There is a myriad of health benefits associated with the curcumin component of turmeric, including inhibition of colon, gastric and breast cancers. Unfortunately, turmeric in its raw form is not easily assimilated into the body, making it a challenge to increase the bioavailability of this superfood. One of my favorite ways to ferment turmeric is to make a “turmeric bug” which is similar to the ginger bug used to make ginger soda.
Raw turmeric root (I found mine at Whole Foods) is combined with water and sugar to create a starter that can be used in a multitude of ways. (See How to Make a Turmeric Bug.) One of our family favorites is Turmeric Lime Soda.
o Fill 1/2 gallon mason jar with water allowing 1-2 inches of headroom
o Add 1/2 cup turmeric bug, 1/2 cup lime juice, and 3/4 cup sugar.
o Place on shelf away from direct sunlight.
o Cover with cloth and rubber band. This fermented beverage involves yeast as well as bacteria which means that oxygen is required. (For more on aerobic and anaerobic fermentation see Water Kefir: Oxygen or No Oxygen.)
o Allow fermenting for approximately 3 days. Some remaining sweetness is desired as the second fermentation will decrease the sugar further.
o Strain and pour into flip top bottles or airtight container. (A Fido jar or airlock is optimal.) This step increases the carbonation which makes the drink fizzy!
o Allow fermenting another day or two until desired taste is achieved. *Ginger bug may be used along with the turmeric bug to add flavor. Lemon juice may be substituted for lime juice.