I’m sure you have heard of kefir, regarding milk kefir, but have you heard of water kefir? This probiotic, dairy-free, carbonated, delicious “soda” will become your new best friend. So let’s start with the facts! What exactly IS water kefir, you ask? Let’s explore 🙂
Water kefir grains are probiotic grains that consist of bacteria and enzymes your body uses for gut health and enhancing healthy bacterial flora in your body. Water kefir grains are dairy free and they do not contain actual wheat (even though they are called “grains”). Their texture kind of reminds me of those water beads you can get for you littles! They are translucent, jelly-like scoby that you can use in all sorts of ways. Think Kombucha, but milder in taste and much smaller!
So why water kefir? It contains ALL sorts of yummy benefits, including, but not limited to:
Water Kefir can also help with cravings. It has helped me SO much with my soda craving. I’m not sure why, and it’s never been so much about the flavor as it is the carbonation in soda, but as soon as I take even just a few sips, I’m HOOKED and have the HARDEST time getting off of it. Water Kefir is one of the only things I have been able to use as a replacement that is actually successful in getting me off the soda and sugar addiction. <–YES! It also helps cut back the sugar cravings. Win win in my mind!
There are lots of different “basic” recipes all over the inter-webs, but below is my go-to recipe. For some more in-depth information, recipe combinations, etc. I love Cultures For Health. You can even sign up for the free water kefir ebook!
You will notice, there is a good amount of sugar in the basic recipe to grow and feed your water kefir grains. When I first learned of water kefir, my question was, with so much sugar, how is that not adding sugar in my body and being counter-productive? It’s a ridiculously simple explanation actually. Water kefir grains need minerals and sugar to really thrive. So when you give them both, they will eat all of it away and grow! Therefore, the amount actually going into your body is extremely low.
When it comes to making the actual “soda” part, you can use any number of combinations, so be ready to live life on the wild side. Throw in some ginger and lemon, or some all natural and organic fruit juice, or chop up some strawberries and basil! Use your favorite flavorings and enjoy 🙂 Check out my recipe for Water Kefir Soda, below!
Pro Tip: Your water kefir grains need minerals to really thrive. You can add a pinch of salt to each batch (make sure it is a high quality salt, such as himalayan), or, you can add some sucanat sugar and dark molasses (instead of the regular sugar) to your batch once every month or two. Both will effect the taste, so try them and see what you are your family like more. If you choose to the second option, you can easily just pour out the kefir water after and start fresh instead of using it to consume.
Happy kefiring! 😉