Probiotics are some of the best selling food supplements but do you know that you can grow your own high potency probiotics in a few days and make a delicious carbonated cold drink called kefir? Mrs Everybody finds growing probiotics almost as easy as making a cup tea, especially now she has simplified her recipe. Mr and Mrs Everybody always have a glass of kefir water in the early evening to make a change from cups of tea and coffee.
You will need to procure some live kefir ‘grains’. The grain is a culture which is a symbiote of healthy bacteria and yeasts held in a poly- saccharide biofilm matrix created by the bacteria. They look like pale and soggy popcorn kernels. Don’t worry, you don’t eat then, but use them to form an amazing tasty health drink. Nobody knows the origin of kefir grains and the roots could go back hundreds if not thousands of years. Kefir making is certainly no fad!
There are two types of kefir grains, those which grow in a water medium and those which grown in a milk medium. This recipe is for water growing grains. You will be able to buy kefir grains from the internet if they are not available in your local health food shop. Once you start making your kefir drink, the grains will multiply, so you will be able to give some of them to your friends. In fact, this acts as a free insurance policy. My friend Carol has given me fresh batches of grains on many occasions. If you do manage to kill yours, perhaps with chlorinated tap water or by forgetting about their feeding needs, don’t despair! Call your friends and your can obtain your kefir clone sisters …
Great, the postman has brought your live ‘water kefir grains’. If you are not going to make the drink straight away, pour off their water and replace it with unchlorinated water (I use water from my amphora as these is the easiest way to reduce chloride in tap water) and 1-2 tsp of brown sugar. Put the kefir in its solution back in the fridge. You can keep it resting like this for several weeks, as long as you change the water and feed it every few days.
The Basic Idea: Kefir Probiotic Drink
You add water to the grains and feed them on a sugary solution. They use the solution to live and multiply, creating the health drink through their metabolic processes and using up most of the sugar. After 2-3 days pour off the wonderful living liquid, wash and rinse the grains and feed them again to make the next brew. You can drink the healthy liquid straight away if you like or bottle it for consumption over the next few days.
To Make the Probiotic Kefir Water Drink
Rinse the grains in a sieve using amphora conditioned water or bottle water (unchlorinated water).
Place the kefir grains in a 2 liter glass jar.
Add 7 tablespoons brown sugar (without sulphites), the darker the better.
Add 1 tablespoon raisins (better also without sulphites and oily sprays)
Add 1 teaspoon molasses – I have also used date syrup. Add a slice or a chunk of lemon or lime.
Add water leaving airspace at the head of the jar and mix everything together.
Place the lid somewhat loosely on the jar, so that excess air can escape, or cover it with a cloth.
Let it ferment for a day or two and take off the liquid for drinking.
Rinse the kefir grains and start again.
Mrs Everybody prefers to bottle her kefir drink in a glass bottle with a firm seal (flip top bottles are the best) and she leaves it for another day to increase the carbonation levels. The kefir drink is now ready! Don’t forget to drink it or the bottles will explode.
There are other recipes for flavouring the kefir. When I was first shown how to make kefir by my friend, the sugar was laid over a 1” piece of grated ginger root, to extract the ginger juice and this gingery-sugary liquor was used in place of some of the sugar. While I like this occasionally, usually, I prefer the more subtle flavour without any ginger. By not including the ginger part of the recipe, I am finding the recipe very fast to prepare and I can do it while I am making a pot of tea.
Kefir is good for people who suffer from digestive, skin and auto immune problems. It is also part of the war against candida infection, don’t be put off by the fact that the recipe contains sugar. It is good for everyone because good health begins at the gut level. The end result gives a probiotic drink of 20-30 different probiotic bacteria / yeast with about 2% alcohol (similar to natural vinegars).
Many people experience noticeable benefits days are starting to drink it. Certainly kefir helped my old cat when she was ill with tummy trouble and helped her to turn the corner back to good health. Among all ‘non-alcoholic’ carbonated drinks, kefir water is Mrs Everbody’s favourite. She hopes that you will rate it highly too and enjoy all the fun of making it, caring for the kefir grains and sharing them with your friends and family.