- Tepache is a fermented and refreshing drink made from the peels and cores of fruits like pineapple and apple.
- Because it’s made from fruit, this beverage is even more nutritious than kombucha, its popular tea counterpart.
- Pineapple tepache, which is now a trendy drink in Mexican bars, has been found to promote gut health and provide probiotic benefits.
What is tepache?
Tepache is a popular fermented drink originating in Mexico. Made from pineapple scraps, it is a drink more nutritious than its fermented tea cousin kombucha. If you love your kombucha, tepache can serve as another option.
Read on to learn more about this refreshing healthy treat, its health benefits as well as a tepache home recipe shared by Su-Nui Escobar, our registered dietitian nutritionist.
A tasty drink made from discards
Tepache can be made from the rind and cores of other fruits like apples, she says. Pineapple is one of the most popular tepaches. Often mixed in craft cocktails, it is now trendy in Mexico City bars and restaurants.
Tepache and nutrition
Because it’s made from fruit, the Mexican drink is packed with nutrients such as manganese, vitamin C, phosphorus, and calcium. Escobar adds that it also contains bromaline along with other enzymes that boosts intestinal health including digestion. Antioxidants, which help with so many things, are also found in tepaches.
How do fermented foods help your microbiome?
Tepaches as well as fermented foods help the microbiome, the community of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms that live on and inside the body, to flourish, says Escobar.
“The fermentation process creates these microorganisms. Specifically, it starts to develop strains of probiotics which are like the beneficial bacteria for our gastrointestinal system,” certified sports nutritionist and health coach Jeremy Partl explains.
Also, prebiotics like lactoferrin that ramps up good bacteria growth is produced in the process.
Tepache used as an ancient food preservative
For centuries, fermentation has been used to preserve food and drink. Examples of this include making cheese and yogurt from milk, kimchi from cabbage, and wine from grapes or beer from grain.
Fermentation involves enzymes that break down glucose and other molecules in the absence of oxygen and produce ethyl alcohol, carbon dioxide and other byproducts.
Though there are so many lab studies on fermented foods, only a few human trials have probed into its effects on health, according to reviewed studies in the journal Nutrients in 2019.
In spite of this, one randomized controlled trial showed that kefir, a fermented milk drink, enhances lactose absorption and helps eliminate Helicobacter pylori, the ulcer-triggering bacterium.
Be aware of your sugar intake
Though you can drink tepache every day, know that it does contain sugar. Taking that into account, be aware of how much sugar you are consuming and try balancing your amounts with your overall diet.
Escobar also advises that some brands of pre-made tepache may contain more sugar than you want.
HERE’S HOW TO MAKE TEPACHE AT HOME, ACCORDING TO ESCOBAR’S FAMILY RECIPE.
- 2 liters of water
- 1 cone of piloncillo (8 ounces) or 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 pineapple (peels and core only)
- 1 cinnamon stick
Heat water in a large pot until it begins to boil. Take the pot from the stove and add piloncillo or brown sugar and let it dissolve. Transfer contents to a large glass jar enough to accommodate all the ingredients.
Discard the crown of the pineapple. Wash the outside of the pineapple with water first before peeling. Add the peels to the jar.
Cut the core and add it to the water and piloncillo/sugar mixture. (Store or eat the peeled fruit.)
Add the cinnamon stick and cover jar with a cheesecloth or kitchen towel to let air into the drink. Let the mixture rest for two or three days. Serve with ice.
Source: The Healthy