For a long time, yoghurt drinks were the only type of liquid probiotics in our part of the world. However, the range has expanded significantly in recent years and probiotic drinks are now made from ingredients other than milk.

Many people drink probiotics to boost their immune system. In the wake of the “functional foods” trend, probiotic drinks have also become a hot topic in recent years.

They are all fermented in one way or another and thus contain microorganisms, which are believed to carry health benefits. Kombucha is one of the best-known fermented drinks. It is made with a simple fermentation process that uses black tea, sugar and a gelatinous mushroom-like culture called a scoby. Much like water kefir, which is made with small kefir grains, also known as crystals. Simply add them to water along with sugar and dried fruit, and within a few days you have a fresh, slightly fizzy and slightly sweet beverage. You can buy a kombucha scoby and water kefir cultures, and experiment at home.

Slightly newer on the scene are probiotic drinks made from fermented vegetables. The wonderful thing about these drinks is that they don’t contain granulated sugar. This type of drink is made from the liquid used to ferment sauerkraut and the like. The liquid contains lots of active bacteria and so it would be a shame to see it go to waste.

One of the few suppliers of this type of probiotic drink in Switzerland is the “Pure Taste” fermentation factory in Basel, which has recently started offering its brine online in drink form. Of course, you can also produce fermentation brine at home by making your own sauerkraut or kimchi

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