What Is Water Kefir?
Benefits, Uses and Recipe:
Water kefir is a fermented drink made from milk or other liquid. It’s usually served hot with sugar and lemon juice. The purpose of making it is to improve your health. People use different types of bacteria cultures in their water kefir. These are called “kefirs”.
Some have been cultured for years while others were cultivated recently. There are many varieties of these kefirs. They all differ in their taste and nutritional value. You can choose one that suits your needs best.
Benefits Of Making Your Own Water Kefir:
Making your own water kefir will give you more control over what type of bacteria culture you use in it. You’ll get to decide which ones to add into the mixture and when. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some ideas:
Use fresh milk – Milk kefir is very easy to make. You just need raw milk (not pasteurized) and a container. Then, you simply pour the milk into the container and let it sit overnight. The next day, strain out any bits of curdling foam that may have formed during the night time hours. You can then store the kefir in a cool place until ready to serve.
Use fresh fruit juice – If you prefer something a bit more fruity, fresh fruit juice may be a good alternative. You can use fresh vegetable juice as well for different taste. Just keep in mind, however, that the longer the juice sits, the more sugars and other nutrients may get dissolved into the mixture. If you make a large batch, it can be stored in the fridge for 7 to 10 days.
Use fruit – If you’d rather skip the liquid altogether, you can also make your own kefir with fresh fruit. Just make sure it has no added sugar or other ingredients. Some of the best options include: apples, grapefruit, pears, papaya, and oranges. You can chop them up and put them in the container. Then, add the kefir milk on top of the fruit pieces.
This will help to get the fermentation process started. It should be ready to drink in a few days.
As you can see, there are many options for making water kefir at home. You just need to pick the one that sounds (and tastes) best to you!
Uses of Water Kefir:
The uses for water kefir are endless. It’s most commonly served as a refreshing drink. You can also add it to other foods and drinks, such as smoothies or baked goods. These can be eaten or given to someone as a gift. If you’re interested in other types of fermentation, you can also try out:
Yogurt – Kefir can be made to resemble yogurt by straining out the grains (which are called “grains” during the initial fermentation process). This type of water kefir is known as “strained yogurt”. You can flavor it with everything from fruit to nuts.
Kvasses – If you want a lightly carbonated beverage, try making a kvasses. It’s made in the same way as regular water kefir, but you can strain and bottle it early on to capture the bubbles. Some people also like to flavor these drinks.
Kefir is made by fermenting milk with the help of yeast and bacteria. These micro-organisms are what give kefir its unique taste and many of its benefits.
The word “kefir” comes from the Turkish word “keif”, which means “good feeling”. This refers to the many beneficial effects that water kefir can have on the body. It’s high in various nutrients and probiotics. These help with digestive health, boost immunity, and provide antioxidants.
Water Kefir is a fermented beverage that contains little or no alcohol. It’s made using water kefir grains, which are essentially sustainable packets of yeast and bacteria.
The process of turning sugar into alcohol requires a lot of oxygen. Since the inside of a fruit doesn’t have access to oxygen, the yeast and bacteria in the water kefir grains convert the sugar for you. This produces not only the desired beverage, but also a byproduct known as carbon dioxide. This is what gives the kefir its fizz.
Unlike regular yeast, water kefir grains are tiny and translucent. They look similar to white granules or tiny pieces of cookie dough. The grains can be seen floating at the top of a bottle of water kefir. The liquid at the bottom consists of very small amounts of alcohol, bacteria, and yeast.
Benefits of Water Kefir:
Water kefir can provide a wide range of benefits for the body. It’s packed with nutrients and beneficial minerals. It can soothe digestive disorders, boost immunity, and improve the health of the skin, hair, and nails.
One specific benefit of water kefir is its ability to restore digestive balance. It contains healthy bacteria and yeasts, which can prevent harmful bacteria from taking over.
Gut flora, or bacteria, are important for a strong immune system. The types of bacteria in your gut can be affected by everything from food to the air you breathe. This is why it’s so important to keep yours in check. Eating probiotic foods, such as water kefir, can help to achieve this.
Water kefir can be an effective treatment for various digestive issues, such as gallbladder problems and diarrhea. It may also be able to help alleviate the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It can even help you if you have no diagnosis at all, but are just experiencing minor digestive issues.
However, make sure to avoid water kefir if you suffer from severe allergies or if you’re taking antibiotics. Also, some people who are lactose-intolerant should avoid it.
Listen to your body. If you have a history of digestive disorders or a doctor has told you to avoid dairy, it’s best to steer clear of water kefir.
Water kefir is safe for most people, provided they don’t have an allergy to yeast or bacteria. It’s important to keep in mind that, just like other types of alcohol, water kefir contains minimal amounts of alcohol too.
Anyone that’s underage should not consume it. Pregnant women should not drink it. Anyone who plans on driving or operating heavy machinery should probably skip it, since even a small amount of alcohol can affect you. If you don’t know whether or not you fall into any of these categories, it might be best to play it safe.
Despite its benefits, some people just don’t like the taste of water kefir. It’s understandable if you don’t particularly care for the taste, but know that there are ways to improve it.
You can add different types of fruit to it to sweeten it up. Try adding fresh or frozen fruits like berries. You can also buy water kefir mixes at the store if you’re really not keen on the taste.
How Does Water Kefir Work?
Water kefir is a fermented beverage. The grains feed on sugar and convert it into the by-products of carbon dioxide, alcohol, and lactic acid.
These grains are very similar to those in yogurt or kombucha, except they’re much smaller. They contain bacteria and yeast in a symbiotic relationship, which means that the organisms need each other to survive.
The yeast converts the sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide. The bacteria feeds on this alcohol and converts it into lactic acid, which gives the beverage its tart flavor.
The grains should be stored in a sealed glass container. If kept at warm temperatures, they will continue to ferment. You can either use the kefir as is, or strain it and use just the fluid.
How Do I Make Water Kefir?
Making water kefir is a simple process, and it’s probably even easier than making plain ole’ fruit juice. You don’t need any special equipment either, since you can easily use a jar and a piece of cloth to cover it.
Here’s how to make water kefir:
1. Find a glass container that will hold at least 2 quarts, such as a 2-quart mason jar.
2. Start by adding 1 cup of sugar and ½ gallon of filtered water to the container.
If you’d like, you can add a few tablespoons of fresh or frozen fruit at this point for flavoring. (Cubes of frozen fruit can be found in most stores and are useful if you don’t have access to fresh fruit.)
3. Next, add 1 tbsp.
of the water kefir grains to the container. Cover it loosely with a cloth and let it sit at room temperature for 48 hours.
4. After 48 hours, remove the kefir grains using a clean spoon, and put them in a clean glass jar.
This is important since you don’t want to contaminate the grains with bacteria or mold. You can store the water kefir grains in the refrigerator to save for later if you’d like. They can be reused up to 3 times.
5. Strain and enjoy!
You can add your kefir to carbonated water if you’d like or drink it on its own. Don’t waste the fermented juice; you can use it in cooking or even as a cleaning agent!
Tips for Maintaining Your Water Kefir Grains
While it’s important to keep your water kefir grains clean, it’s also important to give them a break every once in awhile. It’s best to give them at least a week off after every 3rd or 4th brewing cycle.
If you don’t have time to let them rest, you can decrease the amount of sugar you add. This will allow you to use your water kefir grains for longer periods of time. Just remember that if you decrease the sugar, your water kefir won’t be as sweet.
If the grains are floating at the top of your container after 2 days, this means that they aren’t getting enough oxygen to survive. If this happens, just skim them off the top and put them in a glass jar with fresh sugar and water. They’ll thrive in this environment until you’re ready to use them again in your next batch of water kefir.
You should also replace your water kefir grains every 3 to 6 months. This is especially important if you’re not giving them a break every once in awhile. While they won’t necessarily die after 3 or 4 months, their effectiveness will decrease over time. When this happens, it’s time for a fresh batch.
Now that you have a good idea of how to make water kefir, you can easily incorporate it into your everyday life. Just remember that the longer you let it ferment, the more sugar will be consumed. This means that your kefir will get less sweet the longer you wait to strain it. Some people like their water kefir a bit on the sour side, while others prefer it very sweet.
Sources & references used in this article:
Functional properties of water kefiran and its use as a hydrocolloid in baking by M Hermann, K Kronseder, J Sorgend, T Ua-Arak… – … Food Research and …, 2016 – Springer
Crohn’s disease by R Book, C Book, I Book, DN Miller, BT Test, SA Test – 1978 – growyouthful.com
Kefir for Breakfast~ My Favorite Four by L Touched, M Orders – culturedfoodlife.com