Water kefir, while not as popular as its counterpart milk kefir (read: What is Milk Kefir), is another probiotic-rich beverage. Water kefir can be made out of sugar, fruit juice and coconut water. The kefir grains feast on the sugar and produce a beverage that is full of friendly bacteria and yeasts. It is simple to make and can be made into a delicious beverage that even children can enjoy.
I’d just like to stress, like all fermented food, that water kefir does contain a small amount of alcohol but nothing that we have to worry about. It is a completely natural process that happens to all fermented foods. Did you know that soy sauce contains alcohol? The alcohol content in water kefir is between 0.5% to 0.75% depending on how long it is brewed - which is actually a tiny bit less than an over-ripe fruit which is around 0.9% to 1%. If you’re concerned about alcohol content in water kefir, you can test your brews with a hydrometer, often used by home brewers, or read this piece about alcohol content and water kefir.
To make water kefir check out this link: How to make water kefir
Benefits of Water Kefir
Water kefir has mostly the same benefits as milk kefir (read: What is Milk Kefir ). Just like milk kefir, it is an excellent source of good bacteria, plus it contains a variety of enzymes and organic acids, and a range of B vitamins, vitamin K and folic acid. By drinking it on a regular basis, it can help you achieve your optimal health by strengthening your immune system and preventing certain diseases. An imbalanced body is a great breeding ground for bad bacteria which then causes irritable and bad digestion, food allergies, headaches, flu, skin rashes and other more serious disorders. Water kefir contains less probiotics (approximately 10-15 strains) compared to milk kefir (approximately 30-50 strains) but it still provides more than store-bought yoghurt, kefir or probiotic supplements.
It makes a healthy soda-pop
Instead of giving your kids a store-bought, sugar-laden, unhealthy soda, why not make your own healthy version. Water kefir can be your go-to healthy soda. In the second fermentation, add some fresh fruit or juice to flavour the water kefir, and then wait for the natural carbonation process to happen so that it produces a fruit-flavoured soda, which is not as sweet as regular soda. Since it is less acidic compared to other fermented beverages like kombucha, it is milder in flavour making it more palatable to kids.
Flavoured water kefir can be done in many different ways. Popular choices are to use fruits and juices, but you can also use herbs, as well as cream soda or root beer if you want to really mimic soda pop flavours. Many ideas and an instructional video on how to flavour water kefir can be found online.
What about the sugar?
Water kefir does contain sugar, but through the fermentation process, most of the sugar is ‘eaten’ by the kefir grains. So you don’t have to deal with the adverse effects of sugar that commercial sodas often promote and it doesn’t add to problems with blood sugar fluctuations or feed those sugar cravings. Plus there are no chemicals or artificial ingredients in kefir soda. Water kefir has been known to heal candida and is suitable for diabetics in small quantities provided they monitor their blood sugar level.
Yes, we get that kefir is not a magic drink that will cure all your health troubles, but we do believe that it has a myriad of possible health benefits. Why not try it and let us know how you feel. We would love to hear from you!