What is water kefir
Water kefir is a drink made from kefir grains. This drink is widespread in the regions of the Caucasus, where it originated, and is a variant of milk kefir, which we have already talked about in Ecocosas.
Its use and employment are currently widespread, mainly due to its probiotic benefits and many other excellent properties for the digestive system and the health of the body in general.
There are also packaged versions sold in health food and health food stores, but the best, most cost-effective, and ultimately healthiest option is to make your own water kefir preparation.
Water kefir, properties and benefits
As we mentioned earlier, among its water kefir properties and its most outstanding benefits, this drink is a probiotic.
This means that it contains live microorganisms that help the digestive tract, as they benefit the intestinal flora and the system in general. Therefore, we can say that it contributes to a improvement of the intestinal flora.
At the same time, by improving the performance of the intestinal flora, benefits the entire immune systemthus avoiding contracting diseases, in particular bacterial, related to the digestive system.
This is because water kefir releases organic acids which inhibit the action of infectious agents, viruses, bacteria and fungi, which can cause disease.
Therefore, it can be said without hesitation that water kefir has antibiotic and antibacterial properties.
Also, it has been shown that the consumption of this drink lowers cholesterol and blood pressure.
In summary, to briefly enumerate the benefits and properties of water kefir, we can say that:
- is a probiotic
- improves the intestinal flora
- helps strengthen the immune system
- has antibiotic properties
- lowers cholesterol and blood pressure
In addition, it is a very tasty drink, easy to prepare and an ideal alternative to commercial soft drinks, since it is naturally carbonated, and an alternative to isotonic drinks loaded with sweeteners and chemicals.
How to make water kefir, preparation with and without sugar
As we have said, making water kefir, in addition to being beneficial for health, is delicious and its preparation is very simple. To prepare it we will see the two options, with and without sugar.
How to make sugar water kefir nodules
We need water kefir nodules, a jar of at least half a liter and a cloth, or a wooden or cork lid. Also a few wooden spoons and a non-metallic colander, such as a plastic colander.
We pour about two fingers of water kefir nodules into the bowl and add the water to it. It is better not to fill to the top but to leave one or two fingers, because gas is formed and if it has a lid it can explode the jar or blow it up.
The nodules should not touch the metal, so it is advisable to cover it with a cloth or a cork or wooden stopper.
Add two or three large tablespoons of sugar or panela. In the case of opting for sugar, brown sugar is preferable, although it is not exclusive.
Cover it and let it rest for 24 to 48 hours in a place away from direct light. The longer it is, the more it will be fermented.
Once we decide to remove it, we will see that the nodules will have increased slightly. We filter them in a non-metallic colander, and if necessary we use a wooden spoon.
There you go, we can start the process all over again and enjoy our natural water kefir probiotic.
If we see that the number of nodules is very large, we can always separate a part of it and donate it. If we want to stop doing it for a while, we can leave it in the fridge.
If you want to prepare water kefir without sugar, you can instead add raisins, dried figs or dates, or even agave syrup so that the kefir feeds on the sugars present in these foods.
how to take it
Once we get our ferment, we can drink water kefir like any other cold drink, keeping in mind that it is a medicine. It can be put in the refrigerator, in a glass bottle with a lid, to drink it throughout the day.
You can add a few slices of lemon to give it a better taste, or even a few mint leaves.
How to store kefir
There are times when we want a vacation and we want to keep our nodules for a while, for this there are two methods that give good results.
Dehydrate or dry kefir to store it
First we clean our nodules well with water then we place them well spread out between two clean cloths or kitchen paper towel, then we let them dry for about 2 days, it is important that the place where we let’s have good ventilation.
When completely dry, we can store them in a paper envelope. For added security, we then cover the envelope with aluminum foil to ensure that no moisture can enter and store it in a cool, dry place.
Freeze the kefir
Another method that can be used is to freeze it, for this we clean and drain them well after they are dry we put them in a container with nothing else and this container inside a glass jar larger glass that closes well so they don’t freeze suddenly but very slowly.
They can last several months frozen like that, then we let them thaw at room temperature, rehydrate them and feed them and that’s it.
What if I left the kefir unattended for several weeks, can I use it?
I am asked this question a lot so I decided it was important to add it to the article, the truth is that even if it smells good no one without a laboratory can confirm that we do not have other mushrooms or bacterial colonies in this liquid so we shouldn’t be using it, but maybe all is not lost.
My advice is to wash the nodules well, put them in a container with more water and sugar and if they are in good condition, in no time we will have kefir that we can use.
Contraindications of water kefir
Water kefir has no major contraindications, but it should be consumed in moderation. We cannot drink about two liters a day, because it is a medicinal drink and not sugar water or juice.
In case of excess it can cause stomach cramps or even constipation.
In any case, if you have serious digestive problems, you should consult your doctor before ingesting this medicated drink.