Probiotic Lemonade

probiotic lemonade lactofermented recipe Probiotic Lemonade

I’m a big fan of Water Kefir and Kombucha for their probiotics and beneficial enzymes. They do require specific cultures though (available here) so if you don’t happen to have a SCOBY sitting around your kitchen, you are pretty much out of luck.

Luckily, as there is an easy lacto-fermented drink that you can make with basic ingredients from your grocery store, and your kids will probably even drink it!

I made probiotic lemonade recently and it was wonderful! It is very easy to make and is ready in just a couple of days. If you don’t have the water kefir grains or kombucha starter to try those drinks… make a batch of this to try today!

5.0 from 1 reviews

Probiotic Lemonade
A fizzy and tangy fermented lemonade that has a boost of probiotics.
Recipe type: Drink
  • Juice of 10 lemons or limes
  • ¾ cup sugar or sucanat
  • 1 cup of whey
  • 2.5 to 3 quarts of filtered water
  • gallon size jar
  1. Pour the sugar into the gallon size glass jar and add just enough hot water to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Add lemon juice and fill the jar about ¾ full with filtered water.
  3. Make sure the liquid is at room temp and add the whey.
  4. Cover tightly and let sit on the counter for 2-3 days. The longer it sits, the less sugar in the final product.
  5. After 2-3 days, keep in fridge and drink 4-6 ounces per day. The flavor will continue to develop in the fridge.
  6. Since the sugar ferments out, it is rather tart. Add a couple drops of stevia if it is too tart for you!

Some notes:

  • Lemons or limes can be used, or a mixture
  • You can add about 1 tsp of molasses to the sugar before dissolving to add extra minerals and make a slightly sweeter taste
  • Blending this with ice cubes make a delicious smoothie (or margarita if using limes!)
Feeling adventurous? Will you try this one?

Reader Comments

  1. says

    This sounds delicious, and my kids love lemonade – I’m guessing with a little stevia they’ll drink it up. 

    Do you (or anyone?) have any thoughts on coconut palm sugar – is it just like any other?  Is the taste different?

    • Getfitkate says

      I love coconut palm sugar.  It has fewer carbs and more fiber than white or brown sugar.  In my opinion, the taste is pleasantly sweet, with notes of butterscotch and caramel.  I get mine from Whole Foods – the brand is “Thai Taste”, and you can find a little white tub of it in the asian food aisle.  This product is called “jaggery”, and the texture is a paste. 

      I’ve heard that you should avoid the hard nuggets of “palm sugar” that you find in some asian markets, because it is usually not from the coconut palm and is often adulterated with regular white cane sugar.   

      • Guest says

        I am lactose intolerant. Was wondering if the whey would bother me. If so; do you have any suggestions of any thing else that I can add to help the fermentation process along?

  2. says

    I’ve always wanted to make lemonade but I do not have a juicer. Is there an easy way to juice at home, or should I aks my friend who has had a juicer for 5 years and never uses it if I can use hers??

    • says

      juicers do make it faster, but you can juice by hand too. Just make sure the lemons are at room temp and roll them firmly on the counter with your hand before cutting open. I also use a spoon to help
      squeeze out all the juice.

    • says

      juicers do make it faster, but you can juice by hand too. Just make sure the lemons are at room temp and roll them firmly on the counter with your hand before cutting open. I also use a spoon to help
      squeeze out all the juice.

  3. Bree says

    Can you give a rough estimate for how much the juice of 10 lemons comes to?  I juice lemons when they’re ripe here in the winter and keep it in the freezer, so I have juice, I just don’t know how much to use!

  4. Melissa says

    When the recipe calls for whey, are you referring to whey protein powder? I’m not very educated about it.

  5. says

    typically you do not want to use honey with fermented drinks, as the sugar is the food for the fermentation. 
    also, melissa, the whey is different from whey protein powder. WM linked to an easy way to do whey, with just some plain organic yogurt and the liquid drippings from it becomes the whey. check out her link in the recipe. 

    • Melissa says

      Actually honey is perfectly fine for fermenting. The first fermented lemonade recipe I ever made called for honey, and was delicious. Honey is, after all, just another kind of sugar. The little bugs who do the fermenting will eat it just the same.

  6. Gpilnick says

    I made this a few days ago and am drinking my yummy lemonade as we speak.  It really is delicious and my kids love it. 

  7. Carol Procter says

    I have just made half quantities of this but forgot to measure the whey and tipped it in, will it be ok?

  8. Themommybug says

    I have a jar on my counter and I’m excited to give it a try tomorrow. Question, though… should I strain it before drinking? My juice had a lot of pulp and there’s a film on the top. Don’t want to remove anything I should be keeping in… Thanks!

  9. Ljonthebay says

    How do you know when it is ready?  I made some and it ended up with a bunch of black stuff in it.  So I figured that I left it out too long.

  10. Jallison says

    I made this a couple of days ago, it actually tastes nice, the kids drunk it under duress!

  11. Mconsuegra says

    So good! I am enjoying this lemonade thanks so much!! Even been using it to mix with my daily dose of apple cider vineger for added punch of tartness! Thanks again for your inspired and well informed outlook!

  12. Quadplus1mom says

    Made my second batch this week (the first batch was a hit when mixed with stevia sweetened iced tea for “Arnold Palmers”).  Question…I did not get it in the fridge last night (day 3), and when I came out this morning, there were three little pieces of mold floating on top.  I scooped them out, and stuck it in the fridge, but not sure if its safe.  Do you know?  Certainly don’t want to put any of us in danger, but hate to waste a gallon of it if it’s OK to drink.  Your thoughts?  Thanks!

      • Quadplus1mom says

        Thanks for your reply.  After I left my question, I searched around on other blogs a bit, and others said the same thing, so we drank it…no problem!  Thanks again.  Another question…I’m all out of lemons, but have some whey left that I would like to use up.  I do have oranges, is there any reason that I can’t make probiotic orange juice?

  13. Homeskoolmom says

    I LOVE that I’m giving my children healthy, good for them lemonade, instead of yucky stuff!  I have shared this recipe with several people since finding it!

    • Melissa says

      If it’s a thin white film it is most likely Kahm yeast. Completely harmless, but do skim or it will change the flavor of your ferment.

      • Jamie Campbell says

        I tried it — I don’t have a basis of comparison since as a vegan I can’t do the whey recipe, but, it seemed to turn out much as I’d expect fermented lemonade to turn out. Probably not to everyone’s taste (as the notes in the recipe say, it is indeed quite tart) but, I like it :)

  14. Rbrockrea says

    Can you use whey powder or will that not work? I happen to have some and no yogurt. It has no additives or added sugar, and it say it is “non-denatured, microfiltered pure whey.” What do you think?

  15. Freeheart says

    This sounds absolutely delicious am lactose intolerant. Was wondering if the whey would bother me. If
    so; do you have any suggestions of any thing else that I can add to help
    the fermentation process along?

  16. Shaleen says

    We made it for the first time this weekend. It doesn’t seem to taste tart at all and makes me wonder if it worked. You said to make sure the liquid is room temp before adding the whey. My home is usually at about 64 to 68 degrees during this time of year so my room tempature water is kind of cold. Can that affect the process?

  17. Heather says

    Didn’t read through all of the comments section, but wondered if you’ve had anyone talk about using plain water kefir in place of the whey? Would that work to culture/ferment veggies and/or make this lemonade? Thanks for your time!

  18. says

    I tried this………but I don’t know if it worked or not. My house is pretty cool- about 66 degrees, with this cold winter. I let this lemonade sit out for the 2 days, then tasted it and it is pretty sweet- doesn’t taste “fermented” in anyway. So then I started questioning if it needed more time out on the counter……I let it sit for about 5 days. No black stuff has grown on it. I took a sip and it is still tasting on the sweet side. Is that normal? Did the whey not work? Is it safe to consume after being out 5 days?

  19. Beverly says

    Could I use the liquid off of coconut milk….the “whey” type stuff for this. I can’t do dairy at all. Thanks.

    • Charity says

      Actually – I’ve seen at Whole Foods a liquid coconut whey that is living and that would work.
      Another thing that works, & would also make it a bit fizzy, is bakers yeast as well as brewers yeast.
      I’ve been making homemade ginger ale and lemonade with the “live active baker’s yeast” for years!

      This is the link for making the ginger ale. To make the lemonade version, simply omit the ginger and use 1cup of lemon juice for the 2liters. :)

  20. Amanda Colo says

    Is this safe to drink during pregnancy? I saw another blog with a similar recipe that said it turns to alcohol so not safe for pregnancy but I was skeptical because its just lemons and whey essentially.

  21. Rachel says

    I made the lemonade two days ago and tried it today. While it tastes great I’m not certain it’s fermented. I’m inexperienced with fermented foods especially drinks and even more so with making my own. It’s tart but also sweet. I added the molasses for the extra nutrients. How do I know I made it right? And that it has the probiotics?

  22. missy says

    Hi, I have candida (yeast overgrowth) and am looking for some probiotic recipes. but i should keep sugar out of my diet completely, do you think it would be alright to make this? you say the longer it ferments the less sugar it contains, what is the sugar transformed into? thanks :)

  23. Kalena says

    Hi Katie,
    I would like to give this a try but am uncertain about the whey and there is no link provided in the recipe like you had stated in a previous response.
    Could you provide that information? Thank you!

  24. Janet says

    I’m making a 1/2-batch (it’s on my countertop now). Can’t wait to try it! Have one question… It’s been 36 hours and I see there is a cloudy layer on top and some sediment in the bottom. Is that normal? And do I stir it all up before serving or strain it in some way? I’ve just never made anything like this before…

      • Janet says

        Thank you for answering! I’m hoping it turns out. I left it out yet today and will skim it and put it in the fridge when I get home which will almost be 3 days. I’m excited to see if it’s fizzy and how it tastes after it chills. I’m loving the fact that I can get some use out of my yogurt whey and make myself healthier to boot. I’ll let everyone know what I think after I’ve drank my first glass…. :-)

  25. Kat says

    Thanks for the recipe! I haven’t made the jump into keeping kombucha brewing, so it’s nice to have another option.
    I’m on day 3 and my mixture is very cloudy on the bottom 1/2 inch of the jar. I’m thinking this might be from the whey (my whey usually has some cloudiness no matter how I try). Should I be careful to just drink the lemony clear top or is the cloudiness just the fermented goodness to be shaken in and enjoyed?

  26. Lori says

    I make this but add the half teaspoon of nutmeg for hindu lemonade. I second ferment in Grolsch bottles with a quarter teaspoon of sucanat for 2 to 3 days then transfer to the fridge. It will get explosively carbonated! I’m talking the equivalent of opening champagne. It makes it both fun, yummy and a bit dangerous!

  27. Emily says

    After a day and a half on the counter, there are cloudy substances at the bottom of the jar. Since it’s not at the top, I can’t skim it. Have you had this happen? Should I try to strain it tomorrow?

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