobic vessels, but that is time consuming and a slow process. Hence the reason that I just have the update paragraph at the top of each Mason jar ferment article I have written. :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 03/13/13

  7. here is another great blog of her’s:
    http://www.cookingtf.com/but-i-thought-it-was-anaerobic-as-long-as-it-was-under-the-brine/

    reply 

    Joyce
    Posted 03/13/13

  8. Hi Jessica, I did see your comment, but wanted to make sure you knew about KerryAnn’s blogs. It’s great to see real hard science being applied to what is a scientifically verifiable process. I was shocked when I read her stuff about mold. I have a severe mold allergy and had made Beet Kvass that had some some small mold spots on it. So, I emailed a very respected Weston A Price blogger and she told me to just scoop the mold off.
    Well, when I read what KerryAnn wrote about mold growing tentacles throughout the ferment I was truly horrified that I had consumed 2 gallons of moldy Beet Kvass. So, I immediately ordered some Pickl’it Jars (never sure that I’ve spelled that correctly.) Well, my Beet Kvass is now amazing; “sparkling” like Kombucha is. What a difference! I look forward to following your fermenting adventures. thanks, Joyce

    reply 

    Joyce
    Posted 03/13/13

    • She has a lot of great content! I really appreciate her friendship and knowledge. I’ve learned A LOT from her! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 03/15/13

  9. I’m new to fermenting, actually I haven’t taken the plunge yet as I need to track down some mason jars to go with the perfect pickler I bought, which is not easy in Australia! I read some stuff about the mason jars not being so great just after I bought the perfect pickler! The perfect pickler is a similar pickling device to the pickl-it except it is a lid attachment to fit mason jars, not a whole jar in itself. Just wondering if the perfect pickler is bad because it uses a mason jar or is it good because it has a little water seal thingy like the pickl-it. I love fruit juice, especially orange, but don’t like consuming a lot of sugar, so I want to try this some day :-)

    reply 

    Emily
    Posted 03/19/13

    • Hi Emily – I have never used the Perfect Pickler, so I can’t give you an opinion on that. I say ferment with what you have. It’s best to just get started, than to worry about having the perfect jar. I also try to avoid large amounts of sugar, so fermenting the juice is a great way to still drink some juice, but really reduce the sugar content. Have fun fermenting and let me know if you have any questions! :)

      reply 

      Jessica
      Posted 03/21/13

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