Many of you are familiar with the healthy probiotic drink known as kefir, a fermented dairy beverage, but what about water kefir? Water Kefir is a probiotic beverage made with water kefir grains or a powdered kefir starter culture.Water kefir grains can be used to culture sugar water, juice, or coconut water.
While there are many similarities between milk kefir and water kefir, the taste and texture is completely different. If you’ve had milk kefir before, then you know it’s similar to yogurt in drinkable form. It has a thick and creamy consistency with a tangy taste that makes it perfect to use in smoothies, sauces, and drink by itself.
Water kefir is a light, refreshing, probiotic-rich, fizzy drink. Like milk kefir, water kefir is made using kefir grains, in this case you would use water kefir grains. These “grains” are clusters of beneficial bacteria and yeast that work together in a symbiotic relationship. You can also use a powdered kefir starter culture if you don’t want to maintain the grains by feeding them regularly.
Water kefir makes a perfect dairy-free alternative to regular kefir. When made properly, it is delightfully carbonated and can be a great low-sugar, fermented alternative to soda.
The process is much the same as dairy kefir, but instead of milk, sweetened water is used. Water kefir grains will also multiply much like milk kefir grains so they can be reused or shared with friends.
Water kefir is fairly versatile in that you can use sweetened water, fruit juices, or coconut water. This makes water kefir a great option for those looking for a variety of flavors in their fermented beverages.
Regularly consuming cultured or fermented foods can help support a healthy gut, improve digestion, support your immune system, and improve overall well-being.
This recipe I’m sharing with you today is for making basic water kefir. From there, the options are endless. You can flavor your water kefir with fruit or essential oils. You can also use it in smoothies and other recipes. I love getting all of my culture starters and grains from Cultures for Health. They have such a great assortment, and they provide wonderful recipes and tips for getting started.
One glass jar
One plastic or wood stirring utensil
One towel or paper coffee filter to use as a covering for the jar
A fine mesh strainer for removing the kefir grains from the finished kefir
Rehydrated Water Kefir Grains (click here to learn how to activate dehydrated grains)
1/4 cup sugar per quart of water
Water (free of chlorine and fluoride)
NOTE: If your water kefir grains are in a dehydrated state, you’ll need to to activate the grains prior to making water kefir. You can also make coconut water kefir, just follow this recipe.
Pour 1/4 cup sugar into the jar.
Add 1/2 cup hot water.
Swirl to dissolve the sugar.
Add 3 cups room temperature or cool water.
Check the temperature of the liquid to make sure it’s room temperature ( 68°-85°F.)
Add the water kefir grains
Cover the jar with a coffee filter or towel and secure with a rubber band around the opening.
Place in a warm spot, 68°-85°F, to culture for 24-48 hours.
After culturing is complete, prepare a new batch of sugar water, (steps 1-4 above).
Separate kefir grains from the finished water kefir.
Place kefir grains in the new batch of sugar water.
The finished water kefir is now ready to consume or store in the refrigerator.