Making Water Kefir
Everyone is talking about probiotics. And with good reason! Probiotics are good for us. We depend on the beneficial microorganisms in our gut to help us digest food. Popular name brand yogurt commercials tell us that yogurt helps regulate our digestive system and even is an important part of our immune system! Healthy gut flora can prevent more dangerous strains of bacteria and viruses from multiplying and causing illness. I’m sure you have all heard of yogurt as being probiotic. Today I will discuss another one – water kefir. Water kefir also serves other purposes – it contains vitamins and minerals, and since it tastes very similar to soda, it is a healthy way to satisfy your craving without all of the unhealthy ingredients of soda.
Water kefir is made by culturing water with water kefir grains – not grains like wheat or oats, but some sort of colony of beneficial bacteria and yeast that resemble small grains. There is also milk kefir (commonly just called kefir), which is made with similar grains put in milk. I’ll discuss that at another time, but I wanted to mention them so you won’t be confused.
When you make water kefir, you get an effervescent drink that can be flavored with citrus, ginger, or vanilla, just like your favorite sodas. But instead of being full of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and other nasty things, it is filled with probiotics. Soda that makes you healthier! The culture feeds off the sugar, so the resulting drink isn’t too sweet or sugary, and the process by which they do this creates carbonation. The benefits go beyond the probiotic benefits. The resulting drink is high in various minerals such as calcium and magnesium, B-vitamins and more. Read the rest of this entry »