Water Kefir: Gut Loving Probiotic Drink
Water Kefir grains are a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (water kefir grains contain no actual “grains” such as wheat or gluten) . Although they’re called “grains,” water kefir grains look more like gelatinous blobs. The grains can be purchased online from Happy Gut Pro or obtained from a friend and if you take good care of them, they’ll multiply and can be used to create unending batches.
Don’t use honey, coconut sugar, agave, or sugar substitutes. Honey has antimicrobial properties and coconut sugar is very rich, so they can weaken water kefir grains; agave and sugar substitutes don’t contain the nutrients that are necessary for the water kefir grains’ survival. I use an organic sugar cane from Costco.
1 liter unchlorinated, unfluoridated water (boil tap water and let it cool down to room temperature)
1/4 cup raw sugar cane, turbinado, or sucanat
2 Tbsp water kefir grains
1/2 tsp blackstrap molasses or 1/2 unsulfured dried fig (this boosts the mineral content to keep grains happy)
Combine the water and sugar in a clean 2 liter jar. Cover the jar with a lid and shake it until the sugar dissolves. Remove the lid and add the water kefir grains to the jar. Add the molasses. Loosely cover the jar with a cloth, or cheese cloth with rubber band to hold in place. Store the jar at warm room temperature, out of direct sunlight, and let it ferment for 48 hours. (If left longer than 48 hours, the grains may starve and disintegrate.) As it ferments, the water will turn cloudy and slightly bubbly, and it will start to taste less sweet than the original sugar water.
Prepare a new jar of sugar water, repeating the steps above. Strain the fermented water kefir through a fine-mesh *plastic strainer into a jar. Transfer the water kefir grains to the new jar of sugar water. The finished water kefir is now ready to be flavored if desired (or you can choose to drink it as is).
Want to flavour your water kefir? Here’s 10 Water Kefir Recipes to get you started.
*Water kefir grains can react with metals such as aluminum, so always use nonmetal strainers. I found my plastic strainers on amazon.ca .