Fresh herbs add delicious and surprising flavours to water kefir and finding your favourite mix can be a delightful botanical challenge. Many fresh herbs will soon be at their peak and it’s the best time to experiment with a variety of flavours.
These are some of our favourite spring garden herbs in water kefir:
Basil: with a flavour of licorice and cloves, this green leaf pairs well with apricots, berries and plums.
Lavender: use culinary lavender to give a distinctly floral tone to your water kefir. It’s lovely mixed with other herbal flowers such as chamomile and rose.
Marjoram: a sweet, flowery flavour from the oregano family. Try it with lavender and citrus.
Mints: they pair perfectly with citrus fruits, apples and berries and are very pleasant just on their own. Try a variety including peppermint, spearmint, mojito mint, Moroccan mint, chocolate mint, apple mint, etc.
Rosemary: pungent, resiny and a surprising flavour in water kefir. Combine it with apple, pear and plums.
Sweet cicely: use the fresh seed pods which have a sweet anise flavour. The flavour suits blueberries, tart green apple and citrus fruits.
Tarragon: a lovely licorice-like flavour, lighter than anise or fennel seeds. It’s lovely with strawberries.
How to Use Fresh Herbs:
Chop or tear the leaves of fresh herbs directly into your second ferment, then strain them out once they’ve steeped and reached the amount of flavour you enjoy.
If the stems are long, you can put the entire stem in and remove it when the flavour has infused. Remember that what goes into the narrow neck bottle must come out again.
We typically use 1 tsp of pungent herbs such as rosemary and thyme, up to 3 tbsp. of leafy mints. Adjust according to your personal taste.
NEED TO KNOW:
Use organic herbs, preferably fresh from the garden or purchased at a Farmer’s Market.
Fresh herbs can add a strong or delicate flavour, depending on how much you use and how long they steep.
When you’re thinking of a flavour profile, don’t forget that water kefir is sweet and that will always affect your overall flavour.
If you can’t find fresh herbs (or they’re too expensive), dried herbs work well too. They’re concentrated and more intense, so use about half the amount as you would with fresh herbs.
There are hundreds of herbs and spices to try in water kefir, each with their own flavour and medicinal qualities.