I have been becoming more interested in fermented foods lately and the benefits for our health. I discovered that the Community Farm Store in Duncan carried products from Cultures for Health. On a day trip in the fall I went in and found that they had Water Kefir, Milk Kefir and Thermophilic Cultures for making cheese.
Kefir which can be pronounced either kee-fur or kuh-feer is typically a fermented milk drink that has been around for thousands of years. I’ll be trying to make this next. Water kefir is a carbonated lacto-fermented drink. I decided since I am somewhat lactose intolerant this would be a good place for me to start. The website said this was easy product to start fermenting, which I found to be quite true. You can either use a sugar water mixture or juices. I had organic cane sugar from Level Ground Trading which I used to make the sugar water solution.
These are the grains, they are good bacteria and yeasts in a symbiotic relationship.
The recipe was included in the package. I also watched the instructional video on the culturesforhealth.com website. First you have rehydrate the kefir grains.
I collected all the things I would need to rehydrate the grains.
The first step was to take a clean (really really clean) jar add ¼ cup of the organic cane sugar and dissolve in a small amount of very hot water.
Once I had the sugar dissolved, I added cold water to fill the jar. You want to end up with room temperature water. Next I added the water kefir grains and then covered the jar with a cloth.
As the grains rehydrate they will create some gas which you want to be able to escape.
Next I labelled the jar so that I would remember when it should be done.
You then wait (rather impatiently in my case) for 5 days. Each day the grains looked a little plumper.
After 5 days you pour off the used sugar solution and catch the grains in a sieve. They recommend a plastic sieve as metal can react with the grains. You repeat the process of making the sugar solution and add the grains. Now you wait 24-48 hours. I waited the 48 hours, drained off the water kefir and started a new batch.
I really liked the flavor of the plain water kefir. It was slightly sweet, slightly carbonated and yet it felt like it had some body to it. I also added a small amount of Ribena which was lovely.
Probiotics are helpful to enhance the good bacteria in your gut. Drinking these bacteria leads to colonization and then hopefully to a healthier digestion and immunity. I guess I will see if I notice any changes in my health.