The Healthiest Probiotic Soda – Ever!

September 28, 2015
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Categories: Recipes, Uncategorized
Do your kids love sweet & fizzy soft drinks? Mind do!
But we try to really limit sodas – because  most are loaded with high fructose corn syrup (approx. 10 tsp. per can, more than 1 day’s recommended limit)!!  Drinking sodas can lead to weight gain, lowered immune system, cavities, mood swings, and overtime if consumed regularly – can even strain the liver and raise the risk of many different diseases including diabetes, heart disease, stroke – just to name a few.
But what if I told you there was actually a healthy soda that contained probiotics?  Probiotics are healthy bacteria that boost the digestion, mood and the immune system!

It is called Kefir Water – and my kids are obsessed!!

 And although you need sugar to make kefir – the end product (kefir water) does not have a lot of sugar left in it – because the sugar is “the food” for the kefir grains.  As far as fermented foods – water kefir is pretty easy to make.  I used to make kombucha, and it was a much more involved process – and took longer to ferment.  Kefir water is also extremely inexpensive- because you get to re-use the kefir grains over and over.  And it is fizzy and delicious!
But just know, making kefir water might not be for everyone – I make a new batch and bottle the old one every 48 hours (which takes about 15 minutes or so each time).  If you forget and let your kefir ferment too long, it can weaken your kefir grains.
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What you will need:

Optional – a hydrometer. Fermented drinks like kefir water and kombucha can contain a very small amount of alcohol – generally about the same amount as found in very ripe fruit.  Because kefir water is not fermented very long, it is a negligible amount.   But if you are giving it to your kids and want to be sure – get a hydrometer – which will tell you the exact amount of alcohol it contains.

Directions:

Once you get your water kefir grains, you will first need to rehydrate/activate them.

  1. Warm 4 cups of water*, pour into a large heat safe glass measuring cup.
  2. Add 1/2 cup of sugar (I use organic cane sugar).  Allow the sugar to dissolve in the water.
  3. Let the water cool to room temperature and then put the sugar water into your glass jar, add another 4 cups of water and  the kefir grains.
  4. Cover with a coffee filter, or a paper towel folded up a couple times, secured with a rubber band.
  5. Allow to sit for about 3-5 days the first time to activate them.  Now they are activated and ready to bottle and flavor.  And the kefir grains can be strained and a new batch can be made.  After they are activated, you will only want to let the kefir grains ferment 48 hours each time at most.
  6. I pour the kefir water into a large 8 cup measuring cup, through a fine mesh strain to remove the kefir grains.
  7. Go back to step #1 to make a new batch of kefir water. This time, allowing it to sit on counter for just 48 hours. kefir grains
  8. Put the funnel on top of the flip top bottles, and pour the strained kefir water from the large measuring cup – spreading out evenly between the two bottles.  Add 3/4 cup – 1 cup of your favorite juice (we like fresh squeezed orange, passionfruit juice, or ginger lemon the best).  Reseal the bottles. Allow to sit on the counter another 48 hours – this is considered “the second ferment”and is when the kefir will get fizzy.  Note – the first couple batches you make may not get very fizzy.  But just you wait!!  After that – they can get very fizzy – almost too fizzy!!  So be careful when opening them – I have opened one and had a small geyser in my kitchen before.  I have also had a bottle crack and break by letting a second ferment go too long (this was from kombucha though).  So – you might want to keep them in a tray or cooler or something.  You can “burp” your bottles every 24 hours during your second ferment to make sure too much pressure does not build up.  This just means you open them to release the pressure, and close them again.  After 48 hours of the second ferment – you will want to store the finished kefir water in the refrigerator.  This will halt the fermentation and prevent more pressure from building.
  9. Serve & Enjoy!

*Kefir grains like mineral-rich water, so I try to use half alkaline water and half filtered water when I make mine. 

Issues?

Here are some troubleshooting tips from Cultures from Health.  I had to use these this Summer when I was making kefir water in really hot conditions, and my kefir grains got a little smelly (they smelled like sweat socks).  I ended up just tossing mine, and getting new ones – but they have lots of helpful tips if you need them.

Check out this video about making Water Kefir:

Here is a video about flavoring your water kefir:

Let me know in the comments below if you make kefir water, and what your favorite flavors are!!  Are you trying to make it for the first time?  Was this post helpful?
Good luck!!

Sara Vance Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book
The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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