Your kids will love this probiotic rich beverage!
Sometimes it’s hard to get our kids to eat and drink the things that are good for them.
So both parents and kids will be thrilled to have this super yummy and healthy drink!
My kids ask for it, especially my three year old! It’s her favorite thing to drink!
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The Probiotic Beverage That Your Kids Will Love!
It’s Water Kefir!
Now, let me start by saying that this is NOT the Kefir made with milk! This is a totally dairy free beverage.
So if you don’t like the taste of Milk Kefir, or if you do not consume dairy, never fear! You are going to love Water Kefir!
What is Water Kefir?
There are a lot of similarities between Kombucha and Kefir. Just like Kombucha, Water Kefir is a fermented drink that you can make at home.
As I said, Water Kefir is made from different “grains” than Milk Kefir. Additionally, since it is a fermented drink, once the culture has been established, it can be reused to create multiple batches.
Unlike Kombucha, the Kefir fermentation process is a lot faster; often only taking a day or two instead of a week or two. Although Water Kefir and Milk Kefir are 2 distinct ferments, they both come chock full of healthy nutrients and probiotics! You can find more info on The Amazing Benefits of Milk Kefir here.
What are Water Kefir Grains?
The “grains” that are used to create Kefir are not actual grains but are actually a polysaccharide matrix containing a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (just like a Kombucha SCOBY).
Unlike Kombucha SCOBYs, the Kefir grains are more delicate and susceptible to changes in temperature and even starvation if they run out of “fuel”. The Kefir grains used to make Milk Kefir thrive by consuming lactose (milk sugar). However, sucrose (aka table sugar) acts as the fuel for the organisms used to ferment Water Kefir.
I have to feed the Kefir what?!
Yes, you read correctly, you feed your Water Kefir Grains sugar!
But, do not worry, you are not consuming sugar when you drink Water Kefir!
Similar to the Kombucha SCOBY, Water Kefir grains eat the sugar and then deposit good bacteria into the water.
What does Water Kefir taste like?
Water Kefir has a naturally sweet, mild flavor. It is much milder than Kombucha and can be flavored as well. It is an excellent substitute for sodas and other unhealthy beverages as it is slightly fizzy.
In my house we don’t even bother flavoring our water kefir as we love the sweetness that the unflavored Water Kefir gives.
Where do I get Water Kefir grains?
There is only one place that I will buy my Kefir grains from. Kombucha Kamp! You can find their Water Kefir Grains here.
Kombucha Kamp’s Kefir grains are perfect for brewing your own home-made Kefir.
Just as I talked about Kombucha SCOBYs in my post Why You Should Use The Kombucha Continuous Brew System, you need to make sure that your Kefir grains come from a trustworthy source. If you buy Kefir grains online, it is very important to get them from a reputable source.
Both their Water Kefir Grains and their Milk Kefir Grains come packaged fresh, fully hydrated (NEVER DEHYDRATED!) and shipped right away via First Class Mail to ensure the most potent Kefir Grains arrive at your door.
While it may take a few batches to reproduce as the grains adapt to their new environment and food source, these hydrated kefir grains will make delicious Kefir and reproduce more quickly than dehydrated Kefir grains.
Dehydrated Kefir grains will not be as healthy and will be more apt to die. I only buy Kefir grains that have never been dehydrated!
How do you make Water Kefir?
Water Kefir is extremely easy to make! Trust me, anyone can do it!
All you need is:
A glass quart jar and lid
2 Tablespoons of Water Kefir Grains
1/4 cup of organic sugar
1 quart room temperature filtered water
Mesh strainer or cheesecloth
3-4 organic raisins (optional)
Pinch of himalayan pink salt (optional)
This is so interesting. I can’t wait to try it!
I haven’t tried this before, but I’d totally give this a shot. I’m not a fan of kombucha because of the taste, but I’d be up for trying something that has more of a mild taste. ?
I’m curious about the alcohol content. Do you know what it is for an average batch of water kefir? I’m assuming it’s not too high since your kids drink it. Great post!
Hi Meg, that is a great question! The alcohol content is typically under .08% but up to as much as 3% depending on fermentation time and technique used. For example if you let it ferment for a long time or if you do a second ferment with fruit juices etc. and allow it to ferment for too long it will be higher.
I live in a hot climate and I usually only allow mine to ferment for about 24 hours. Definitely not more than than 48 hours. The colder your climate the slower the fermentation process.
Why isn’t my water kefir fizzy?
You might need to ferment it for a longer period of time. You should allow it to ferment for 24-48 hours. Also, doing a second ferment with a flavor such as juice or fruit should increase fizziness as well.
This is a great recipe! Thank you for sharing. I have seen some other water kefir recipes with lemonade, but wouldn’t the acidity from the lemonade have some sort of effect on the probiotics? Thank you for your recipe, can’t wait to try it at home.
I don’t believe that the lemon should have any effect on the cultures. I personally wouldn’t add the lemon until the second ferment though. Any fruit should make a great addition to a second ferment. I do know that you can ferment lemons themselves, so it shouldn’t be a problem as a flavoring.
I am using water-kefir for a school project to replace unhealthy soda’s with these healthy waterkefir drinks. I’m afraid kids and teenagers might not like it because of it’s taste. What do you think of this idea?
I think that that is a great idea! Kids drink and eat so many unhealthy things partly because they are never exposed to healthier options. My kids love Water Kefir and Kombucha etc. If they don’t like it plain experiment by addidnt flavors to your Water Kefir! I’m sure it will be a big hit:)
What are the instructions for a second ferment when you add juice or fruit?
Hi Mandy:) That is a great question! I will be writing a detailed post regarding the second ferment of water kefir very soon! But until then check out one of my kombucha flavoring posts. You will basically follow the same instructions as those recipes. Remove the kefir grains before adding your flavoring for a second ferment. Allow to ferment for a day or two with your flavorings mixed in and then transfer to the refrigerator.
Be sure to sign up for my email at the bottom of any kombucha post to receive all of my future water kefir, milk kefir, or kombucha posts! I plan on having lots of water kefir flavor recipes coming soon!