I’m not growing aliens, other living species, or trying to create some other foreign life source. I’m preparing my own probiotic beverage called Kefir; more specifically, water kefir using water kefir grains (the things you see floating in my jar). This is really simple and low-commitment, which is perfect for someone like me who doesn’t have much time to spare in a day!
Kefir (Ka-feer) is a cultured, enzyme-rich food filled with friendly microorganisms that help balance your inner ecosystem. Kefir supplies complete protein, essential minerals, and valuable B vitamins.
There are actually 2 types of grains: milk kefir grains and water kefir grains. They consist of bacteria and yeast and are beneficial to the human intestines, and aids digestion.
Water kefir is less concentrated that milk kefir, taste great when flavored, are dairy free, gluten free, and are reusable. In fact, water kefir grains could last a very long time if they are properly cared for.
Google the endless water kefir recipe possibilities! Here is how I prepared mine (with the help of my good friend Kim of course, who provided me with the tools and ingredients to start my own!):
– You will need a clean large glass or plastic jar
– Add water kefir grains (about the size of your palm or less because they will grow!) to the jar.
– Fill the jar 3/4 to almost full of room temperature filtered water (approx 20 parts water to 1 part grains). Do not use chlorinated water, as this will kill the the microorganisms in the grains.
– Add a small chunk (size of your palm or approx 1/4 cup if measured) of organic cane sugar (or palm or coconut sugar), and
– a small amount (1 teaspoon) of molasses.
– You can add some lemon (or some other citrus for acidity), and/or dried fruits (such as cranberries, apricots) for sugar and flavor.
– Cover with a breathable tight mesh material like a cheesecloth, or nut milk bag.
– After 24-48 (no longer than 48 hours) hours, strain the liquid out using a plastic strainer (Do not use metal utensils when handling the grains, as this can affect the health of the microorganisms) into another clean jar.
The sugar provides food for the yeast and bacteria which will keep the kefir grains healthy and active.
You will see them float, bubble, and rise to the top of your jar within 24 hours.
You now have water kefir that can be stored in the fridge or consumed. You can consume it on it’s own or add to a shake for an extra boost.
You can also add the remaining water kefir grains to a smoothie (as they will multiply each time you complete this culturing process).
The kefir grains can be kept healthy and alive by adding more filtered water to the strained grains and repeating the process over which will provide you with a continuous supply of kefir.
If you don’t want to make more, or you will be away for an extended period, you can place your jar in the fridge for about a maximum of 1 week, or in the freezer for 6 months. Longer than these time periods may render them unusable.
Where do you get your own kefir grains?
You can get them from someone who know who prepares kefir on a regular basis (the yeast and bacteria reproduce quickly so they are probably willing to give you some of theirs). You can also purchase your own kefir grains from a health or specialty store
Enjoy, and stay healthy as always 🙂