Kefir is a probiotic beverage traditionally made with dairy, but more and more health conscious people are now making non-dairy “water kefir” as a way of supplying themselves with a delicious and healthy probiotic supplement that they can make easily at home.
To start, you will need:
– kefir culture (or “grains”) which is basically a symbiotic mix of yeasts and bacteria
– filtered water (as fluoride destroys the bacteria)
– sugar, if water instead of juice is used, e.g. Coconut Sugar (more mineral rich than other sugars)
– glass container
– non metal sieve
– half a lemon (optional)
– fresh ginger root (optional but it’s really nice to have)
How to make:
Fill 1 L jar with filtered water.
Add 1 to 1.5 tablespoon of Kefir grains. And put in the same amount in coconut sugar.
Add half a whole clean lemon (important: washed with vegetable wash). Stir lightly with a chopstick. Cover to keep dirt out.
Leave in room temperature for 8 -24 hours depending on temperature. Give the jar a shake whenever you go to the kitchen. (Or leave it on the fridge so every time you open the fridge it gets shaken. This helps to introduce oxygen to the mixture.)
After 8-24 hours, taste the product. It should taste slightly sour like apple cider vinegar.
Use a plastic sieve to sieve out the Kefir grains and lemon. Kefir grains will have multiplied by now. You can keep the grains for making another batch.
You can enjoy your probiotic beverage now. We call it the “first ferment”.
For your “second ferment”, put your favourite fruits and ingredients such as ginger*, blueberries, raspberries into the Kefir and let them sit another day or so. So you may not drink the first ferment but sieve the grains out after only about 12 hours and then do the second ferment with more flavour. This way the end product will not be too sour.
The longer you leave the product, the more sour it gets. Put in the fridge if you want to slow down the fermentation. Beware that if you leave in tight bottle, the Kefir might fizz out when you open the lid. (If you intend to make a fizzy drink, then do so.)
You may also leave the grains in for a few days for a continuous brew. As the Kefir grains have multiplied a lot, you can give them away or eat them.
Kefir made with coconut water has a very light and refreshing taste. Kefir made with coconut sugar and ginger is richer tasting and better suited for “cold” body type. Lemon or lime always add freshness. Serve it slightly chilled.
How to keep your kefir healthy:
Just like us, the kefir will benefit from eating different foods and having occasionally holiday too!
So rotate the sugar you use every now and then or when it starts to slow down growing or disintegrate.
And every week or so, put the kefir in the fridge for a day or two for a “holiday”!
Ways of using Kefir:
Use Kefir grain to make fermented nut cheese.
Where to get Kefir culture:
We give it out at i-Detox! We do not charge for it. But your voluntary donation to one of our charities is very much appreciated! 🙂