What tastes better than kombucha, but works just as well?
Water kefir is a fermented beverage full of probiotics, enzymes and good yeast. All of these are essential for healthy digestive and immune systems. You can buy it in bottles, but you can also make your own. I think the taste is way better when you make it yourself. It is a process that does take some time, especially in the beginning. If you have a lot of digestive trouble or immune problems, I highly recommend it. Buying a bottle at $3+ every day can get expensive, but buying the kefir grains costs very little and you use them over and over.
It took a long time for me to figure out and come to terms with all of my food and chemical allergies. During that time, a lot of damage was done to my digestive track. Drinking kombucha and water kefir daily helped to repair my digestive track and cleanse my liver, kidneys and blood stream. Water kefir tastes like a grown up soda. It has a slight tang. You can flavor with any fruit you like. My favorite is raspberry and lime. Berries are in season right now as well. To flavor with juice is extra easy and my favorite juice is pomegranate, but I think tart cherry would also be great.
You will need
4 tbsp of kefir grains
4 cups spring water or well water (not chlorinated or fluoridated)
a plastic strainer
two glass jars
something to put over the glass jar so your grains can breathe, and a lid that closes for jar #2
4 tbsp sugar
Fruit or juice of your choice.
Every few batches a pinch of mineral salt like pink himalayan or grey french salt added to jar #1
If you get your grains delivered in the mail it will probably take two or three batches to get the grains to work properly, so just throw out your first batch or two after the first fermentation making sure to save the grains in your plastic strainer. You need to put them in room temperature water with the sugar and cover with the breathable top. After 24-48 hours smell the jar. iI should smell yeasty and you will see tiny bubbles coming up from the bottom.
Once they are working properly, strain the kefir into jar #2. Put the grain back into jar #1and start a new batch.
Now add your juice or fruit to jar #2 and close tight with a lid to create the carbonated effect. I use a handful of frozen raspberries and squeeze half a lime. Easier than that, I also just add 1/4 cup of juice in other batches. The kefir grains will eat the sugar, so it will not be as sweet as you think. The longer you ferment with the fruit, the less sweet your drink will be, but be careful because if you let it sit too long it will end up with an alcohol content. It can also spray the ceiling if it gets overly carbonated.
This is the video I watched to learn how to make water kefir. Even though I have written the directions, I wanted to include this video so you can see that it is not as time consuming as it seems.
Here is where I got my grains. The best price out there. The dehydrated grains took too long to get going. I liked the live grains. http://www.keysands.com/water-kefir/
Please let me know if you have any questions. Leave a comment below with your favorite flavors if you have ever made it.