Over the past year, I have been on a mission to add as much probiotics foods to our diet. Probiotics are important for gut health. And no doubt I have been busy in the kitchen trying out new recipes. Like making goat’s yoghurt, fermented vegetables, bone broth and water kefir. I sometimes open probiotic capsules in the kid’s smoothies so that I know they are getting as much probiotics in their diet.
Water Kefir has become one of my favourite drinks in our home, we don’t use squash at all. The kids love it; I usually add it to our drinking water as an alternative to squash.
What is Water Kefir?
Water kefir is a fermented beverage with beneficial probiotic bacteria. It is quick and simple to prepare, and once it is brewed, absolutely delicious. It has a slightly sweet through to crisp, earthy, yeasty flavour, depending on how it is prepared. Sometimes when there is more yeast in the brew it contains a tiny amount of alcohol and is slightly fizzy if bottled. Water kefir is a magnificent source of beneficial bacteria; it also contains a variety of enzymes and organic acids, and a range of B vitamins, vitamin K and folic acid.
Kefir means “feel good” in Turkish. Water kefir is also known as tibicos, tibi, sugar kefir, Japanese water crystals, bebees, Australian bees, African bees, California Bees, ale nuts, balm of Gilead or beer seeds.
Benefits of drinking water kefir and using it on your skin
Drinking Water Kefir can help you to achieve your optimal health, strengthen your immune system, and help to prevent diseases of all kinds. Most importantly, it restores good digestion – the key to health and longevity. When your body is out of balance, unfriendly opportunistic bacteria and yeasts can take over – producing irritable and bad digestion, food allergies, headaches, flu, skin rashes, and other more serious disorders. Water kefir is something you and your family can drink and use on your skin every day.
- Inhibits the growth of unfriendly bacteria and yeasts, and helps beneficial probiotic microorganisms to colonise and thrive in your digestive tract, and throughout the test of the body (skin, eyes, bladder, vagina, nose, throat, etc).
- Contributes to a healthy immune system.
- Reduces inflammation.
- Helps with the digestion of food and micronutrients. The KEY for health and longevity is good digestion, and a balance of good bacteria are the essential starting point.
- Heals, or reduces the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome IBS) including bloating, indigestion, flatulence, diarrhoea/constipation, nausea, low energy, muscle aches and pains.
- Heals intestinal dysbiosis and SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth).
- Increased energy and overall feeling of good health.
- Can stop unhealthy food cravings, especially for sugars and sweet foods.
- Skin complexion and overall condition improves. Brown liver spots / age spots can fade, as can skin tags, moles, warts etc. It can ease or cure many skin conditions, such as psoriasis, eczema and acne.
- Hair and nails look healthier, and are strengthened and improved.
- Liver cleansing, as in traditional Chinese medicine, thus easing aches and joint pains, and benefiting the eyes.
- Glandular (endocrine) system (adrenals, thyroid, pituitary, ovaries) benefits. Women have healthier periods; some women have periods start again after early menopause.
- A tranquillising effect on the nervous system has helped many who suffer from sleep disorders and insomnia, depression, ADHD and autism.
Recipe – how to make water kefir
You will need: Water Kefir Cultures also called Water Kefir Grains. They aren’t really grains, but are a symbiotic colony of beneficial bacteria that create probiotics and enzymes during the process of breaking down natural sugar.
- Glass Jar (1 quart or half gallon)
- Wooden spoon for stirring (avoid metal)
- Towel, cheesecloth or coffee filter to cover jar
- Rubber band
- Hydrated Water Kefir Grains (I get mine here)
- ¼ cup sugar per quart of water (I like organic unprocessed sugar).Do not use honey!! Non-chlorinated filtered water.
- Dissolve the sugar in small amount of hot water.
- When sugar is dissolved, fill the rest of the jar with cool filtered water and make sure the water is not warm- it must be at room temp!
- Add the hydrated Water Kefir Grains
- Cover with towel, cheesecloth, or coffee filter and rubber band to keep out insects
- Leave on the counter (preferably at 70-75 degrees) for 24-48 hours.
- After 48 hours, strain the water Kefir Grains through a mesh strainer (don’t use metal if you can help it!) pouring the liquid into another container. I use a half jars for this process.
- Restart the process by dissolving more sugar in water, adding cool water and adding Water Kefir Grains.
To make the Water Kefir carbonated, pour a couple ounces of fruit juice into the strained water kefir you just strained. I like to use Grape and Pomegranate, as they work the best. Once you’ve added the juice, cover the jars tightly with an air tight lid and leave on the counter an additional 1-3 days before drinking or refrigerating. Repeat the process!