Ok, I have become addicted! Yup - it is true. I find myself sneaking over to the fridge several times a day to get a shot of my
moonshine Water Kefir! So, what are these slimy bacteria things and why on earth would I want to drink a concoction made from them?
Well, first off, they are chock full of good bacteria and beneficial yeasts as well as being rich in vitamins B-12 and K, Potassium, natural sodium, chloride and biotin. They strengthen the immune system and people have even claimed that they have helped with things like chronic fatigue syndrome, herpes, Candida, autoimmune diseases and cancer! They aid in digestion and help to cleanse the liver as well as the endocrine system. Many women report having healthier menstrual cycles as well as improvements in their complexion, hair and nails. As if that weren't enough, they also have antibiotic and anti fungal properties and have been known to help with warts, moles and liver spots! There is information all over the internet on the benefits of Kefir Grains and as you can see, these little creatures are pretty amazing.
The very first thing I noticed is that when I take a shot of the Water Kefir in the afternoon when I'm feeling that 2:00 slow down and am losing all semblance of motivation, I am almost instantly perked up and ready to go. I have never been a coffee drinker but I would imagine it does for me what that morning cup of coffee does for coffee drinkers.
The next thing I noticed was that although I'm very "regular" normally, I'm SUPER "regular" now. Honestly - it has cleaned me out! Yes, that was probably way too much information but I thought you should know what to expect!
Seriously, do a search and you will find endless amounts of information on the benefits of Kefir Grains.
How do you get some and what do you do with them? If you don't have a friend that is
making moonshine breeding Kefir Grains (which is where I got mine! Thanks Jennifer!!) and you live local to the Atlanta area, I would be more than happy to share some with you! They multiply like rabbits so I have an endless supply that I would be happy to share. If not, you can order them from www.waterkefirgrains.com. After you get your grains, it is REALLY easy to make the Water Kefir.
1. Take a very clean, quart sized mason jar (or any other glass jar with a good lid) and fill it about 3/4 full with water (either spring water, well water or filtered water, but not distilled because you need the minerals from the water). Add about 1/3 cup of a sweetener of your choice. I use pure maple syrup because I LOVE the flavor it gives my kefir but you can use any sweetener you wish except for honey because the anti-bacterial qualities of honey will kill your sweet little babies. Cover and shake the jar until all the sugar has dissolved.
2. Add about 3 Tbs of the Kefir grains. and then add enough water to fill the jar about 3/4 full. Do not shake the jar after you put your grains in there.
3. Cap and let it sit on your counter for 48 hours. Do NOT shake the jar during this time.
4. After 48 hours, strain the liquid into another jar and set the Kefir grains aside for a moment. At that point, you can either drink the Water Kefir as it is or do a second fermentation. I have always done a second fermentation. To do this, add some fruit to the jar. I've tried grapes, strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, lemon, cherries - you can use pretty much anything. I also add a couple of teaspoons of vanilla. Strawberries and vannilla has been my favorite so far. I have also just done a Tbs of vanilla extract in it without the fruit and it really does taste just like cream soda. Recap the jar and let it sit for another 24-48 hours. You can taste it at about 24 hours to see if you want it to sit longer.
5. Now, take 3 Tbs of the Kefir grains that you strained out and start a new batch with the water and sugar. After that one has been on the counter for 48 hours you should have more Kefir then you started with because they love making babies! You can put the extra Kefir in a jar with some of the liquid and put it in the fridge. This will keep them from continuing to multiply but they will stay fresh for about a month.
6. For more recipe ideas, you can do a search for Water Kefir recipes and you will find tons of them. Most of them really just involve adding about 1/4 cup of fruit (fresh or frozen) to the water Kefir and allowing it to ferment a second time. Be creative and try lots of different types of fruit.
Just a little note... If your Kefir grains slow down and aren't making as many babies, do a batch with about 2 tsp of organic black-strap molasses and they will "wake up". I don't like the taste of it with the molasses so I only do this when I want to give them a little kick start but some people love that flavor as well.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I am!