My kitchen looks like a mad scientist’s laboratory lately! I composted my ginger bug because I was given some water kefir to try out and didn’t want too many cultures to feed. So now I have my sourdough starter sitting on the counter and my water kefir grains about fifteen feet away on the desk in the living room. Now on most days of the week, I am juggling between prepping sourdough bread for the oven and getting kefir mixed up for soda. Kefir soda is Cami’s new favorite drink and I don’t even mind when she asks for soda, at (almost) three-years old, because I know it’s good for her. This ain’t Pepsi folks!
There are several companies online that sell water kefir “grains” like Cultures for Health, but ask around first and see if anyone you know has some. They multiply like crazy! In one month, my kefir grains grew from 4 tablespoons to almost four cups! Extras can be shared or even composted since the “grains” are nothing more than a symbiotic culture of yeast and bacteria (S.C.O.B.Y.) –very much like kombucha.
Curiosity got the better of me and I had to pull some water kefir grains out to poke. They almost feel like bubbles. Or a stiff tapioca. Weird, but cool. My family thinks I am bizarre for eating fermented bread and drinking some sort of “bacteria water” that’s been sitting around un-refrigerated. Heaven forbid food be natural enough to not need modern, civilized refrigeration. They are afraid of drinking anything I bring over out of fear of botulism. Oh well. More for me and Cami.
Cami actually just got over a nasty cold and I swear it’s because I gave her lots of water kefir soda to drink and stay hydrated. I used a cranberry raspberry juice to mix in and it was perfect! I have also tried lemon, orange, and cream soda (vanilla) so far. Lots of healthy bacteria and natural probiotics (instead of those synthetic probiotics they add to yogurt nowadays).
To care for water kefir grains:
Add 1/2 cup of dissolved sugar (I used raw cane sugar) to 2 quarts of cool water and kefir grains.
Cover with breathable cloth and let sit for 24-48 hours.
Strain the kefir grains out of the finished water kefir.
Drink straight or mix with juice!
To make water kefir soda:
Mix a ratio of 4:1 finished water kefir to juice.
Bottle in sealable bottles and let sit at room temperature for 24-48 hours.
Refrigerate and drink up!