This weekend I went to the CRFA trade show at the Direct Energy Centre with my boyfriend (he works at a POS company that was presenting at a booth in the trade show). We got to walk around and eat lots of free food samples as well as sample some drinks, one in particular was pretty gross, it was a smoked tequila. Belgh. There weren’t a whole lot of gluten free options but I did pass a booth from Caveman Foods where they were sampling Water Kefir. I have recently become a fan of Kefir and drink it on a daily basis and have really felt the benefits of it. It helps my digestion and is a good way for me to get probiotics without having regular yogurt and purchasing expensive tabelts. The water kefir caught my eye, I gave it a try and wanted to find out more.
What is Kefir?
Kefir is a probiotic beverage made with either Kefir Grains or a powdered Kefir Starter Culture. There are two types of grains, Milk Kefir Grains and Water Kefir Grains. Milk Kefir Grains can be used with cow milk, goat milk, or coconut milk. Water Kefir Grains can be used with sugar water, juice, or coconut water. Kefir Grains consist of bacteria and yeast existing in a symbiotic relationship. The term Kefir Grains describes the look of the culture only. Kefir Grains contain no actual “grains” such as wheat, rye, etc. Our kefir grains are grown in filtered water and organic sugar.
What’s the difference between water and regular Kefir?
It is slightly less concentrated but due to it’s light taste it is easy to consumer more.
The basic preparation method is to add tibicos to a sugary liquid and allow it to ferment 24 to 48 hours. A typical recipe might contain the tibicos culture, a citrus fruit and water. It is important to use ingredients that will not inhibit the fermentation, such as chlorine in tap water or preservatives in dried fruit (sulfites). The fruits used may be changed and mixed to create different flavors.
Additional precautions should be taken to keep the cultures healthy. The use of reactive metals such as aluminium, copper, or zinc should be minimized, since the acidity of the solution can draw these metals out, damaging the culture. The beverage should not be stored in metal containers, as these may leach into it over time. Instead, use stainless steel, plastic, non-lead-glazed ceramic or glass containers. Culturing grains in a glass jar with tight-fitting lid and using clean stainless steel or plastic utensils when handling the grains is recommended.
What are the Health Benefits?
They are a natural supplier of probiotics to our digestive tract. Probiotics refers to the healthy bacteria that usually feeds on the “bad” unhealthy bacteria in our stomach and intestines. Bacterial overgrowth can lead to many illnesses some of which include fungi, yeast infections, indigestion, obesity, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn’s Disease, skin disorders, etc. By drinking water kefir you will bring balance to your internal microflora.
What if I’m Vegan, Celiac or Lactose Intolerant?
Water kefir provides the living probiotics without the need for dairy.Vegans also may like to know that through the fermentation process kefir becomes an excellent source of vitamin B12, and is high in vitamins B1 and B6. The grains do NOT contain gluten.
Basic Water Kefir Recipe
1/4 cup organic granulated sugar or evaporated cane juice
1 cup warm water
3 cups cold wayer
2-3 tbs water kefir grains
1/2 gallon mason jar
Dissolve 1/4 cup sugar into 1 cup warm water, stir until all sugar has dissolved and there are no granules remaining. Add 3 cups cold water. Pour liquid in a mason jar and add the kefir grains. Cover the opening with a piece of fabric, several layers of cheesecloth or coffee filter. Secure with a rubber band. Leave in a warm place to culture for 24 to 72 hours. Try it and see how sweet it is, when you are satisfied strain the grains out.
There are a lot of recipes out there for flavoured water kefir so get creative!
check out more FAQ’s from Culturesforhealth.com