As the years have gone by and my interest (perhaps obsession is a better word) with nutrition and healthy living has progressed there have been many turning points that have really ‘changed the game’ and this is one of them! For a long time I knew that cultured foods were important and knew that they were the next thing for me to take on and add to my repertoire but I just didn’t know where to start.
Since traditional dairy yogurt was kind of out of the question, I was relying solely on my daily dose of probiotics to get what I needed. But like with all supplementation, its important to realize that they’re purpose is just that… to supplement the diet and not replace it completely. As I was getting into fermenting my own veggies, my curiosity led me to purchase a starter kit online to make my own probiotic-rich kefir drink at home.
Alternatively, if you have a friend who is already making water kefir, just ask them for some grains! The little babies multiply so you will be able to give some away to your family and friends. When I went traveling, I picked up some grains from a friend in Thailand and took them with me to Bali. The coconuts there make the perfect kefir so I had plenty of probiotics with me everywhere I went. I was in heaven!
Health Benefits of Water Kefir
Like I said, water kefir contains probiotics! These good bacteria help us to digest our food, prevent allergies, boost our immune system, and overall keep our body healthy. It is also beneficial for those who suffer from Candida issues. Generally speaking, probiotics help to balance the beneficial bacteria in the gut and are extremely helpful with skin and digestive conditions. Since probiotic supplements are not reliable for many reasons, its wise to get our probiotics through fermented food and drinks – and water kefir is a great way to do that! Other great fermented food and drinks that are helpful to our inner ecology include kombucha (this will be my next video), sauerkraut and kimchi!
Making this dairy-free kefir at home is a breeze and even the toughest critics cannot deny how good it tastes! I filmed this little video showing how to make and flavour it so if you are serious about making it yourself, check it out
Note: Since the original filming of this video, I have switched to primarily coconut water as my sweet liquid of choice. I found that adding sugar water to the culture took away some of the sweetness but not it all. Coconut water just feels better sugar, ferments perfectly in 24 hours and by the end of it is not sweet at all. This makes it more ideal for someone with compromised digestion like leaky gut and/or candida overgrowth. If young coconuts are not local, like in Canada, you can buy good quality coconut water that is not from concentrate. While it is not as good the raw stuff, straight from the coconut, it does the trick! I love adding a squeeze of lime to my coconut water kefir and having it as a wake up tonic that primes the digestive track and flushes the liver!
- Leave on counter top with the top covered with paper towel and an elastic band. The babies need to breath!
- Lower sugar content liquids or less liquid will take less time to process.
- The warmer the room, the faster the ferment.
- If you are having trouble with your grains, try a different type of sugar or switch to coconut water.
- If you are traveling just put the jar in the fridge with a little sweet liquid. They will keep for months like this.
- Drink half a cup just before a meal to aid digestion.
There are a million different ways to flavour your kefir!
Here are some of my favourites:
- Kefir Lemonade (so simple just add lemon!)
- Kefir Raspberry Lemonade
- Kefir Sangria
- Kefir Mojitos
- Coconut Water Kefir with lime or lemon