To maintain a healthy body, you must maintain a healthy gut. We’ve all heard of probiotics, from yoghurt to yakult to supplements and tablets there are plenty of products on the market claiming to help feed you friendly bacteria. However a lot of these foods and supplements may have been pasteurised (heated) and so killed all the nutrients and bacteria both good and bad.
One way of increasing your intake of probiotics that are still live is to brew your own by process of fermentation. This may sound a little weird, but trust me you don’t need a science lab and a white coat to brew your own…
Kefir is a bacterial yeast culture that is full of live enzymes and probiotics and beneficial vitamins and nutrients. It is a great way to help balance and control the yeast in your body which with our modern diet so high in sugars can often cause our bodies a significant amount of harm…
You can get either get water kefir or milk kefir. I preferred the thought of water kefir when considering trying this out as it seemed simpler to just add filtered water and organic sugar.
Kefir feeds off sugar so although you add a reasonable amount of the sweet stuff it is actually being metabolised by the yeasts and bacteria present in the kefir grains. That is how the grains survive and multiply.
I purchased my live grains from a website that had a good reputation for supplying kefir. The great thing about it is that if you look after kefir it just keeps growing and growing too so you can share it with your friends once it multiplies!
You can start experimenting with flavours when you are used to the process and I just love the way it tastes now! My 21 month old toddler loves it too. It’s such a fantastic alternative to fizzy artificial drinks that not only tastes great but is doing your body so much good.
You will need:
• large glass mason jar
• 1/4 cup live water kefir grains
• 2 cups filtered water (chlorine and other chemicals in tap water can kill the grains)
• 1/3 cup organic raw cane sugar
• plastic sieve (metal reacts with the grains… They are rather sensitive!)
• optional – trace mineral drops. The bacteria will thank you for them…
• 1/4 fresh lemon
• 3 dried figs
• a drop of vanilla essence
Make sure your glass jar is super clean before starting, you only want the good bacteria to grow.
Dissolve the sugar into the water.
Add your trace drops if you wish.
Put your grains in the sugar water.
Put the lid of your mason jar on loosely so that nothing unwanted can get in but so the air can still move.
Leave for 2-3 days to brew. The longer you leave the kefir the stronger tasting it will be.
Once brewed, sieve out the grains, rinse (with filtered water) and repeat. You must keep repeating this process to make sure the grains stay alive… They need looking after.
And there you have your own lacto fermented drink! Now here is where you add the flavour if you wish…
Chop up the lemon and dried figs, add a drop of vanilla and leave to infuse for a few hours or overnight. These added ingredients give the kefir some natural cream soda/lemonade kinda flavour that will have you drinking loads of the stuff!
And remember, these grains keep growing so the more you have the more sugar and water you will need to add. Then once they have multiplied just share the love and share your grains…