It’s the high season for cool, slushy drinks. Nina Planck, author of several Real Food cookbooks, says her fermented watermelon basil cooler illustrates one of her key principles: when she processes food, she does it in ways that enhance nutrition, flavor, and shelf life.
Nina's recipe for fermented watermelon basil cooler (Makes two quarts)
- 8–10 lb watermelon
- 8–10 Meyer lemons
- small bunch of Genovese basil
- 1/4 c organic whole cane sugar
- 1/4 c fresh whey
- 1 T unrefined sea salt
- 3 c water
- Make 3 cups of watermelon juice in a blender or food processor. Don’t strain the pulp.
- Squeeze 1 cup of lemon juice.
- Take 1/2 cup of basil leaves and gently bruise them using a mortar and pestle to release the oil.
- Put all the ingredients in a 2-quart glass jar, cover with water, and close the lid tightly.
- Stir and leave out at room temperature for 3 days. Allow a little carbonation to escape when necessary and replace the cap firmly. Chill and serve. Keeps up to 2 weeks in the fridge.