Monday, March 12, 2012
Water Kefir is a probiotic, fermented drink that is said to aid in digestion and help build up the immune system. You make it using water kefir grains, which are not actually grains but a combination of yeast and good bacteria. When these grains are added to sugar water, they eat the sugar and convert it to fructose while producing strains of probiotic bacteria. They also emit gasses while they work and if you allow your grains to ferment long enough (48-72 hours) you are left with a fizzy alternative to soda.
I bought my first starter kit from Cultures for Health. It takes a few days to hydrate your grains (they just sit on your counter in sugar water) and I started making our first kefir this past week. It has been a BIG hit with the family and I am so excited to have a healthy beverage alternative to milk and water :) Lemonade is our favorite so far (tastes a bit like Country Time Lemonade if you only culture it for 24 hours). We have also made cranberry and cherry....both tasted like a watered down juice or flat soda. This week I plan to allow a batch to sit for 48 hours to see what kind of fizz we get and I also plan to make "Cream Soda" (you just add vanilla extract). Water Kefir is so much easier than sourdough (less than 5 minutes a day), is good for us and will save us LOTS of money in juice.
Watch this video that Katie from Kitchen Stewardship did and I am sure you will be ordering some grains and making your own water kefir in no time :)