Water kefir, also known as tibicos, is a grain-based bacterial culture that can be prepared in water to create a drink rich in probiotics, with a sweet taste similar to soda but without the unhealthy sugars. Water kefir is thus healthy for many of the same reasons as yogurt (feeds the immune system, encourages a balanced digestive system, low-fat source of nutrients) but in a drinkable form. Preparing water kefir takes several days to ferment the bacteria before it is ready to be consumed.
Things You'll Need
- 2 sealable 2-liter glass jars
- 2 liters water
- 1/3 cup cane sugar
- 1 tsp. black-strap molasses (optional)
- 1/2 cup water kefir grains
- 1 large fig or 2 tbsp. raisins/sultanas
- 1 slice lemon
- Sieve or strainer
Fill a 2-liter glass jar with water until the water reaches between two-thirds and three-quarters of the way up the jar.
Fill a cup between half and two-thirds full with hot water. Slowly pour sugar into the water, stirring as you go, to dissolve the sugar. Add a teaspoon of black-strap molasses if you like the richer taste or if using anything other than pure cane sugar (such as brown sugar).
Pour the sugar-water into your 2-liter jar of water. Add the other ingredients: water kefir grains, figs or sultanas/raisins and a thick slice of lemon. Stir the contents, then seal tightly and leave for 24 hours at room temperature.
Open the jar after 24 hours and stir the brew, then re-seal for another 24 hours.
Strain the kefir by pouring through a sieve or strainer into your second jar. Seal the jar and refrigerate for one to three days to chill.
Tips & Warnings
- The kefir is ready to drink immediately after straining, but chilling it for one to three days will improve its drinkability.
- Photo Credit Raisins image by photazz from Fotolia.com