Edible Juice Bubbles
This recipe is featured in Kitchen Science: Edible Juice Bubbles
- 118 ml (1/2 cup) pulp-free juice or tinted water
- 1.3 ml (1/4 teaspoon) sodium alginate (seaweed based)
- 5 ml (1 teaspoon) calcium lactate
- Small , medium and large bowls — approximate sizes: 473 ml (2 cup), 946 ml (4 cup), and 1420 ml (6 cup)
- 1.3 ml (1/4 teaspoon) and 2.5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) measuring spoons
- Immersion blender or electric beater
- Sieve (optional but useful)
- 5 ml (1 teaspoon) measuring spoon with a deep bowl or other small spoon
- Syringe (optional but useful)
- Slotted spoon
- Line the bowls up in order of size. Put the pulp-free juice or tinted water into the smallest bowl and add the sodium alginate to the liquid. Use an immersion blender or electric beater to completely dissolve the sodium alginate. Set the mixture aside to allow air bubbles to dissipate.
2. Add 473 ml (2 cups) of cold water to the medium bowl. Whisk in the calcium lactate. It may not completely dissolve but whisk for a few minutes to get the majority of it to dissolve.
3. Add 946 ml (4 cups) of cold water to the largest bowl and set the sieve over top so that most of the sieve is under water. The sieve is not essential but it can make it easier to scoop out the water or juice bubbles after they’ve been rinsed.
4. Using a 5 ml (1 teaspoon) measuring spoon with a deep bowl or another small spoon, scoop up a full spoonful of the first mixture (the juice or tinted water + sodium alginate) which should feel slightly gelled. Very carefully drop the gelled mixture into the second bowl (containing the cold water and calcium lactate mixture). It will take a little practice to get perfectly round spheres but the odd shapes taste the same and can be rather fun looking! If you want to make really tiny bubbles or pearls, to garnish a dish, using a syringe is the easiest way to accomplish this. Fill the syringe with the gelled mixture then dispense a drop at a time into the second bowl.
5. Repeat the above steps (scooping and dropping or suctioning and dispensing) until you have a number of juice bubbles in the middle bowl, but not too many as you want to avoid overcrowding as that may cause the bubbles to stick together. Using a finger or a small spoon, gently stir the liquid around the bubbles for three minutes, keeping the bubbles gently in motion.
Using the slotted spoon, carefully transfer the bubbles to the third bowl to stop the chemical reaction and rinse them off. Gently place the bubbles on a plate and repeat with the remaining sodium alginate + juice (or tinted water) mixture. Your bubbles will now be ready to carefully pick up, jiggle and, of course, pop into your mouth! They’ll feel a little slimy but will taste just fine.