Monday, September 19, 2011

water kefir

This is a guest post from my friend Trudy Scott (CN).  She is a Certified Nutritionist and the founder of www.everywomanover29.com, a thriving nutrition practice with a focus on food, mood and women’s health. Trudy educates women about the amazing healing powers of food and nutrients and helps them find natural solutions for anxiety and other mood problems. Trudy’s goal for all her clients (and all women): "You can be your healthiest, look your best and feel on-top-of-the-world emotionally!"  She's also the author of The Antianxiety Food Solution.

It's a good idea to drink fermented beverages – they contain probiotics, or good bacteria, and are great for your digestion! Studies also show that probiotics help when you are depressed or anxious.

Kombucha is one example of a fermented beverage.  Another great one is water kefir.   The best part is that you can actually make these delicious beverages at home.

I have to say water kefir is my favorite when it comes to home-made because it’s so quick and simple.

Here's how to make water kefir:
  1. Dissolve 1/3 cup sugar with filtered warm water in a clean one quart glass jar. I like to use turbinado or rapadura sugars because they are not stripped of all their nutrients.
  2. Add water kefir grains (about 1 to 2 tablespoons)
  3. Add something to provide some flavor – I like ginger so I add 5-10 slices of freshly peeled ginger. Another option is a few mint leaves.
  4. Place jar out of direct sunlight.
  5. Cover jar with a clean dish towel.
  6. Let sit for 24 to 30 hours or to your taste. If you aren’t sure how it should taste, try some from someone else’s batch or buy a bottle of plain kombucha…it should taste similar to cider but less sweet. The length of time will differ depending on the room temperature; the fermentation process  will take less time when it’s warmer.
  7. Strain the water kefir grains from liquid and discard any flavorings (ie the ginger or mint leaves)
  8. Transfer the liquid to another one quart glass jar and save in the fridge to start drinking
  9. Rinse your grains and start over for an unlimited supply of delicious and nourishing water kefir loaded with probiotics or good bacteria!
A few other notes:
  • Don’t worry about the sugar as it’s mostly used up during the fermentation process
  • Your kefir grains will actually start to grow so you can share them with friends – getting from grains from a friend is a good way to get started
  • The grains sort of look like very baby cauliflower florets and should be kept cool when not being used
For those of you who would like to try making water kefir at home Cultures for Health is a great source for your grains.  They also sell a large number of other culture products for yogurt, sourdough, cheese and more.

1 comment:

Robin said...

The idea of taking a pill to get probiotics seems strange, and kobucha is so expensive, so this is a great alternative. I will look around for the water kefir "starter." Thanks, Mira!