What is water kefir?
Water kefir is a fermented beverage, with beneficial bacteria. Similar to kombucha, it’s made with adding a type of scoby to sugar water.
Water kefir grains are crystal, gelatinous little things, made up of a variety of bacteria, including lactobacillus hilgardii. When cared for, they make a delicious probiotic-rich drink and will continue to grow and increase indefinitely.
It’s easy to make and has a nice mild taste. It’s lightly sweet by itself, but mixed with different fruit juices can be a sparkling lemonade or soda pop.
What does water kefir do?
Water kefir provides good bacteria for our bodies. While yogurt contains a few strains of bacteria, kefir offers many many more! Water kefir is known to have as much as 453 different bacteria strains. <source>
Water kefir, because of all the beneficial bacteria, helps the body use vitamins and minerals, boosts your immune system aid in digestion and overall health.
Since water kefir has a mild and sweet flavor, many people find it easier to consume than milk kefir, thus benefitting more from increased probiotics.
How do you make water kefir?
First, you need to acquire some water kefir grains. You can get extras from a friend who is currently making water kefir (healthy grains multiply regularly) or you can purchase them online. Click here to shop for them on Amazon.
Once you have the grains, follow this recipe:
In 1 quart jar combine:
2 – 4 tablespoons water kefir grains
1/3 cup organic cane sugar, sucanat or rapadura
4 drops mineral drops (Click here to buy) optional
Filtered room temperature water to fill jar. It’s important to use water that doesn’t have chlorine or other toxins. Water kefir grains are a little picky and perform best when you use distilled water (boil the water for 20 minutes and then allow to cool to room temperature) and add minerals back to the water or use well water, which does not need to be distilled first and typically has minerals in it.
Combine sugar with about a cup worth of water and shake or stir until dissolved. Add water kefir grains and water to fill jar. Top with cheesecloth or coffee filter and allow to sit on the counter for 1-3 days.
Water kefir will still be fairly sweet and is much more enjoyable to drink when mixed with other flavors.
Here are our favorite variations:
Cream Soda: Add a teaspoon of vanilla before drinking.
Soda Pop: Mix with 1 cup juice, seal tightly and allow to ferment for 1-3 more days. This fermentation makes carbonation, giving the juice a fizz. It’s a good idea to open the fermented soda outdoors, especially if you use a grape juice. The first time we made grape soda, it carbonated so much the first time I did it, an entire quart of grape soda exploded coating the kitchen ceiling (which is 10′ high) and 2 walls, covering half of my kitchen in sticky purple spots.