Did you know that approximately 80% of our immunity comes from our gut? That means that any invaders- bacteria, viruses, etc. we encounter are primarily entering through the digestive system which makes healthy gut flora key to maintaining health and vitality!
So how do you keep your gut healthy? Well, definitely limiting sugar and processed foods is crucial, but it is also a great idea to be incorporating more fermented foods into your diet. Sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha are making a comeback people!
But for those who aren’t quite ready for the intense flavors? I have a solution for you, too. And if you are trying to kick a soda or juice habit, bonus for you too because it is delicious and flavorful as well!
Enter, kefir water! Have you heard of it? Many people are familiar with its long lost cousin milk kefir (basically looks like runny yogurt), but if you don’t process milk well that may not be a good option. Kefir water is fruity, light, and can even be bubbly depending on how you make it (and if you choose to make it so)! It is sold in some stores, but is ridiculously expensive if you drink it on a regular basis. I highly recommend making it yourself. It is super easy, healthy and once you try it you will be hooked! Ready to see the recipe?
First, you need to get some kefir grains from here, organic sugar (I usually use brown sugar or coconut sugar), molasses (optional) and spring water (or filtered water). Measure:
- 4 cups spring or filtered water (chlorine must not be present, so if you don’t have either, let the water sit overnight so it can evaporate)
- 1/4 cup sugar (brown or coconut)
- water kefir grains
- 1 tsp molasses (optional- it feeds lots of minerals to the kefir grains, but if you use coconut sugar that is also mineral dense and keeps them really happy)
Once fermented, it should bubble when you move the jar and taste slightly tart. Strain out the grains using a plastic colander (if possible) and rinse.
If you wish to do a second fermentation, you may add a small handful of fruit (fresh or frozen) to the strained kefir water. Let sit out 24-48 hours until you have achieved the desired tartness level and fizz. If you put it in a tightly sealed canning jar without more than 1-1 1/2 inches air space at the top then it should get nice and fizzy. Also fruits with more sugars = more fizz!)
Move jars to the fridge to slow down fermentation and enjoy! Repeat and have fun experimenting!
Some of my favorite flavors are: berry (raspberry/blueberry), pineapple and mango. Yummm!
PS If you keep feeding your grains diligently, they will last a LONG TIME! I’ve had mine for years, passing many off to friends and co-workers (they multiply when they are healthy) and they are still going strong! Once they get to about 1 cup you can safely split them into two containers or feed them to pets, plants or even add them to smoothies!
Cheers to being deliciously healthy!