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Blueberry Switchel is the perfect hydrating beverage for summer time, or after physical exertion — refreshing and delicious!
My kids literally line up for this healthy probiotic drink, and my husband loves it too.
The combination of rich berries, spicy ginger, tangy vinegar and scant balancing sweetener (+ a few optional ingredients) will have you making this quick treat often this sunny season.
Blueberry Switchel is perfect for most diets and great for Paleo, AIP, Keto, Vegan, GAPS and VAD.
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What is switchel?
Traditionally, this historic brew only has a few necessary ingredients: honey or maple syrup, ginger, apple cider vinegar and water.
When we add fresh or frozen defrosted blueberries, the drink is extra enticing! So pretty, fruity and yes, people line up for it.
WHAT IS SWITCHEL GOOD FOR?
Both ginger and apple cider vinegar are hydrating, allowing the body to assimilate water better.
Traditionally, switchels were served to field workers to keep them healthy during long, hot days of labor.
Historically, switchels trace back to various regions, including the Mediterranean, China and Israel. They were also very popular in the early Americas.
What’s fun is that switchels are also delicious. Switchels are so refreshing, providing almost instant nourishment.
We now add fruits and herbs to switchels to further enhance their flavor profile and their fun appeal! I know you’ll love this variation with blueberries!
When and how much switchel to make
I not only make Blueberry Switchel for my boys on ordinary days and when they’re working hard in the sun, it’s a festive party drink that’s alcohol-free and special.
If you choose to make it for a party, my only tip is to: at least double the recipe. If you’re serving folks who love natural foods, you likely will not have enough. I always run out when I make this for parties.
Flavor variations: add lavender, basil, rosemary
If you’re someone who loves flowery herbs, see the Notes section below the recipe for the Lavender-Blueberry Switchel variation to this recipe. You may use fresh or dried lavender.
You may also:
- Steep fresh basil or rosemary in this recipe, instead of or in addition to lavender.
- Serve with fresh lemon or lime wedges.
- Add extra ginger for a spicier drink.
The Keto version of this recipe
Blueberry Switchel has 6 grams net carbs as is. So it’s already low carb. But not everyone wants a beverage with that many carbs.
So if you want to lower the carbs even more, you can do a helpful trick: and that’s to sub some of the blueberries and water for … blueberry tea! You’ll use just one cup of blueberries in this recipe (instead of two), and you’ll make a nice sweet blueberry tea to sub in for 4 cups of the water — soo delicious!
Here are 2 tea brands to choose from:
- Wild Blueberry (contains black tea and caffeine, as well as the blueberry flavor)
- True Blueberry (an herbal blueberry tea with great flavor but no caffeine)
This lowers the net carbs to 3 per glass. If you want only 1 net carb per glass, omit all of the blueberries completely, and use just tea for the flavor. 🙂
Is switchel alcoholic
Historically and usually, switchel is non-alcoholic.
But it was consumed by the first American east coast college students with alcohol added.
Many people use switchel because it’s a great alternative to alcoholic drinks.
How much Blueberry Switchel should you drink a day?
That depends on how active you are. Blueberry Switchel is almost like a natural Gatorade, but heartier.
You don’t need too much if you’re just sitting around in the shade — one lovely glass.
But if you’re an active kid or out working in the sun, you might enjoy two full glasses …
What are the benefits of switchel?
- Keeps you hydrated and energized!
- Helps to restore electrolytes. Electrolytes are minerals that carry an electrical charge and are needed for energy.
- Provides a daily dose of apple cider vinegar and thus, can aid digestion when enjoyed with a meal.
- Aids digestion, detox and more: The high content of ginger in all switchels is great for these purposes.
- Whatever you sweeten your switchel with may have its own benefits, for example, raw honey.
Blueberry Switchel (Paleo, AIP, Keto)
- large pitcher
- strainer optional (fine mesh sieve)
- 6 cups filtered water divided, preferably warm or room temperature; for the Keto version of this recipe, you may sub 4 cups of the water for blueberry tea made with this tea (and then omit all or half of the blueberries [for 1 to 3g net carbs]).
- 2 cups blueberries fresh or frozen (defrosted); for Keto, you may wish to use just 1 cup berries, or none, and see above note: sub water for blueberry tea.
- ⅓ cup honey or maple syrup; for Keto: use liquid low carb sweetener, like allulose (For Keto, or if you like it sweeter, you may also add stevia, to taste.)
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons fresh ginger minced, or 2 teaspoons dried
- optional for herbal version: 2 Tablespoons fresh or dried lavender or multiple branches of fresh basil or rosemary see Notes section below for these variations
- Combine the following ingredients in blender: 2 cups water, blueberries, sweetener, apple cider vinegar and ginger.
- Purée on medium speed until blueberry skins are teeny, about 50 seconds.
- Pour purée through fine mesh colander into a larger bowl, whisking to expedite the process. You'll have the tiny solids left behind (blueberry skins, seeds and ginger solids), and the clearer liquid in the bowl.
- Pour liquid into tall 8-cup mason jar (see link below in Recipe Notes). Add final 4 cups water. Stir, and serve immediately. Or, leave out on the counter for a minimum of 4 hours, but preferably overnight, to increase the probiotics.
- Chill and serve.
Find a set of two 8-cup mason jars HERE.
Lavender-Blueberry Switchel variation
- Combine the following ingredients in blender: 2 cups water, blueberries, honey, apple cider vinegar, ginger and lavender.
- Purée on medium speed until blueberry skins are teeny, about 50 seconds. Add lavender and blend briefly again, about 10 seconds.
- Pour into tall 8-cup mason jar. Add final 4 cups water. Stir, and leave out on the counter for a minimum of 4 hours, but preferably overnight.
- After 4 hours or overnight, pour switchel through fine mesh colander into a large bowl, whisking to expedite the process. You'll have the tiny solids left behind (blueberry skins, seeds, ginger & lavender solids), and the clearer liquid in the bowl.
- Pour strained switchel into mason jar or pitcher to serve.
- Chill and serve.
Find organic dried lavender HERE.
Basil or Rosemary variationsIn Step 4 of the main recipe above, add branches of fresh basil or fresh rosemary to your mason jar, so they're fully submerged. Leave out at warm room temperature to steep overnight. Then, chill, and serve (straining out herbs).
The following nutritional data is for the Keto version of the recipe that uses just 1 cup of blueberries and subs in blueberry tea for 4 cups of the water. (You may also remove all of the fresh blueberries if preferred, and use only the tea for flavor, for 1g net carbs.)
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Have you made switchel before?
Read more about the history of switchels and get another lovely recipe (Strawberry-Basil!) HERE.
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