Beyond alcohol, there is a fermented craze happening. Everything from fermented veggies to kefir water to apple cider vinegar to kombucha. The newest ways to satisfy gut health is slowly becoming a revolution (seriously, stop eating commercial yogurt, though[there is waaay too much sugar and not enough probiotics]). You can be a part of this gut health parade or sit on the sides. But you wouldn’t be reading this if you weren’t even the slightest interested in wanting to be a part of it, right? 😉
Let’s talk about Kefir (pronounced kuh-fear, but I like to say kee-fur like the Sutherland brother). More specifically, Kefir water. No fermented yogurt grossness here. And no rancid tea taste like Kombucha. Kefir water grains (I purchased mine here) are made with water and sugar… that’s it! And then you add your own juice/fruit during second fermentation. So easy!!! The end result is a Dairy-free, vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO product. Once you do it a few times, it becomes second nature and you are left with a healthier alternative to soda (natural carbonation is optional)! WHO WOULDN’T WANT THAT?
Prior to making my own Kefir water, I was purchasing the tasty and popular Kevita brand. These yummy treats sell anywhere from $2.50 to $3.50 a bottle (or more). After creating a few different batches over the last few weeks, these have literally paid for themselves. I do brew in small batches and share with our neighbor. He likes to provide juice for new flavors.
Our first batch we did pomegranate lemonade (pomegranate juice and lemon juice), the second was watermelon (watermelon juice– I personally was not a fan– I wanted this one to taste like candy and it didn’t– super carbonated after a day, though), the third was lemonade (store bought lemonade was not fizzy at all– perhaps a grains issue or that we didn’t use pure juice like we did before), and lastly we did apple juice. None of the guys were a fan, but I liked it. I added apple pie spices and it tasted like a fall day. We may have to do a round two, and do more apple juice and less kefir water to get the taste we are looking for.
My favorite thus far was the pomegranate with the lemon. Half of them were fizzy, which leads me to believe that the grains (the mother) was in more of the bottles than in others. It’s all about learning. What I like most about the Kefir water grains is that I don’t have to worry about a milk or tea product going awry. It’s just water or coconut water. My flavors can be literally endless, I can feed it to my kid when she is older, and who doesn’t want to experiment and create tasty gut health beverages?!?!
When I am not using the grains, I keep them in the fridge in some water that I have to remember to change out every few days. Make sure the container is not air tight or it will explode in your fridge… trust me! And speaking of exploding bottles, make sure to invest in some Grolsch style bottles. They do sell similar bottles that are food grade at the dollar store, but you want these babies to handle the pressure and ensure a fizzy beverage (again, optional).
We put a lot of stock and faith into letting other people prepare what we consume and tell us what is healthy. Why not have your own control? It’s one more way you can be more self-sufficient.
Here is a link to all the healthy benefits listed in water kefir grains. I still take a probiotic as there are many species of good health bacteria not found in these grains. For one is l. rhamnosus. This is a great bacteria for stress (study done in mice), it is also said to lower cortisol to fight obesity, and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Here are a few photos from the process, happy fermenting!!!