Monday, February 15, 2016

Water Kefir: The Super Soda

Kefir kefir kefir. Oh Kefir. The past two weeks have been quite an adventure. KEFIR HAS BEEN QUITE AN ADVENTURE. But, one that my husband and girls and I have sure enjoyed! It is pretty fun figuring these little grains out. We drink a lot of milk kefir in my house. About two bottles a week. So, when I found out we could make it and that it was even healthier than the stuff in the stores (with over half of the bacteria strains than found in store bought kefir and multiple beneficial yeast strains, which are not found in store bought kefir), and save a bunch of bucks! I was all there. I called and talked to my awesome sister to tell her about my wanting to start making milk kefir, and she is the one who told me about water kefir. So, here we are now with 2 quarts of it culturing as we speak, 4 bottles sitting out with delicious juice in them fizzing away and 3 bottles in the fridge! Milk kefir, we are just figuring out, and it has definitely been an interesting journey. But water kefir has been a breeze! Water kefir (obviously) is not milk based so if you can't drink milk kefir because of milk allergies try this stuff out. It doesn't have as many strains of probiotics and yeasts, but it does have more than yogurt and buttermilk, and SODA!!! Water kefir naturally produces electrolytes so it is also a much better option than all those overly sweetened sports drink out there. You seriously gotta try it out. We bought our water kefir grains from and they are working great. This website is amazing and has a PLETHORA of information on naturally cultured probiotic rich foods and drinks like milk kefir, water kefir, yogurt, kombucha, cheese and so much more. Check them out! It is like entering a new world.

So, a little more on the water kefir. You make it with water, sugar, and the water kefir grains. The water kefir grains actually consume the sugar, and produce the good bacterias. You can use regular table sugar, or organic sugar or rapidura, just not honey because honey is naturally antibacterial and therefor kills the good bacterias. That is something I wanted to say right up front, because we use honey for everything and would have easily tried to sub that in ha ha! We generally let the water kefir grains sit in the water for two days. You can do less, but if you do the extra day, the more sugar gets consumed by the grains and more beneficial bacteria is made, it just doesn't taste as sweet. After that, you strain out the water kefir grains (with a cheesecloth or plastic colander or stainless steal colander) and put the water back into the jar(and add your flavoring if you want it, using either fresh fruit or pure fruit juice) and let it sit out for another day or two. Doing this is what adds fizziness to the water and makes it like soda. Then, bottle it in a glass jar and seal it tightly in the fridge, and enjoy! Healthy, delicious, super soda! Like I said, visit Cultures for Health to read more about all of this.

Don't replace drinking water with this. Treat it like any other juice. Drink it sometimes, and drink plain water often! ;)