Water Kefir - Chris Kresser wrote: Water kefir is a fermented probiotic beverage made using sugar water, juice, or coconut water. It’s delicious, and an especially good choice for those who have dairy aversions but are looking to incorporate more healthy bacteria into their diet using probiotic foods and beverages.
Water kefir tends to be fairly sweet, and can be flavored after fermentation with any combination of fruit (fresh or dried), fruit juice, and flavor extracts. (5) For example, a tasty lemonade-type drink can be made by adding 1/2 cup lemon juice to 2 quarts finished water kefir. (6)
- You needn’t be concerned with the amount of sugar that goes into making water kefir; the majority of this sugar is converted into carbon dioxide by the yeasts and bacteria present in the kefir grains.
- Only about 20% of the original amount of sugar remains after a 48-hour fermentation process. (7)
Cultures for Health (info below) sells the kefir grains required to make water kefir, and provides great information about how to make water kefir, flavoring ideas, and even recipes using water kefir as an ingredient. Water kefir is a perfect replacement for soda, is easy and inexpensive to make at home, and will keep you and your children happily refreshed during the hot summer days ahead.
Here's what Cultures for Health has to say and step by step directions are at the end:
Incredibly easy to brew, the starter culture can create a new batch of kefir every 24-48 hours. If you are looking to replace soda pop, your family will love it!
- Traditional heirloom-style kefir culture (aka "grains" due to appearance); not a powdered starter culture
- Gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan
- Reusable culture; makes a new batch of kefir every 24-48 hours
- With proper care, the culture can be used indefinitely to create delicious probiotic rich kefir
- Cultures on the counter at 67-80°F, no heating appliance required
- Can be used with sugar water, fruit juice and coconut water
Description: Kefir consists of lactic acid bacteria and yeast existing in a symbiotic relationship. The benefits are similar to those of milk kefir (aka dairy kefir) but the average person will be able to consume larger amounts of it due to it's water base. Click here for information on the numerous strains of yeast and bacteria generally known to comprise water kefir grains.
Please note, kefir grains may or may not multiply due to a number of factors but they can be used repeatedly to create wonderful carbonated beverages.
Ingredients: Organic Rapadura (sugar), Water.
Water Kefir Grains are manufactured in a facility that also processes dairy, soy, wheat, nut, and fish products. Water Kefir Grains are a vegan starter culture (no animal-by products).
Making Water Kefir: Complete Instructions
- To make a quart of water kefir, dissolve ¼ c. sugar in a small amount of hot water. If making two quarts of water kefir, use ½ cup of sugar. Add enough cool water to almost fill the jar leaving 1-2 inches of headspace.
- When the water has cooled to room temperature, add the kefirgrains. Cover the jar tightly with a towel and rubber band to keepout fruit flies and ants.
- Allow the kefir to culture for 24 to 48 hours. 24 hours will yield a sweeter water kefir. However, if you are sensitive to sugar,culture the kefir for 48 hours to give the grains a chance toconsume a larger portion of the sugar. Do not let the kefir grainsculture longer than 72 hours. As the kefir grains culture, you maynotice tiny bubbles forming and traveling to the water surface (donot be concerned if no bubbles appear, see below).
- Once the kefir has cultured for the desired period of time, strain off the finished liquid into a separate container (use a fine mesh plastic strainer if possible; stainless steel is acceptable if necessary) and cover with a tight lid. Finished water kefir does not require refrigeration, but can be refrigerated if you desire a cold beverage.
- Add the grains to a new batch of sugar water and proceed with your next batch.
Water Kefir Recipes from Cultures for Health
Water Kefir “Soda”
Make water kefir and remove the kefir grains. Combine four parts
water kefir and one part fruit juice in a truly air-tight bottle such as a
Grolsch-style flip cap bottle or an old wine bottle with a new cork.
Allow the mixture to sit for several days at room temperature before
refrigerating. Adding the juice continues to feed the live yeast and
bacteria in the water kefir (even though the kefir grains themselves
have been removed). This process creates gas and normally some level
of carbonation. Use caution when opening the bottle!
Coconut Water Kefir
Add the kefir grains to 1-2 quarts coconut water. Allow the mixture to
culture for 24-48 hours before removing the kefir grains.
Herbal Infusion Water Kefir
Mix one part finished water kefir (kefir grains removed) with one part
herbal infusion (e.g. Nettle Leaf, Red Raspberry Leaf, etc.). Herbal
infusions can be made by combining a handful of fresh or dried herbs
with one quart boiling water. Allow the herb and water mixture to sit
for 6+ hours. Be sure the herbal infusion is completely cooled prior to
mixing it with the finished water kefir.
Water Kefir Smoothie
Use water kefir as the liquid base in your favorite smoothie recipe.
Water Kefir Lemonade
Make water kefir and remove the kefir grains. Add ¼ cup lemon juice
to each quart of water kefir. Serve cold.
Orange Zest Water Kefir
Add the kefir grains and several strips of organic orange zest (not the
juice) to a standard batch of sugar water. It is important to use an
organic orange to avoid exposing the kefir grains to pesticides. Allow
the water kefir grains to culture 24-48 hours. Remove and discard the
orange zest. Remove the kefir grains and serve the kefir cold.
Cream Soda Water Kefir
Make water kefir and remove the kefir grains. Add 2-3 tsp. quality
vanilla extract per quart of water kefir
Blueberry-Pomegranate Water Kefir
Make water kefir and remove the kefir grains. Add ½ cup blueberrypomegranate
juice per quart of water kefir. Serve cold. Variation: Use
cherry juice or your favorite juice flavor.
Raspberry Juice Water Kefir
Add kefir grains to 1-2 quarts of organic raspberry juice. Allow the
juice to culture for 24-48 hours. Please note, a longer fermentation
period will yield a higher alcohol content due to the amount of sugar in
the juice. Please use good judgment if serving kefired juice to children.
Fruit Flavored Water Kefir
Make water kefir and remove the kefir grains. Add fresh or dried fruit
to the water kefir. If using fresh fruit, change the fruit out every 24
hours; dried fruit can be changed out as infrequently as once a week.
Allow the fruit and kefir to sit for 1-7 days. Remove and discard the
fruit. Please note, water kefir can be cultured and flavored it at the
same time by having both fruit and kefir grains sitting in the sugar
water. If using this method be sure to use low acidic fruits (i.e. avoid
pineapple, orange, etc.) and confine either the kefir grains or the fruit
in a small cloth bag to avoid the disintegrating fruit becoming
intertwined with the kefir grains. Be sure to keep the cloth bag
submerged in the liquid to avoid attracting mold!