We’ve decided that Wednesdays are for “challenges” this summer. Last week’s challenge was to come up with a tasty sparkling beverage that had little or no sugar in the final product. Now, we’ve really been enjoying fermented beverages like Kombucha and Water Kefir. These are drinks made with sugar but whose sugar is largely “eaten,” so to speak, by the live cultures before it is consumed. So, the kids and I decided we would try to make some fizzy water kefirs of our own. We purchased Cultures for Health Water Kefir Grains at our local health food store and made a basic batch of water kefir. Then, we tried to make our drink both “fizzy” and “flavourful” without a lot of garbage. So, we went through the “secondary” fermentation process of adding flavour to a jar, adding the kefir, sealing it tightly, and refrigerating it for a few days. The results were fabulous.
Wednesday Challenge Accepted! Wednesday Challenge Completed!
Now, Rather than posting a recipe for water kefir, I am simply going to embed the wonderful instructions provided by Cultures for Health:
Here’s how to activate the water kefir grains:
Here’s how to make the basic water kefir:
And here’s a basic guide for how to flavour and fizz them:
Please note that the pretty bottles we used were sold as “airtight” and look a lot like the ones in the video above, but the the kefir we placed in the refrigerator in a mason jar with the seal twisted tight produced a much better fizz than our bottles. This is contrary to the advice given in the video. I’d suggest just playing around a little. Try to see what works best for you!
But, how did we make our fizzy flavours?
For the Lime Cardamom and Lemon Lavendar Water Kefirs , we added a few tablespoons of fresh citrus juice and some lightly crushed dried herbs to our jars before adding the water kefir, sealing and refrigerating for a few days. You’ll want to strain the herbs out before serving.
For the Strawberry Vanilla Kefir, we added a few tiny DROPS of vanilla [you can simply leave the vanilla out completely] and about a half a cup of fresh or frozen strawberries to our jar before adding the kefir, sealing, and refrigerating. The strawberries should be removed after about 24 hours to keep the drink from spoiling.
The strawberry was definitely the kids’ favourite. But I quite liked the other flavours! Of course, it’s fresh berry season right now anyway — so go to town!
Next up, we’ll be flavouring our fizzy water with a few teaspoons of the syrups we made this spring: Lilac and Rhubarb Pineapple Sage and with the Elderflower syrup our friends passed along! Can’t wait!