"...what a person accomplishes in life is directly correlated with the people around them." - John Berardi

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Water Kefir

Yes, it's true. The snow is FINALLY melting here in MA! I've pretty much been a giddy little school girl with the sun actually shining and not needing to wear a big coat everywhere. That's definitely my gratitude for the day, warmer weather! Anyway...

So here's a new one I've been playing around with a bit... Water Kefir! It's a really easy way to get some more probiotics into your diet. Why would we care to do that? For a healthy gut of course! We're learning more and more these days about the connection between a healthy gut and overall health :)

I got mine kefir grains on Amazon and they have been doing great! I've shared some with my mother and mother-in-law, as these little babies multiply quickly! It's kind of fun to watch them "swim" around in the jar as they do their thing too. They've pretty much become my "pet" kefir now :D I'd love to hear about what you try with this one!

Water Kefir

Hydrated Water Kefir Grains (a minimum of 2 teaspoons)
¼ cup sugar (e.g. organic unprocessed Rapadura sugar, don't use honey)
1 quart of non-chlorinated, filtered water (I use distilled water)
1/2 cup + 1/4 cup organic juice (if making the water kefir carbonated)

1. Dissolve the sugar in a small amount of hot filtered water.
2. When the sugar is dissolved, fill the rest of the jar with cool 1 quart of filtered water and make sure the water is not warm (room temperature).
3. Add the hydrated water kefir grains
4. Cover with towel, cheesecloth, or coffee filter and a rubber band to keep invaders out!
My swimming "pet" kefir ready to be strained after 48 hrs
5. Leave on the counter (preferably at 70-75 degrees & not in direct sunlight) for 48 hours. Leaving it out longer than this can starve the grains.
6. After 48 hours (the longer fermenting time keeps the carbs low since the grains are feeding off the sugar), strain the water kefir grains through a bamboo or mesh strainer (avoid using metal if you can help it) by pouring the liquid into another container. I use a quart jar for the first process and strain into a half gallon jar.
7. Restart the process by dissolving more sugar in a small amount of hot filtered water (see step 1) and then add to the first container (wash thoroughly between batches) with a new quart of filtered cool water and the Water Kefir Grains (rinsed).

For Less Fizzy Water Kefir
Healthy, multiplying kefir grains after straining & rinsing
Squeeze some fresh lemon juice (tastes like lemonade) or some pure vanilla extract (club soda effect) into the strained water kefir and then refrigerate & enjoy. 

To make the Water Kefir "carbonated"
8. Pour 1/2 cup of fruit juice into the water kefir you just strained. Grape, Pomegranate, Apple and Cherry work the best. Pomegranate is our family favorite. Using citrus juice for this part makes stringy yeast-like things that are not very tasty! 
9. Once you've added the juice, cover the jar(s) tightly with an air tight lid and leave on the counter an additional 48 hours.
10. After sitting for 48 hours, add 1/4 cup additional juice to the carbonated kefir, then refrigerate & enjoy!
11. Repeat the process!

The kefir grains will multiply as you go through this process. Use the extra grains up by throwing them in a smoothie! Even more probiotics... woot! 

How do you make your water kefir?