I have a 3 fold purpose for this post:
1. Teach you the benefits of Kefir water
2. Teach you how to keep it alive and grow more!
3. To BEG you to take some off of my hands! Mine is growing out of control!
As usual, I want to start by sharing with you the many benefits of drinking Kefir water. I'll start with a short, simple list:
- Contributes to a healthy immune system
- Promotes a relaxing affect on the nervous system
- Helps relieve insomnia
- Helps support your normal intestinal tract function, promote bowel movements and a healthy digestive system
- Restores balance to the digestive tract, so VERY useful during and after a course of antibiotics and after food poisoning
- Has been used to treat metabolic disorders, atherosclerosis, allergic disease, tuberculosis, cancer and other gastrointestinal disorders
- They have been shown to control facial acne in 80% of adolescents
- Rich in vitamin B-12, vitamin K and biotin
Now, how to make it! This is what the water kefir crystals look like.
I start with 8 Tbs. of RAW sugar. There are lots of different forms of sugar you can use, but I would stay away from the white processed sugar. You can also use pure maple syrup. Do NOT use honey, as it has wonderful anti-bacterial properties and can actually kill the kefir crystals.
I then poor in a little bit of water to let the sugar dissolve a little. This isn't absolutely necessary, but I prefer to do it this way.
I then add approximately 3/4-1 c. of kefir crystals, one date or other dried fruit that does not have sulfate on it. Citrus fruits do not work as well for the first fermentation. Then I fill the quart jar with SPRING water. Do NOT use purified water or RO water. I learned this the hard way and could not get my kefir to grow. The kefir NEEDS the extra minerals in the water.
I then add a milk nut bag on top with a ring or rubber band to hold it on. Kefir also needs air to live and breath, so do not put a solid lid on it unless you put it in a larger jar and leave lots of "air" space. You could also use cheese cloth. Depending on where you live the ring/rubber band is important as fruit flies LOVE kefir water!
I then let the kefir mixture ferment for 24-48 hours. It can sit longer then that (up to 3-4 days), but that time frame is optimal. If you can see it, I put a little black mark on the jar below to show you where the kefir started out. Below that picture is where the kefir is after only 27 hours! Keep in mind, that is only ONE jar and I'm doing THREE! See why I need people to come take some off my hands?!
When it is time to strain and rinse the kefir crystals, I just dump it through one of the nut milk bags, rinse it well, and pick out in debris the dates may have left. Be sure your hands and any utensils you are working with are CLEAN!
The picture below is the same measuring cup from above only 27 hours later. If you notice, the Kefir has doubled in size!
Once you have a full fermentation, you have a few choices. You can simply drink it plane or add a small amount of juice (Welch's 100% grape juice is our family favorite). It only takes a small amount of juice to flavor the water. I've never measured exactly, but I would guess about 2 cups kefir water to 1/4 c. juice.
You can also do a 2nd fermentation with fruit. Be sure to drain the kefir crystals before doing a 2nd fermentation. My favorite with that one is to smash some fresh or thawed frozen strawberries and add a few slices of lemon. If they are not organic lemons be sure not to put the peel in there. I learned the hard way to still allow AIR in this 2nd fermentation. LOL! I woke up one morning to water ALL over my counter top and dripping on the floor! This 2nd fermentation should only ferment for 24-36 hours. Be sure to strain the fruit. It tastes like strawberry lemonade. YUM!!
Just to recap a little: water kefir needs water, air, and sugar to survive and grow. If your kefir is growing out of control and you can't drink as much as it is producing, or you will be gone and can't take care of it, there is a few options. First, SHARE it with others! Second, it's ok to eat the kefir crystals, or Third, if you want it to be dormant for a while, put it in a jar w/some sugar water and put it in the fridge for a few weeks.
Ok, now for the fun part! I get to share!! If you live close by, please just call or stop by and grab some! Please!! I can't keep up with this much! If you are long distance, I am figuring out now how to send it in the mail. I will only charge you the cost of shipping! I'm not set up to receive payments online, so you will have to send me a check.
So readers, please help me help yourself! You will be so pleased with the benefits on your health! You will also be pleased with how EASY it is and soon you'll be begging to share!
Have a Happy, Healthy Day!!