This will be your first thought when you finish reading this article introducing you to water kefir.
There has been a big insurgence of fermented foods in today’s markets, menus, and diet plans. There are so many different types of ferments, and different information about eating various types in order to build up the good bacteria in your gut and get as many strains as possible. There is one ferment, however, that has been under the radar but is making a huge splash into the market place.
Let me introduce you to water kefir!
What is Water Kefir?
WATER KEFIR IS A FIZZY FERMENTED BEVERAGE THAT IS BRIMMING WITH PROBIOTICS AND VITAMINS
Baby water kefir grains/cultures have been around for centuries and are thought to have originated in Mexico in the 1800s. Though nothing has been historically proven, these origins are fascinating and differ from many other fermented food and drink around the world. Water kefir grains have withstood the test of time and are able to continually ferment even through the toughest heat, the coldest of cold (they can be frozen, and even freeze-dried). Water kefir grains can be regenerated, making them one of the superheroes of the fermentation world.
Water kefir grains (nothing to do with actual grain) are a symbiotic relationship between good yeast and good bacteria and form a tiny little clear jelly that when fed sugar, produce a powerhouse probiotic beverage that boosts gut health, energy and immunity. You only have to buy the grains once because they grow and multiply with each batch brewed and you can share your excess grains with your family and friends, add them to smoothies for an extra probiotic punch or feed them to your animals to boost their gut health! One other beautiful feature is that you can make the beverage on an as needed-basis because all you have to do is put the grains into water and stick them into your fridge and they can sit in dormancy for up to 3 months! You can stop and start anytime!
Why is Water Kefir so Amazing?
The best part about making water kefir is that within 24 hours you have a fermented low sugar drink that is:
¨ DAIRY FREE
¨ CONTAINS 30 PROBIOTIC STRAINS
¨ CONCENTRATED WITH B12, B6, and B1
¨ FULL OF MAGNESIUM,
¨ VITAMIN K,
¨ ELECTROLYTES, AND
1 CUP EQUALS
*5 GRAMS SUGAR
* ONLY 20 CALORIES
The First Ferment
The ultra simple recipe for making water kefir is:
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup water kefir grains
4 Cups water
Place it in a warm spot and the grains quickly eat up the sugar. Within 24 hours you have a fermented drink that has a mild, slightly sweet flavor, with just a hint of fermentation. It is neutral enough for even the pickiest of palates, and readily supports any flavors you want to add to it. The first ferment can be ingested as-is or added to your smoothie for that probiotic boost without any change to the smoothie flavor. Since it is brimming with vitamin B12, it is perfect boost for the vegetarian or vegan diet.
Honey Lemon Ginger Immunity Smoothie
1-2 T fresh grated ginger (or 1/2t ground)
3/4 tsp ground tumeric (1T fresh grated)
1 cup loose spinach (if you use a bullet, it should be half of the blending cup)
1 cup first ferment water kefir
1/2 fresh squeezed lemon
5 chunks frozen pineapple
Optional: add protein powder of your choice
For thickness add 1c ice.
The Second Ferment
If you can wait, then a second ferment for 24 hours more will make you a wonderful, naturally carbonated beverage with all of the benefits from the first ferment. The effervescence of the second ferment is so beautifully refreshing that you can say goodbye sugar laden beverages, and hello to a happy gut!
All you have to do is strain the liquid from the grains of the first ferment into a swivel top bottle that has a tight rubber seal.
IMPORTANT NOTE: water kefir grains have a chemical reaction with metal and can damage the grains, so ensure that you use a nylon strainer, plastic funnel and a wooden spoon to prevent the grains from being damaged.
To flavor your ferment, add your favorite juice, tea, herbs, or fresh fruit to the bottle and seal it shut. Leave it in a warm place for 24 hours and slowly and carefully open the lid. The water kefir eats up the sugar in the bottle, creating natural carbonation, leaving you with a fizzy drink that is light and refreshing!
Water Kefir Blueberry Chamomile Fizz
1/4 cup wild blueberries (slightly squeeze them to infuse more flavor)
1 tablespoon dried chamomile flowers
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger (or 5 small pieces of candied ginger)
Optional: 1 teaspoon maple syrup (unless you are using dried blueberries/candied ginger)-this helps to feed the ferment, and also adds a bit of extra flavor and sweetness.
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice-if you like a bit of tang and an extra dose of vitamin C
IMPORTANT NOTE: remember, water kefir loves summer and can be explosive if you leave it out in the warmth too long, during the second fermentation process. Always refrigerate immediately after you have reached the perfect flavor and effervescence.
Your bottles can then stay in your fridge for up to 6 weeks!
Fun for the Whole Family
Kids absolutely love the fascinating process of making water kefir and getting to drink the fizzy, soda-like drink after only 48 hours. Parents love it too because their kids are reaping so many health benefits without the kids even knowing it! The sky is the limit with tasty water kefir recipes, and kids love to help out!
Sweet Treats: Not just a fizzy beverage
With the heat of summer quickly approaching, water kefir popsicles are always a big hit! A healthy, low-sugar alternative to commercial pops, with the same great flavor and so many added benefits!
Fruity Water Kefir Popsicles
Place whole fruit pieces into popsicle molds
Fill with water kefir-unflavored first ferment or flavored second ferment
Are you asking yourself Where have you been all my life yet? I knew you would!
Water kefir is so versatile, simple, inexpensive and quick to make. It is also so full of health benefits that you can’t go wrong!
Keeping our Fur Babies Healthy
Did you know that pets can have gut issues as well? Many breeds of both cats and dogs are susceptible to gastric issues, food sensitivities, and the ingestion of bad bacteria (for outdoor pets). You can safely feed your furry family members either the grains or the first ferment on a daily basis. We recommend soaking their dry food in the liquid for an extra special treat that your pets will love!
Where do I Start?
You can find fresh, plump water kefir grains that are ready to make your wonderful drinks, smoothies and elixers at happygutpro.wpengine.com. Find complete DIY kits, that contain everything you need to get started, including sugars, second ferment flavorings, strainers, bottles, and spoons. The best part about starting with a kit? It comes with a 100% guarantee when it comes to making successful batches of water kefir. Sign up for our newsletter and receive inspiring recipes, health benefits and discounts.