What is water kefir?
Kefir is made from grains that are made up of strains of living bacteria and yeast. To make the kefir grains grow, you put them into an environment that they thrive in - sugar water. They live and grow on sugar and as they eat the sugar, they produce lactic acid, alcohol, and carbon dioxide, which yields a fermented carbonated beverage. Think of it as a healthy good-for-you soda! It has a pleasant, champagne-like taste and can be compared to kombucha, but a little lighter.
Why drink it?
It kills all the bad stuff that can make you sick! Bad bacteria can cause bacterial overgrowth that can lead to many illnesses some of which include fungi, yeast infections, indigestion, obesity, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn’s Disease, skin disorders, etc. By drinking water kefir you will bring balance to your internal microflora.
Water kefir is anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, anti-cholestrol, anti-ulcer and pro-immune system.
Easily digested, it cleanses the intestines, provides beneficial bacteria and yeast, vitamins and minerals, and complete proteins. Because kefir is such a balanced and nourishing food, it contributes to a healthy immune system and has been used to help patients suffering from AIDS, chronic fatigue syndrome, herpes, and cancer. Its tranquilizing effect on the nervous system has benefited many who suffer from sleep disorders, depression, and ADHD.
The regular use of kefir can help relieve all intestinal disorders, promote bowel movement, reduce flatulence and create a healthier digestive system. In addition, its cleansing effect on the whole body helps to establish a balanced inner ecosystem for optimum health, clearer skin, longevity and a better feeling overall.
Kefir can also help eliminate unhealthy food cravings by making the body more nourished and balanced. Its excellent nutritional content offers healing and health-maintenance benefits to people in every type of condition.
How do you make it?
Well first you need some live grains. They run about $10-$15 and will last a lifetime. They are very easily attainable on the internet. Just type in water kefir grains for sale and I'm sure you will find a number of sources. I am a big fan of Zoe from Rawbundant, so for now I'm going to link you up to her site - http://zoevblog.com/kefir-grains/
She demonstrates how to make water kefir at my local health food store and sells fresh bottled water kefir in many stores in the Tri-state area. You will be guaranteed to get a fresh healthy batch from her :)
How often do I drink it?
Everyday if you'd like! As with anything new, you want to start slow and let your body adjust. You should start with just a tablespoon a day and work up from there.
Filtered or spring water
Water kefir grains
Organic cane sugar
Sucanat, raw sugar or coconut palm sugar
Unsweetened, unsulfured dried fruit (apricots, figs or raisins)
Organic lemon (optional)
Plastic measuring spoons
8-cup (1/2 gallon) Ball Mason jar
*(do not use metal utensils, the grains will not be happy if you do)
ratios are 1-1-1
1 cup filtered or bottled water
1 tablespoon kefir grains
1 tablespoon sugar
For one quart size jar:
6 Cups of water
6-8 Tbsp. kefir grains
4 Tbsp. organic cane sugar
2 Tbsp. coconut palm sugar
4 pieces of dried apricots and figs
2 lemon wedges
1. First dissolve sugar in your jarred water by stirring with a plastic spoon.
2. Add your kefir grains.
3. Add the fruit and lemon slices. Make sure if not using organic lemons, to peel outer skin!
4. Cover the jar with a paper towel and secure with a rubber band. This will allow the grains to breathe.
5. Leave on counter for 24 hours.
|Before fermenting After 24 hours|
*A good indication that the fermentation process is taking place, is when the fruit floats to the top.
6. Strain and remove kefir grains from jar.
7. Flavor your water kefir with whatever fruits you want. If using dried, make sure they are unsulphured!
8. Allow to ferment on counter covered with a paper towel for another 24 hours.
For this batch I used dried cherries. I added just a small handful.
....and 24 hours later it turned into a beautiful cherry red soda! Look at the bubbles from the carbonation!
If it's not sweet enough for your taste buds or too alcohol-tasting, you can add fruit juice or even a small amount of sugar to it. Add lid and store in fridge.
Many people say that they tolerate drinking the kefir best in the mornings. This mini mug is a perfect amount for me until I can work up to a full glass!
What to do with your kefir grains that you strained:
You can keep them alive by storing them in fridge in a small baggie filled with sugar water - using the same ration as above (1-1-1). They will stay alive on this mixture for one week, then its time to change out the sugar water to keep them fresh.
If this at all is confusing in any way please watch these informative videos :)
Part 1 Making the water kefir
Part 2 Flavoring the water kefir
With this information, I hope you can start making your own water kefir very soon - I highly recommend it for attaining good health and happy intestines!