Brew Your Own Probiotic Water Kefir

 

Water kefir is one of my favourite probiotic drinks.  It has a mild slightly tangy taste that makes it great for flavouring or drinking as is.

You may have heard of milk kefir which is like a drinkable yogurt.  However, if you are avoiding dairy then you can make this just from water and sugar.

Like the Kombucha, you will need a starter, which are called Kefir ‘grains’.  Don’t worry, they are not actually grains, but are just called that due to their appearance.  

You can get the grains from local health food shops, or online here in the US  or  here in the UK

Once you have the grains it’s just a matter of mixing them with sugar and water.  This ferments to make a fizzy water.  From there you can flavour to your liking.

You can also use coconut water for a different taste and the electrolyte properties of coconut water.

It has got a lot of sugar in it, but don’t be alarmed, the yeast eats all this, so there is actually very little sugar in the final product.  If you have insulin resistance, don’t worry,  fermented drinks like water kefir have actually been shown to reduce blood sugar.
A benefit of water kefir over kombucha is that it takes about half the time to ferment.

 

Ingredients

For Initial Fermentation
  • ¼ cup water kefir grains
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 pieces dried unsulphured fruit
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
For the Secondary Fermentation
  • ½ cup fruit juice OR 2 tablespoons sugar

Instructions

1. Make the solution: Boil 6 cups of water to a boil, then stir in the sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves and then cool to room temperature.
2. Mix in the grains: Place the water kefir grains into your jar and pour in the solution and add the dried fruit and lemon to cover.
3. Cover and ferment:  Cover with fabric or tea towel and secure with a band or string.  Place in a warm place but out of direct sunlight and leave for 2-3 days 9or longer if you want a stronger taste
4. Bottle:  Pour the solution through a sieve and funnel into your bottles.  These   Save the grains for your next batch, but throw the fruit and lemons.   The stopper bottles (pictured) allow carbon dioxide to develop during the second ferment which gives it a great fizz

5. Ferment again and flavour: For the second ferment, add 1 T of sugar or 1/4 cup fruit juice to the solution.  The sugar will keep the flavour neutral, whereas the juice will add flavour and colour.  Seal the bottles and place back in the warm spot for another 24 hours.  Keep in the fridge to allow the bubbles to set, and be careful when opening- you might be in for a kefir- champagne shower.

 

 

Best of luck!  Please let me know how you go with your water kefir in the comments below, or tag me in your photos on Instagram @thepcosnutritionist.

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