Water Kefir Grains
You may have previously read about my love for milk kefir. If you haven’t here is the article for you to read. I have since been very busy with my water kefir grains and have decided that I love them as much. In fact, I crave it.
I recently went to Europe for almost 4 weeks and was not able to have any of my probiotic Kefir drinks. I felt sick for the entire time I was away. Because I have difficulties with my digestive system it is very important for me to ingest plenty of enzymes and probiotics to help me digest my food and absorb the vitamins and minerals that body needs to function properly.
Water Kefir Grains Fermenting
Here is what you need for making water kefir:
- 1/4 cup hot water
- 2 TBSP white sugar
- 1/4 tsp molasses
- 1 3/4 cup of cold filtered water
- 1/2 egg shell (free range)
- 2 TBSP water kefir grains
In a jar, dissolve the sugar and molasses in the 1/4 cup of hot water. Add the rest of the cold filtered water to the sugar/water mixture. Put in the egg shell and the water kefir grains and cover the jar with a cloth. Let it sit for at least 24 hours and no more than 72 hours. After the fermentation period of 24 to 72 hours you will strain the liquid into a flip top bottle and add your favourite juice. I use pear juice. But the options are endless. Leave the bottle on your counter for another 1 or 2 days. During this time more vitamins and enzymes are released and more carbon dioxide will build up to create a fizzy and refreshing “soft drink”.
If you are worried about the sugar in the drink, don’t be, the grains will eat it and turn it into carbon dioxide.
Water Kefir with Ginger 2nd Fermentation
What are the health benefits of water kefir:
- Kefir lowers levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol, cleans the gastrointestinal tract and stops the growth of cancer cells.
Water kefir contains many different strains of friendly bacteria, such as:
- Lactobacillus brevis, A colonizing species producing lactate, carbon dioxide, ethanol, and acetate. Resistant to gastric acid, bile acids, and digestive enzymes. Excellent adherent properties. Increases production of interferon. Metabolically unique in the production of arginine deaminase to break down arginine and reduce polyamine production, compounds associated with vaginal dysbiosis and intestinal carcinogenesis.
- Lactobacillus casei rhamnosus , Produces more peptidases than any other Lactobacillus species. Favorably enhances innate and acquired immunity. Inhibits proinflammatory cytokine production. Outstanding colon epithelial cell adherence. Suppresses pathogenic Escherichia coli internalization. Antagonizes rotavirus and Clostridium difficile. Supports gut microflora during antibiotic therapy. May support immune function in infants with allergies.
- Lactobacillus alactosus,
- Lactobacillus casei casei, A hardy, adaptive transient species. Makes many proline-specific peptidases enhancing casein, casein-derived polypeptide, and gluten break down. Beneficially modulates innate immune responses. Increases the number of intestinal IgA-producing cells. Antagonizes Helicobacter pylori. Decreases proinflammatory cytokine secretion. Inhibits E. coli adherence to and invasion of intestinal cells. Decreases Shigella-mediated inflammation.
- Lactobacillus pseudoplantarum,
- Lactobacillus plantarum, A highly beneficial transient bacteria generally lacking in people consuming a standard Western diet while universally present in people consuming traditional plant-based diets. Exceedingly resistant to gastric acid and bile salts. Facilitates induction of the central regulatory cytokine, interleukin-12. Decreases production of inflammatory mediators. Supports intestinal barrier function. Reduces translocation of gut bacteria. Antagonizes C. difficile. Supports normal microflora in people with irritable bowel syndrome.
- Streptococcus lactis,
- Streptococcus cremeris,
- Leuconostoc mesenteroide,
- Saccharomyces florentinus,
- Saccharomyces pretoriensis,
- Kloeckera apiculata,
- Candida lambica,
- Candida valida
- Lactobacillus brevis has been identified as the species responsible for the production of the polysaccharide matrix that forms the grains.
Another health advantage of water kefir is that people who do not wish to consume dairy or have a vegan type diet may find that water kefir provides the living probiotics without the need for dairy or tea cultured products, like kombucha.Vegans also may like to know that through the fermentation process kefir becomes an excellent source of vitamin B12, and is high in vitamins B1 and B6.
Dr. Gabriel Cousens, a leading expert in the raw food community, writes in his book “Rainbow Green Live Food Cuisine“:
“Kefir grains produce right-rotating L(+) lactic acid, which is an important constituent of the human body. It is particularly important in the prevention of cancer and has been used experimentally with success in the treatment of cancer. In addition, right-rotating lactic acid may help maintaining healthy functioning of the heart. According to some researchers, the cells of the heart muscle obtain their energy primarily from right-rotating lactic acid.”
If you want to get an even deeper understanding into this amazing culture than feel free to have a read of this website. It is very extensive and incredibly interesting http://users.sa.chariot.net.au/~dna/kefirpage.html
So, there you go, a wonderful refreshing and most beneficial drink to share with the whole family!