|Check out that carbonation!
Want to take another baby step toward better nutrition for you and your family? Lacto-fermented beverages such as kefir, kvass and kombucha are a great substitution for soda and concentrated juice drinks. They are just sweet enough and just fizzy enough to pass for naughty, but in reality they are super healthy.
In Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon writes, “Throughout the world, these lactic-acid-containing drinks have been valued for medicinal qualities including the ability to relieve intestinal problems and constipation, promote lactation, strengthen the sick and promote overall well-being and stamina. Above all, these drinks were considered superior to plain water in their ability to relieve thirst during physical labor.”
From the WAPF Website…
- “Fermented beverages infuse the gut with lactobacilli and lactic acid to sustain their growth, as well as serve up a nice array of enzymes and nourishing minerals.”
- “When it comes to fermented beverages, a little goes a long way. Not only are they super- hydrating and supportive to the intestinal ecosystem, but lacto-fermented beverages are also quite detoxifying. The process of lacto-fermentation with both foods and beverages creates a host of beneficial micro-organisms. Many of these bacteria are crucial to detoxification.”
- “Because of these powerful properties, the average adult will do well to consume around four to six ounces and a child would need even less at one time. Quite small amounts might be best for those just getting started. A person’s optimal quantity can also be influenced by his unique sensitivity and the strength of the beverage. A good place to start a toddler would be with a few tablespoons mixed into a blend.”
|Water Kefir Grains
Eventually I’ll do posts on all of these amazing drinks, but today’s post is devoted to my favorite and the easiest of the bunch…Water Kefir. Now, water kefir is very different from milk kefir so please don’t get the two confused and definitely don’t use the water kefir grains with dairy.
First, you will need to get some water kefir grains. There are many sources out there, but your best bet might be to find someone in your area that makes water kefir, as these grains multiply like crazy and fermenters will often be trying to find a home for their extra grains. One way to do this is to find your local WAPF chapter and ask around. You’re likely to make some new friends, learn a few things and pick up some grains, scobies and starters. Once you have your grains, the recipe is simple.
1 Tbs (or more) Water Kefir Grains
1 Quart Filtered Water
1/4 C Sugar
Heat a small amount of water and dissolve the sugar completely. In a two quart (or larger) glass container, combine your sugar water solution with the remaining water and allow it to cool to room temperature. At this time you can add your grains. If you have a mesh bag like the kind you use to sprout seeds or soak nuts, you can put the grains into the bag. If not you can just put them right into the solution. For the basic recipe this is all you need to do. Cover the glass container with a coffee filter and allow it to ferment for 24-48 hours then remove or strain the grains and refrigerate your water kefir in a glass jar (with lid) and enjoy!
If you want to get fancy you can add some citrus or dried fruit to your ferment. Even fancier than that, you can do a secondary ferment: Remove your grains after 24 hours and add some fresh or frozen fruit or juice to the mixture and allow it to ferment another 24 hours before straining and transfering to the refrigerator.
Rinse your grains with filtered water when you are done with each batch. When you are not using your grains, you can store them in the fridge in some sugar water for up to a week. If you need to store them longer just remember to “feed” them weekly with fresh sugar water. As your grains multiply pass them along and teach, teach, teach!
Eat Well, Be Well,
1. Grains don’t like metal, so use plastic or glass when handling the grains
2. Grains don’t like pesticides or chemicals so always use filtered water and organic fruits.
3. You can double or triple this recipe as your grains multiply, just keep the ratio the same.
If you’re confused or need more recipe ideas, check out these resources.
What is Water Kefir and How to Make It