Did you know that 70% of your immune system is actually located in the gut? A good reason to keep said part of your body healthy. How to do this? Be friendly with your good bacteria, they can do wonders!
Surely, some of you if not many have heard of Probiotics by now.. they have become about as trendy as Bikram yoga or a vegan diet. Now, they do cost quite a bit of money hence why I would like to introduce you to water kefir - it's cheap, easy, just as healthy and tasty.
For those among you that eat dairy, you can also make your own milk kefir or yogurt. This post is however, about water kefir, so if you want to know more about dairy kefir, just leave a comment below.
To get started, you need to order your kefir grains (available from many online shops), this doesn't cost a fortune and is usually delivered within days.
Recipe for water kefir
- 1/2 cup of kefir grains
- 3 cups of spring or mineral water (no tap water because of the chlorine, no filtered or distilled water because kefir needs minerals)
- 2 tbsp of organic brown sugar
Sugar is added because this is what the grains thrive on. Stevia, chemical substitutes or honey won't support the kefir fermentation or growth. The grains will eat the sugar and ferment in this process. At the end there won't be much of the sugar left, so you don't have to be concerned about the sugar content.
Put the sugar in a glass jar of 1 - 1.5 litre in size. Add the water and the kefir crystals. Give it a good stir with a wooden spoon. The grains don't like anything metallic.
Don't close the jar fully as some air should be able to get in.
Leave the kefir to culture for 24 - 48 hours depending on how much of the sweetness you want to be left.
Don't leave the grain culture for longer than 72 hours.
Strain out the kefir grains using a nylon sieve, never use metal as it can kill the bacteria.
Bottle and store the liquid water kefir in the fridge and let it ferment for another 1 or 2 days.
At the same time you prepare a new batch to culture. The grains cannot be left without sugar (food) for too long. It's almost like having a new pet :)! It may take a few batches before your kefir grains effectively remove the sugar from the water as they are adjusting to the new environment.
Once the kefir is ready you can drink it pure, add lemon juice or whatever strikes your fancy.
If you go on holidays or want to take a break because you are busy going to the cinema, studying or whatever the heck you might be busy with, you can also store the grains in the sugar water jar with closed lid in the fridge for up to a week.
As an alternative you can also try making coconut water kefir. You won't need any sugar here as the coconut water naturally contains enough sugars to feed the bacteria. However, don't overdo the coconut batches as the sugar content is not high enough for the bacteria to live off it forever - so they might eventually die and we don't want that eh :)?
Happy fermenting! And let me know how it goes x
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I enjoy studying, creating, exploring and most importantly eating nutritious food and balancing my life with yoga.