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Water Kefir

October 1, 2010

As part of my experiment/journey into “real/whole” food, I decided to try water kefir. Kombucha was just too weird for me, and so I thought kefir it is. Apparently its like a soda drink if you make it right, although it contains a small amount of alcohol. From most of my research this amount obviously increases the longer you allow the water to ferment, but after 24 to 48 hours its still safe enough for pregnant women and children. From my instructions which I received with the grains, 24 hours is enough to make a sweet but slightly tangy drink and 48 hours makes it more acidic, so for now I’m sticking with 24 hours, mostly for the sake of my pregnancy.

Benefits

Kefir has many reputed health benefits. It has antibiotic and antifungal properties. In addition to beneficial bacteria and yeast, kefir contains many vitamins, minerals, amino acids and enzymes. Particularly calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, B2 and B12, vitamin K, vitamin A and vitamin D. Tryptophan, one of the essential amino acids abundant in kefir, is well known for its relaxing effect on the nervous system. Because kefir also has an abundance of calcium and magnesium, also important minerals for a healthy nervous system, kefir in the diet can have a particularly calming effect on the nerves.
Passionate Homemaking

Utensils and ingredients

A large glass jar (I use a 1 litre Consol jar)
1 tbsp water kefir grains (contact me if you want to know where to get them)
a few pieces of preservative free dried fruit (I used Health Connection seedless raisins)
1 cup of filtered or mineral water (basically chemical free)
1 tbsp organic unrefined sugar (I used muscavado for lack of rapadura etc)
1/4 tsp blackstrap molasses (yes, its vile – but high in minerals and so increases the mineral content)
a pinch of baking soda

Mix everything together in the jar – do NOT measure the kefir with a metal spoon – they do not like metal – so never let metal touch them. Place in a place away from direct sunlight, a cupboard works. Cover loosely with lid, if metal lid, line with plastic wrap first, I just use a cloth to cover it. Leave to stand for 24 to 48 hours. Then strain the grains (use a nylon strainer/sieve, not metal) and pour the “water” into a jug/jar and add a cup of fruit juice or fresh fruit and leave to stand another 24 to 48 hours. Serve cool.

I will let you know how mine tastes once it done 🙂

For more ideas/recipes or information on water kefir – download this PDF (water kefir). Also Google has alot of info on it.

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