Are you concerned about your gut?
It seems like only a short while ago; we were all ignorant of the concept of a ‘healthy gut’. We did not know that 70% of our immune system depended on a healthy gut.
However, now the information is everywhere, and we all seem to be paying attention. Therefore delicious health drinks are becoming the rage, such as kombucha and milk kefir.
Yet, did you know you can also make kefir from water? If you didn’t, you’re in for a surprise. I’m going to share with you how you can make an endless supply of water kefir and why you should want to.
Let’s assume you aren’t into gut health and haven’t heard of kefir. Welcome! You’re going to be in for a grand surprise.
As I mentioned above, roughly 70% of our immune system is in our gut. Over the years we’ve done damage to our stomach and intestines by eating a less healthy diet and taking a lot of antibiotics.
Now, we’re starting to learn more about our gut health and how to live a healthier lifestyle by caring for our gut.
Which is where kefir comes into play. Probiotics are one way to give your gut the good bacteria it needs. When we don’t eat healthy foods, and when we take antibiotics it tends to kill off and fail to supply the good bacteria our bodies require.
However, kefir is a way of adding good bacteria back into our systems. Plus, it’s simple to consume because it’s a delicious beverage.
Making Water Kefir
Kefir is made from kefir grains. Like a SCOBY, kefir grains are a symbiotic colony of bacteria. In short, it’s a bunch of great things for your gut in a convenient package.
Though kefir grains include the word ‘grain’, there are no real grains in it, and they’re gluten-free too. They don’t even resemble grains. Instead, they appear to be more like gooey pebbles.
The upside to making water kefir is that you only have to buy the grains once. If you take good care of them, you should be able to use them forever.
Be sure to use filtered water when making water kefir. Also, be sure the water doesn’t contain fluoride or chlorine.
Therefore, most city tap water is out. You also should avoid distilled water. Water kefir requires certain minerals that distilled water won’t contain.
You’ll need sugar to make water kefir too. Be sure you don’t use honey, agave, sugar substitutes, or coconut sugar.
Honey has antimicrobial properties that aren’t good for the kefir grains. Agave and sugar substitutes aren’t able to sustain kefir grains, while coconut sugar will weaken the kefir grains.
Yet, if you want to make sure the kefir grains have the necessary minerals to keep them happy, healthy, and ready to ferment, then you can make sure you add molasses, dried fruit, or unrefined sugar.
I know it sounds like a lot of rules to make a simple beverage, but once you get through the basics of what works and what doesn’t for water kefir, you’ll see how easy this gut-healthy beverage is.
To make water kefir you need:
- 1 quart of water
- ¼ cup of sugar
- 2 tablespoons of kefir grains
- ½ teaspoon of mineral supplement (i.e., molasses, dried fruit, or unrefined sugar)
Before we get started, it must be noted – kefir grains can have an adverse reaction to aluminum. Therefore, consider this when choosing which utensils and containers you use throughout this process.
1. Add Water and Mix
Once your ingredients are on hand, begin by placing the 1-quart of water into a glass or plastic container.
Add the sugar to the water and either place a lid on the container and shake until the sugar is dissolved or use a spoon to mix until the sugar has fully dissolved.
2. Time for the Grains and Minerals
When the sugar is dissolved, add the kefir grains and the mineral supplement of your choice.
Place a lid on the container. You can cover it with a coffee filter, cheesecloth, or a hard lid. An excellent choice for a container to make water kefir is a glass bottle, glass mason jar, or a plastic bottle.
3. Let the Fermentation Begin
Leave the container in a place where it will remain at room temperature. However, you have to ensure it’s left in a dark location. Too much sunlight can upset the fermenting process.
Leave the container to ferment for approximately 2 days. When the water begins to ferment, you’ll notice bubbles and the water taking on a cloudy appearance.
As the water ferments, it’ll lose some of its sweetness as well.
4. Make More Water Kefir
When the 2 days are up, prepare a new container of sugar water. Drain the kefir grains from the original container of water kefir and place them in the new container. This will keep the water kefir going.
The first container of now fermented water kefir is ready to consume. You can add tea, juice, or any other flavoring to the water to turn it into a fermented soda.
5. Fermented Soda, Anyone?
It’s recommended (if you decide to take the fermented soda route) you use plastic containers because as the soda ferments further, there’s a danger of glass bottles exploding.
This is a process known as secondary fermentation. It’s when you use the water kefir described above, add more flavors to it, and ferment it further for a new fizzy flavor.
6. Stop! Too Much Kefir
If you don’t want to make an endless supply of water kefir, keep the grains in the fridge in water to slow the fermentation process.
When you’re ready to use them again, set them out on the counter until they reach room temperature. Treat them as you would when making a regular water kefir recipe.
You’re now in the know on how to make water kefir. This is great information to have because we don’t all have the same taste buds.
Some people would enjoy having a probiotic beverage, but they aren’t into dairy and can’t get over the slimy nature of a SCOBY in kombucha.
If you’re one of these people, water kefir could be right for you. Hopefully, you’ll see not only the fantastic health benefits of this beverage but also realize the never-ending flavor possibilities it brings to the table.