Water kefir… My other babies
Everyone who walks into my kitchen usually ends up asking, “what’s that?” referring to the half gallon container on my counter. And I respond by saying ” My other babies”.
Water Kefir, is a living drink. It is a fermented, cultured beverage and a natural soda. Just like making yogurt or other cultures foods, it requires the proper environment/nutrients, and a bacterial/culture starter. Kefir is made by using kefir grains, and feeding them sugar water.
Kefir water is a great way to get some probiotics into your gut and your day. Kefir water contains various strains of healthy and necessary gut bacteria such as : Species Lactobacillus, L. brevis, L. casei, L. hilgardii, L. hordei, L. nagelii, Species Leuconostoc, L. citreum, L. mesenteroides, Species Acetobacter, A. fabarum, A. orientalis, Species Streptococcus, S. lactis and Yeasts such as, Hanseniaospora valbyensis, Lachancea fermentati, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Zygotorulaspora ﬂorentina.
There are fewer strains compared to dairy kefir yet still more strains than other cultured foods such as yogurt or buttermilk.
A healthy gut flora is important for digestion and brain function, and therefore helps concentration, IBS, constipation, mood and so much more.
It is very easy to do, yummy and refreshing. It takes about 2 minutes a day of love and attention.
Step 1-First you must get your hands on some kefir grains. There are 2 ways to do so. First, and my favorite way, is to find someone like me who has grains at home, and as they grow there is plenty to share; or second, you can purchase some here at Cultures for health.
Step 2– Fill a quart mason jar with 1/4 cup of organic sugar ( I add either Sucanat sugar, or organic cane sugar with approx. 1 tbsp molasses). Stir and dissolve the sugar in water. Once dissolved, add grains!
Step 3– 24-48 Hours later, you will strain out the grains using a small strainer (preferably no metal) into your bottles and add your flavor of choice to your prepared kefir water. Let it sit for another 24 – 48 hrs for a 2nd fermentation – or drink it as is depending on your preference for fizz.
Step 4– Make another batch of sugar water and add your strained kefir grains to it.
So now you have 1 batch flavored and ready and 1 batch fermenting!
Voila! that’s it!
Some of my kids favorites are: Grape soda, apple cinnamon, ginger, and lemonade. There are so many options and it’s so fun to play with them.
Here is a great tutorial on flavoring. And here is a link to FAQ.
For variation, you can certainly use coconut water as your base without the sugar, but this requires that you switch back and forth with sugar water as the grains could starve otherwise.
Leave me a comment with your favorite recipe or your questions and I’ll be happy to answer them.
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