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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Water Kefir Recipe "Elixir of Life"


This is my favorite drink. I been making it for almost 2 years.
Water kefir is made from kefir grains, also known as sugar grains, tibicos, tibi, or Japanese water crystals.  The grains make up a cultures of various strains of healthy bacteria and yeast, held together in a polysaccharide matrix created by the bacteria. The symbiotic relationship of the microbes produces a stable growing culture. The microbes feed on sugar and produce lactic acid, alcohol (ethanol), and carbon dioxide, yielding a fermented carbonated beverage. The alcohol content is usually very minimal, less than 1 %. The health benefits of consuming water kefir are endless. 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.

   Ingredients:

7 cups of filtered water
8 tbs kefir grains (I ordered grains on ebay)
3/4 cup organic cane sugar or turbinado raw cane sugar (I use half of each)

After you strain kefir grains. Add dried or fresh fruits to  flavor water kefir. 

This is my favorite recipe:

4 cups filtered water
1/4 cup water kefir grains
1/3 cup organic cane juice crystals (sugar)
3 Tablespoon turbinado (brown)
       Add after fermentation when grains are removed.
2 pieces ginger
3 slices dried pear (unsulphured)


Water Kefir Video


Never use tap water because it contains chemicals such as chlorine and fluoride. They will kill the grains. Make sure the dried fruit doesn’t have any sulfur dioxide added to it. Many conventional brands add this chemical to keep the dried fruit looking bright and fresh.
I use this turbinado sugar. It gives water kefir such a good flavor, that I like it just plain with out any fruits.

It’s very important that you NEVER use any metal utensils or tools when handling living cultures such as kefir grains. They don’t like metal and may be adversely affected if exposed to it.
Direction:
Mix sugar and filtered water. Add grains to it. Let it ferment for 48 hours. Use glass jar with a lid. When fermenting close the lid tight. Keep it out of direct light.
Water kefir grains look like this.
After fermenting strain water kefir with plastic strainer. Add any flavors. Rinse kefir grains and make a new batch. It will multiply as you make a few batches.  
I tried adding vanilla extract today. It taste like cream soda; yum:) 
I like to add dried pears sometimes.  Raspberries gave a nice touch to it.







 Here I found lots of Recipes on the web.

Fruit: Fresh or dried fruit can be added either during the fermentation process or after the grains have been removed. Or simply add in anything in a blender with the kefir water and some ice for a refreshing slushy!

Fruit Juice: Fruit juice should only be added once the grains have been removed (It can cause them to cease growing, disintegrate and also dye them the color of the juice). Approximately 1/4 cup juice per 1 quart kefir water is a good amount to start with. Adjust to taste. Lemon juice added at the end of a basic sugar-water 
kefir with white sugar makes a fantastic lemonade. Orange juice makes a great tangy orange soda. Grape juice is yet another favorite often referred to as Kefir d'uva.

Flavor Extracts: The most commonly used flavor extract is vanilla which makes a smooth cream soda when added (½ TBS pure vanilla extract to 1 quart finished water kefir). Be sure to remove the grains before adding a flavor extract. Whole vanilla beans or cinnamon sticks can be used as well.

Orange Vanilla Soda
After 48 hours of fermentation, strain the kefir, take the liquid and add ½ TBS 
vanilla extract per quart. Add a couple orange slices (outer rind peeled if 
non-organic). Let sit for another 24 hours on the counter, or 24-48 in the fridge. 
Tighten the lid for more fizz!

Blueberry Coconut
After 48 hours of fermentation, strain the kefir, take the liquid and add ¼ cup 
coconut water per quart. Put in a big handful of blueberries. Let sit for another 24 
hours on the counter, or 24-48 in the fridge.

Cranberry Apple
After 48 hours of fermentation, strain the kefir, take the liquid and add ¼ cup cranberry juice per quart. Throw in a couple slices of apple. Let sit for another 24 hours on the counter, or 24-48 in the fridge.

Grape
After 48 hours of fermentation, strain the kefir, take the liquid and add ¼ cup grape juice per quart. Add a couple grapes if desired as well. Let sit for another 24 hours on the counter, or 24-48 in the fridge. Tighten the lid for more fizz!

Creamy Ginger spice
After 48 hours of fermentation with just ginger and sugar, strain the kefir, take the liquid and add ½ TBS vanilla extract and 1 cinnamon stick per quart. Let sit for another 24 hours on the counter, or 24-48 in the fridge. Tighten the lid for more fizz! Serve cold with whip cream on top. Or add some scoops of caramel vanilla ice 
cream for a delicious float!

Lime Pineapple
After 48 hours of fermentation with a slice of lime (instead of lemon), strain the kefir, take the liquid and add a half cup pineapple chunks per quart, squeeze in the lime juice and discard the lime slice. Let sit for another 24 hours on the counter, 
or 24-48 in the fridge.

Raspberry mango
After 48 hours of fermentation, strain the kefir, take the liquid and add ¼ cup mango (or similar tropical fruit juice) per quart. Add in ½ cup raspberries. Let sit for another 24 hours on the counter, or 24-48 in the fridge. Tighten the lid for more fizz!

Strawberry lemon
After 48 hours of fermentation, strain the kefir, take the liquid and add 1/2 cup pureed strawberries and squeeze out the juice from the lemon into it. Add a couple whole strawberries if desired as well. Let sit for another 24 hours on the counter, or 24-48 in the fridge. If this is too tart, add in some sugar or honey at the end to taste.

Cola Cherry
After 48 hours of fermentation of just sugar and grains, strain the kefir, take the liquid and add ¼ cup cherry juice per quart. Add a couple whole cherries if desired as well. Let sit for another 24 hours on the counter, or 24-48 in the fridge. Mix in sugar to taste if desired.

Banana Berry Blend (Slushy or Smoothie)
Take a ½ cup frozen berries, ½ cup kefir water, ¼  cup shredded coconut, 1/2 large banana, a couple spoons of applesauce and blend in ice until desired consistency is reached. Add honey or sugar if you would like it sweeter. You can also make a smoothie with a couple scoops vanilla or coconut ice cream instead of ice. This is a 
very delicious flavor combination.

To make Slushies, Smoothies and Italian Sodas with Water Kefir:

Since water kefir does have some flavor of its own, we recommend starting out with flavors that compliment it one or two at a time, just in case you are not crazy about the final flavor. Most people love many different combinations though, and even fruits like blueberries and bananas can go well with water kefir. Below are 
some recipes and recommendations!

Water Kefir Slushies:

Put in a blender your finished, ready-to-drink water kefir liquid (a cup or two), fruit of choice and any other add-ins. Blend. THEN add in crushed ice until the consistency is good. Often times people underestimate the amount of ice needed make sure you have a lot on hand!
  
Fruit and flavorings can be fresh, frozen, jams or juices. Mix it up and see what new delicious twists you can create! You can also add in carrot juice, aloe, yogurt, soy, cream (make it an italian soda!) ginger, vanilla or chocolate if you're feeling adventurous or looking to boost the nutrition even more!

Water Kefir Smoothies (similar to slushies, but with frozen yogurt or ice cream!):

Put in a blender your finished, ready-to-drink water kefir liquid (a cup or two), fruit of choice and any other add-ins. Blend. THEN add in icecream or frozen yogurt of your choice until you reach your desired consistency. Vanilla is always a good base to start with.

Taste, add more fruit or fruit juice if needed (not too much or it will turn runny quickly), and tiny bit of honey or applesauce (or any kind of sugar or stevia) if it needs some more sweetness.   

A few great blends to try (same as slushy recommendations): 
lemonade-strawberry, grape, grape-lime, mango-banana, kiwi-raspberry, acai berry, banana-pineapple, cherry, ginger-lemon-orange, blackberry, pomegranate, cranberry-lime, lemon-lime, grape-cherry-strawberry, blueberry-tangerine-banana, banana-apple-raspberry, coconut-blueberry, papaya-banana, strawberry-banana-orange, lychee-coconut-banana, pineapple-banana-guava, orange-banana-grapefruit, watermelon-lime.

Fruit and flavorings can be fresh, frozen, jams or juices (or extracts such as almond). Mix it up and see what new delicious twists you can create! You can also add in carrot juice, aloe, yogurt, cream (to make a very rich smoothie) ginger, vanilla or chocolate if you're feeling adventurous or looking to boost the nutrition even more! You can also of course add in some delicious bites of cookies, cake, 
candy, nuts, graham cracker, whatever your heart desires!
 I recommend sticking to a more basic flavor like vanilla and mixing these in at the end for a chunky effect (and possibly using LOTS of ice cream for a Cold Stone type mix-in effect, instead of a drinkable smoothie).

Water Kefir Italian Soda:

1. Fill a tall glass cup with ice
2. (Optional - I recommend trying these after you know what the plain version tastes like) add in some flavoring syrup of your choice (grape, cherry, kiwi, cranberry etc). Jam or blended fruit can be used instead of syrup - add honey or sugar if the blended fruit is too bland).
3. Pour in your fizzy water kefir to about an inch from the top. To get fizzy water kefir, bottle it in a specially designed air-tight bottle, such as a swing-top bottle  for a couple days until desired fizziness is reached (then add it to this recipe).
4. Add in half and half (half cream, half milk) to the top.
5. Stick in your straw and drink!


24 comments:

  1. I have the Kombucha tea, that I make, it is also a fermented drink. I will need to get me some water kefir grains!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had Kambucha too but my family did not drink it well. But water kefir they love. My 4 year old calls it pepsi.
      Thanks✿✿✿

      Delete
    2. How do you make and store the drink please? when you place the grains in a jar and seal it for 48 hours is that room temp fermentation ? then you place in a refigator ? and how long is that good for please? and if I want to try the Frizzy bubbly do i take it out of the frig and let it stand outside the frig again for 2 days ? And how many times can you use the grains? once twice or 25 times? does Whole foods have the grains ? thanks its really fermented sugar water right?

      Delete
    3. Yes, you ferment water kefir in the room temp for 48 hrs. I had it in my fridge for up to week. It does not last longer in my house. You keep it in the fridge. No you don't need to wait 2 more days for bubbles. When you strain kefir you can put it in the bottle and close it tight. And let it sit overnight on the counter. It will be more bubbly the put it in the fridge. Grains keep on growing and if you take good care of em you can reuse em for many years. You order grains on ebay. Yes its fermented drink.
      I hope I answered all your questions:)

      Delete
  2. That's interesting... We call it "kvas"... And the grains "rastitelniy rice"... Lol! So technically kvas Lol.. The same exact reciepe as yours... Pretty cool to know that people call it by another name(;

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it could be kvas. I always thought water kefir was a funny name. We really enjoy it anyway:)
      Thanks✿✿✿

      Delete
  3. Lea do u have any extra kefir grains. Tanya linnik

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Tanya stop by I'll give you some:)

      Delete
  4. Thank u so much. I stop by Thank u

    ReplyDelete
  5. We didn't know you could flavor water kefir- thank you for sharing:)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Is there any way to store the grains, say if you are going out of town or you just have too much of the kefir to handle?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you need to stop using your kefir grains for a while, put them in a glass jar with sweetener, covered with water
      and a tight lid and put them in the refrigerator. Rinse and add more sweetener once per week. You can freeze or dry grains but with my experiment it did not taste the same.

      Delete
  7. I love water kefir and make it with apple juice and organic cane sugar. I use a stainless steel stainer which has been fine because it is non reactive. I tried using ginger but I did not notice any flavor from it but my grains which I bought from Cultures for Health love apple juice. We are diabetic so I let it sit lid closed tight for about 48 hours to eat most of the sugar and it carbonates wonderfully. Hubby says it tastes like wine but it taste like carbonated apple cider to me! It is kind of like Boones Farm apple wine but better. Yeah, I know, Classy! : )

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yummmmm! Seriously, thanks so much! Very excited to try all the recipe flavors. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a delicious healthy drink:)
      Enjoy!

      Delete
  9. Does it have any taste without flvouring it? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I like it with out any flavoring too. Turbinado sugar gives it a yummy touch:)

      Delete
  10. Last time I bought the grains from eBay, and they weren't alive, so I didn't get any fermentation. Need to try again. What part of Washington are you from? And do you have any extra grains?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am from Everett. I don't have any grains now. When I traveled, they weren't the same when I came back so I toss em out.

      Delete
  11. Hi Lea, I am new to water Kiefer, I am enjoying the experimenting, however I do not feel like my grains are multiplying. Any advice? I have made at least 6 batches with my current grains. I purchased them from Cultures for Health. Where did you find your plastic strainer? Sounds dumb but I cannot locate one, I will order from Amazon if needs be.

    ReplyDelete

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