Water kefir is a fermented, probiotic, gluten-free, non-dairy beverage that is naturally carbonated and contains probiotic bacteria as well as beneficial yeasts that can colonize in the intestinal tract and also help to digest foods you eat.
A well-functioning gut is the root to good health and can improve immune response, mood, hormone levels, energy levels, cholesterol levels, and can help you maintain a healthy weight. Read more on gut flora here
Water kefir grains are not truly grains, but are “probiotic crystals” in a mixture of beneficial bacteria and yeasts. Water kefir is made by adding sugar water, juice, or coconut water to the grains and letting it ferment, which results in a naturally carbonated beverage.
The most refreshing lemon and ginger, water kefir recipe.
Strain the grains from the liquid it was stored in with a plastic or stainless steel strainer.
Fill a quart jar with 4 cups of non-chlorinated water.
Add ¼ to ½ cup of organic sugar, depending on your sweetness preference.
Add 1 teaspoon of molasses (optional). Kefir grains need a dose of minerals to keep them growing.
Stir and dissolve the sugar with a wooden spoon (do not use metal unless it is stainless steel, or it will react with the grains).
Add in the grains, cover the jar loosely with the lid so that it can “burp” during the fermentation process. Leave in room temperature (70-75 F) to ferment for 24-48 hours. The longer you leave it to ferment, the more probiotics, the less carbs.
Strain the grains, lemon, and ginger. Save the grains in a glass jar with sugar and store in the fridge until you make the next batch.
Cover, refrigerate and enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if my water kefir was a success?
It may lighten in color, turn a little cloudy, and should be slightly fizzy. It should have a slightly tangy or sour aroma and flavor. If it’s very sweet, let it sit to ferment more. If it looks, smells, or tastes unpleasant, I recommend that you do not consume it.
How long can I store finished water kefir in the refrigerator?
2-3 weeks at 40-45 F.
Can I use honey instead of sugar to make water kefir?
No, I don’t recommend it.
How long do water kefir grains last?
If properly cared for, water kefir grains can be reused indefinitely and multiply with each use.
How do I care for water kefir grains?
They should be moved to fresh sugar water every 4 days because they can starve if left longer without fresh food (sugar).
Should I rinse off the water kefir grains between batches?
No. This may harm the water kefir grains.
What is the difference between water kefir and kombucha?
Both are excellent probiotic beverages but water kefir has faster fermentation process and a milder flavor.
How is water kefir different from milk kefir?
Water kefir is fermented in water or juice. Milk kefir is fermented in milk. Both are rich in probiotics, however, water kefir may contain fewer strains of bacteria and yeasts than milk kefir. Water kefir is a great alternative for those who do not consume dairy, and it is light and refreshing.
Does water kefir contain alcohol?
Very small amounts, just as with all fermented foods.
How much sugar is left in finished water kefir?
About the same amount as 1 apple.
How many calories does finished water kefir contain?
It depends on how long it ferments, as the bacteria are digesting the calories in the sugar for you.
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