Learn how to make water kefir, a probiotic rich superfood, with this simple tutorial.
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Fine mesh strainer-
Water kefir grains-
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Organic brown sugar-
Learning how to make water kefir may sound intimidating, but it is actually a very simple process, and the reward is growing healthy bacteria right in your own kitchen.
But what the heck is water kefir and why should you care?
Probiotics have been all the buzz for several years now.
Ten years ago you may have only heard the term “gut health” thrown around by in-the-know west coast Yoga types, but nowadays you’re likely to hear it coming out of your grandma’s mouth.
These things may just seem like a trendy fad, but there is actually some serious science backing up the hype.
For the very abridged version of the story:
There are good guys in your gut and there are bad guys. God put the bad guys in there, so they could break down your body at death (not the happiest topic, but it’s true). They were meant to be there in small quantities and the good guys were supposed to proliferate and make a healthy body.
Well, in our modern world of stress, sugar and processed foods those bad guys get out of balance and all kinds of bad things begin to happen. “Leaky Gut Syndrome” happens when there are literally holes in the gut lining. Food leaks into the blood stream, where it does not belong, and you experience minor symptoms like bloating and gas, major symptoms like depression and cancer and everything in between.
Probiotic supplements are excellent and everyone should be on a good one (not just any old probiotic you find at Walmart), BUT it isn’t the entire answer to the problem. To create a diverse inner ecosystem you’ll want to introduce many different strains of good bacteria.
Enter fermented foods.
Sauerkraut. Milk Kefir. Homemade Yogurt. Sourdough. Kombucha.
So, why take the extra effort to make your own fermented foods at home?
Yogurt and kefir from the store just don’t cut it. They are fermented for a very short amount of time and by the time you get it from the store it was probably already made weeks ago. The good bacteria are most certainly dying off by this point. Plus, they are almost always filled with sugar and made with non-organic milk.
When you make fermented foods at home they are teeming with good bacteria and can help repopulate your gut with the good guys. You have likely fermented them for days, or even weeks for some ferments, so they are going to help your body significantly more than that store bought yogurt.
One of my most favorite fermented drinks is water kefir.
I love to do a second fermentation with grape juice that makes it bubbly and delicious.
Let’s get into the process:
Acquire water kefir grains.
(Oh I forgot to mention they multiply rapidly when you make kefir constantly. The extras can be fed to your chickens, thrown in the compost pile, blended into your smoothies for added probiotics, or sold on the internet ;))
Bring one cup of water to a boil.
Add 1/4 cup organic brown sugar and stir until dissolved.
Add 1/4 cup water kefir grains to a quart size jar.
Fill the jar almost to the top with filtered water.
After the sugar water has dissolved and COOLED completely, add into the jar with the rest of the water and the water kefir grains. If the sugar water is still hot it can kill the “good guys” in the water kefir grains, so make sure it cools off first.
*In case you are brand new to fermenting, the “grains” aren’t actually grains at all. They are actually just little symbiotic colonies of good bacteria that feed on sugar. They are ALIVE.
You may be saying at this point, “Hey…I thought sugar was bad!”
Well, you would be right about that, BUT, those little good guys in the kefir grains loooove…
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Now, go forth and fill your gut with good bacteria! 😉
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