What is water kefir? It is a probiotic drink made with kefir ‘grains’ (yeast/bacterial fermentation starter) filled with active live cultures to help balance the body inner-ecosystem. The ‘grains’ originated in the north Caucasus Mountains by shepherds who lived there thousands of years ago. They made milk kefir, which is a more common drink these days. I am lactose-intolerant so water kefir is a better option and is more versatile and can be infused with different flavours and medicinal herbs.
I was introduced to this drink by my meditation teacher about 4 months ago when I had some at her house and have been hooked since! Water kefir is not only dairy-free but also vegan-approved!
I shall not bore you further with details of the kefir but you will find links at the bottom of this article to find out more :-)
To make this drink, you will need:
- 4 tablespoons kefir grains
- 1 litre Spring water
- 2 slices of organic lemon
- 3 organic figs, sliced in half
- 4 tablespoons organic sugar
Add 4 tablespoons of kefir grains and a litre of water into a glass jar. I use Spring water because of its high mineral content. Filtered water also works but if you must use distilled water, you will need to add minerals to your water because distilled water has very low mineral content. A very small pinch of high quality salt will do.
Add 4 tablespoons of organic sugar. It is best to use organic products to culture this drink to prevent contamination.
I was a bit concerned at first about the sugar content but I read online that the amount of sugar (fructose) of the finished water kefir is very small as the ‘grains’ use up almost all of the sucrose, leaving a small amount of fructose. It is said that a glass of water kefir made with just sugar and water (without any fruits or juice) contains about 7 calories!
Add a few figs and slices of lemon. I usually add 3 figs and 2 lemon slices.
Cover the lid using a kitchen towel or muslin cloth and secure with an elastic band. Leave the water kefir to ferment for 24 to 48 hours. I do this every 2 days. The ‘grains’ with multiply over time so it is always good to share them with family and friends who want to give this a try!
After 24-48 hours, transfer the water kefir, separating the ‘grains’ with a sieve into a drinking bottle. Store it in the fridge.
Kefir grains live forever as long as you take special care for them. You can make this delicious drink every two days so you will never run out of supply. I take it every morning to start my day.
I use organic lemons and figs for flavour. Lemons are packed with Vitamin C, one the most important antioxidants in nature. Figs are a great source of fibre and also full of vitamins and minerals. There are lots of recipes available on the Internet so you can experiment with different flavours.