Most of us know that soda is bad for us. Calcium leeching from our bones, too much sugar, that kind of thing. And most of us drink it anyway. I’ve shared before how Coke was one of the hardest things for me to give up.
The drink you see in the glass above is a healthy, all-natural, carbonated alternative that I make at home! It takes about 5 minutes a day to set up a new, quart-size batch. I can also flavor it all sorts of ways, so no two are just alike. My husband loves it and drinks about a quart a day.
Water kefir is a fermented beverage filled with probiotics. Probiotics are vital because a whopping 80% of our immune cells reside in our gut! Kefir is an excellent way to keep our immune system strong.
Water kefir is made from water kefir grains, pictured below. (Sorry they’re a bit difficult to see.)
I obtained my kefir grains on ebay, but you can also get them from Cultures For Health, or from a friend. You can use the kefir grains over and over again, so it’s incredibly budget-friendly.
To make water kefir:
1. Heat about 1/2c filtered water on the stove. Dissolve about 1/4c organic sugar in the water and let cool. (Hot water will kill the kefir grains.)
2. Combine 1t molasses, juice from 1/2 a lemon, and the sugar water in a quart jar.
3. Fill up the rest of the jar with filtered water.
4. Add kefir grains and put the lid on the jar. Allow to ferment for 24 hours or so on your counter-top. It becomes less sweet the longer you allow it to ferment.
Second ferment: Now is your opportunity to flavor your kefir. There are SO many different ways to flavor kefir. I’ve only played with a couple so far. Feel free to experiment!
1. Strain out water kefir grains and repeat steps for the first ferment to start another batch.
2. Add 1 tsp of vanilla if you’d like cream soda water kefir, or add blueberries, raspberries, or whatever sounds good to you.
3. Close the lid on your jar and allow it to ferment for another 12 hours on your counter-top. After this point, I move it to the refrigerator so we can drink it cold. It will probably be carbonated by this point, but that doesn’t always happen.
Enjoy your new, good-for-you alternative to soda!
Have you tried water kefir? What are your favorite ways to flavor it?