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Monday, October 13, 2008

HOW TO MAKE KEFIR WATER

Drinking water kefir is a great way to fix just about any stomach problem you are dealing with. It is full of all kinds of friendly bacteria that can colonize in your intestines to help get your stomach's flora back in shape. Surprisingly many of our health problems are directly related to our ability to absorb and use nutrients via digestion. Digestion is large factor in determining our overall health. That is where kefir comes in. Let me steal a quote from Lucille Ball in her skit for the VitaMitaVegimin commercial, "and its so yummy too!"

Lately, everyone is running to buy special yogurts with added friendly bacteria. Yogurt is great! But making it yourself is even better and a lot cheaper. We really should take advantage of all of the friendly bacteria found in such things as yogurts, milk/water kefirs and kombuchas. Each contains different benefits. Here is a basic, not exhaustive, list of the kinds of friendly bacteria found in Water Kefir:

* Lactobacillus brevis
* Streptococcus lactis
* Saccharomyces cerevisae
* Betabacterium vermiforme
* Saccharomyces pastorianus.

There are many variations of kefir water. My favorites are are made with Ginger/Figs and Ginger/Raisins. Before I begin to explain how to make kefir water, I first want to give credit to Dom, the man who taught me everything I know about it. He has helped me more times than I can count. If after reading this you become interested in making your own kefir water, I highly recommend that you check out Dom's website:
Dom's kefir info webpage http://users.chariot.net.au/~dna/kefirpage.html .

Here are the measurements I use for a quart size jar:

water kefir
3 cups spring water
3.5 - 4 TBS of grain
1/4 sugar
1/8 tsp sea salt (Celtic or Himalayan is best)
2 small ginger slices
slice of lemon
2 small or one large dried fig (or raisins)

mix (stir) water, salt and sugar well (until dissolved)
add grains
add lemon, figs and ginger
(carefully stir one more time)

-- Stir after 24 hours and ferment for another 24 hours -- when the temperature is warmer it ferment faster. Taste it to make sure it is ready. When the sweetness is gone, it is ready! Be sure to leave enough room in your container for it to grow... and burp it in the fridge from time to time. I have heard of exploding kefir bottles. So don't forget to burp your bottles!

Of course, I make mine in gigantic pickle jars. Which, for you, would just require multiplying the ingredients accordingly. If you are interested in learning more about making your own water kefir or finding out more about the benefits of drinking it, check out these websites:

How to make kefir http://users.chariot.net.au/~dna/Makekefir.html
Kefir FAQ http://users.chariot.net.au/~dna/kefir-faq.html

Some of you are now wondering about milk kefir. I will talk more about that later!

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