Old-school root beer: sassafras, allspice, ginger, wild cherry bark, vanilla beans, sarsaparilla, licorice, molasses
Modern-day root beer: artificial flavors, benzoate anions
Side effects of old-school ingredients: detoxifies organs, purifies blood, stimulates digestion, kills bacteria, pain reliever, astringent
Side effects of modern-day ingredients: allergies, asthma, gastric upset, hyperactivity, migranes, nausea
We’ve come a long way, baby…in the wrong direction. Will the real root beer please stand up?
Root beer has been made for centuries. Termed “small beer”, the first concoctions were a collection of herbs and spices tossed together and simmered. This powerful medicinal concoction was first carbonated in 1876, and as the food industry grew more mechanized and concerned with shelf life, artificial flavors and preservatives began to replace the potent and benevolent plant forces present in the original drink. How lucky for us that we can still make our own!
Although I’ve never been a soda fiend, I know plenty of people who love to have a sweet, crisp, bubbly and fluid taste in their mouths. If you fall under that category but you are focused on losing weight, never fear. You can indulge in this scrumptious homemade root beer, enjoying an ancient tradition while keeping your blood sugar stable AND filling your body with miraculous beneficial herbal medicine.
3 Tbsp. sarsaparilla root (about 1/2 ounce)
1 Tbsp. licorice root
1 qt. purified water
2-3 tsp. dried Stevia leaf -OR-
3-4 Stevia teabags
2 qts. carbonated water
Simmer the sarsaparilla and licorice root in the quart of water for about 45 minutes. DO NOT BOIL – it brings out bitter principles. Add the Stevia leaf or teabags and simmer for 15 minutes longer.
Strain the plant material and return the pan to the burner. Simmer on very low until liquid is reduced to half. Remove from heat and strain through a cheesecloth. Will be left with about 12 ounces of concentrate. Chill in refrigerator.
Add two ounces of concentrate to 10-12 ounces carbonated water. Add Stevia extract to taste, if more sweetener is desired.
Yield: About 6 large glasses
Suggestion: May use 2 tbsp. of sarsaparilla and 2 tbsp. licorice root OR add any other barks or herbs of your choice.
(This recipe from BAKING WITH STEVIA, BOOK 2)