Felicity Evans: Probiotic drinks at home

How did you discover probiotic drinks?
I had a health crisis and needed to heal myself. My research brought me to the importance of gut health and probiotics in overall wellness. So, with a baby strapped to my chest and another at my heels, I started to ferment drinks in the hope of them improving my health – and they worked.I wanted fermentation and probiotics to be more accessible to people and presented in a way that was beautiful, fresh, concise and easy to follow – so I wrote this book.

What role do probiotics play in gut health? Why is gut health important?
Your gut is one of the most important and undervalued parts of your body. The gut is responsible for so many varied roles: hormone production and storage, digestion and absorption of nutrients from food, elimination, immunity, and glowing skin. Seriously, life starts in your gut. Probiotics translates to “for life” and they are the good bacteria that we all need to help us look and feel our best.

How do you come up with the different recipes?
It was actually one of the most fun parts of writing the book. I loved taste-testing with my daughters, friends and family, and coming up with the perfect amount of fizz, flavour and health. It was sometimes frustrating, but fun most of the time. I actually start by thinking about the superfoods and benefits I want the drink to impart (e.g. drinks for detox, freshness, digestion or calming qualities) and then work backwards from that.

What was the most challenging part about writing this book?
Blending being a wife, mother, CEO and writer, all at the same time certainly required a lot of grit and tenacity to get it all done.

What are the most common misconceptions about making probiotic drinks?
It has to be that making probiotic drinks is easy to mess up. The cultures and methods have been made for thousands of years – we just need to have the patience to incorporate them into our modern lifestyles. Most of the cultures are very resilient and can cope with some neglect.

What is it about making probiotic drinks that you love the most?
I love to witness the transformation of a flat collection of ingredients turn into fizzy, delicious probiotic elixirs. It’s a special kind of magic.

Some newbies might not know where to buy some of the ingredients in your book. Where would you recommend they pick them up?
All the cultures are available from my website imbibeliving.com. In terms of the ingredients, I made it all very accessible, so everything can be bought from your major supermarkets, or found in your local community garden.

What are your favourite recipes from your book and why?
I love the Lovers Honey Mead, because it’s so sensual. I love the watermelon and mint water kefir, as it’s perfect for a hot summer day and so incredibly cooling on the body. I also love the Roots Beet Kvass, because it is so purifying and liver cleansing.

What three easy recipes would you recommend for those who have never made a probiotic drink?
I would start with the Earl Grey Kombucha, Vanilla and Honey Milk Kefir and Basic Water Kefir.

What do you hope readers will get out of this book?
I hope all they need is a pinch of patience and a spoonful of curiosity to get started.

Probotic Drinks at Home by Felicity Evans is available through Murdoch Books (RRP $27.99).

Interview by: Manveen Maan

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