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Water Kefir!

Discussion in 'The Gut: De Meirleir & Maes; H2S; Leaky Gut' started by jenbooks, Sep 24, 2009.

  1. jenbooks

    jenbooks Guest

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    There was a thread on here about kefir...well I just discovered on a blog about traditional foods that you can make water kefir. All you need is water, real sugar (not honey), and if you want you can spice it up with other fruits, ginger etc. You get a carbonated beverage with probiotics. Once you have your kefir grains the cost is minimal. Water kefir grains are different than milk kefir grains although apparently you can "train" your milk kefir grains. Here are the directions.

    Has a lost love of soda pop been nagging at you too long? Weve developed a love of water kefir or tibicos in our home. Water kefir is a fermented beverage teeming with beneficial bacteria. Easily flavored, remarkably simple to prepare and more palatable than kombucha, water kefir offers a nice, pleasant alternative to commercial sodas. Water kefir is similar in flavor to a dry, mildly alcoholic and slightly fizzy lemonade. Like many probiotic foods and beverages, water kefir is an acquired taste especially if youre accustomed to overly sweet, sugary beverages. Its also on my list of 10 dairy-free probiotics.

    Water kefir, like kombucha, is first cultured by introducing a scoby (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts) into sugar water. The beneficial bacteria and yeasts present in the water kefir grains metabolize the sugar and turn it into actic acid. Water kefir grains are small, translucent, gelatinous structures and are comprised of assorted bacteria including lactobacillus hilgardii which gives them their characteristic crystal-like appearance. When water kefir grains are properly cared for and regularly cultured, they produce a wonderful probiotic-rich beverage and will continue to grow and reproduce.
    Water Kefir: The Basics
    Equipment for Preparing Water Kefir:

    * Nonmetal Strainer
    * Wooden or Plastic Spoon
    * 1/2 Gallon Mason Jar with Lid
    * 6 12 oz Bottles with Lids

    Ingredients for Preparing Water Kefir:

    * 1/3 Cup of Water Kefir Grains (see sources)
    * 3 Tablespoons Organic Raisins or Other Unsulphured Dried Fruit
    * 1/2 Cup Organic Sugar (Yes, sugar.)
    * 1/2 Organic Lemon
    * 1 Thin Slice Fresh Ginger, Peeled
    * 1 Quart to 1 1/2 Quarts Filtered, Chlorine-free Water

    Instructions for Preparing Water Kefir:

    1. Disolve sugar into water. Do not use honey in place of sugar. Honey has antimicrobial properties and will damage your water kefir grains or delay their proliferation.
    2. Add water kefir grains, raisins, half a lemon and slice of ginger to the mixture of sugar water in a 1/2 gallon mason jar.
    3. Allow your water kefir to brew in a lidded mason jar at room temperature for 24 72 hours depending on the strength you prefer and the temperature of your home. The warmer your home is, the faster water kefir will brew.
    4. Strain the water kefir grains, raisins, lemon and ginger from the water kefir and bottle the liquid into smaller containers.
    5. Allow the smaller bottles to sit out for another 24 48 hours to continue fermentation and produce natural carbonation.
    6. Serve cold over ice and enjoy!

    Water kefir is remarkably versatile. This basic recipe for water kefir can be altered slightly to introduce different beneficial herbs or flavors to produce a wide array of probiotic beverages. Some people enjoy replacing the ginger with fresh mint, anise or cardamom while others replace raisins with figs. Ive even used dried cherries for a lovely rose-hued water kefir.

    ---
    Someone else posted a comment on that blog:

    I have been making water kefir for a couple of months now and we love it. Our favorites have been black raspberry, red raspberry and peach. (although we like it with pretty much anything). I just add 1/4 c. sugar to a quart jar, then add 3 c. water, then shake until dissolved, then add kefir grains(about 2 T.) and then a handful of fresh or frozen fruit. It is pretty much always fizzy, but I brew every 24 hrs. and I notice that it is a lot better on the warmer days. The only problem I have is that they dont seem to be multiplying. How much and how fast should they?

    The source for kefir grains is:

    http://www.culturesforhealth.com/Water-Kefir/Water-Kefir-Starter-Kit-with-Half-Gallon-Jars-p12.html
  2. Frank

    Frank Senior Member

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    disadvantage: it contains alcohol
  3. jenbooks

    jenbooks Guest

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    Alcohol--it's true of all kefir.

    You are correct that kefir does contain some alcohol, since it is a fermented food. My research indicates that kefir may contain between 0.08% to 2% alcohol.
  4. Frank

    Frank Senior Member

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    I'm afraid you'll hurt your gut lining more then helping it. I've tried water kefir and stopped after a few days, but maybe it helps you. However i would suggest trying broad-spectrum probiotics..
  5. jenbooks

    jenbooks Guest

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    Okay we're all different. Some do better with kefir than yogurt, and some on here have been wanting to make their own kefir. I thought if you didn't use dairy you had to use green coconut juice but water is easy and cheap.
  6. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    kefir water (is what they call it here)

    I have tried kefir water, and it gave me stomach upset. But it did taste good. The one I had was made with ginger and sweetened with sucanat--unrefined cane sugar. Maybe it can be sweetened with something less high on the glycemic index--like xylitol or stevia, though I don't know how those would work in the fermentation process. Maybe just some fruit juice would be okay?

    I never do well with sugar, but have never had a problem with goat yogurt or goat kefir. I'm wondering how others here would handle the sugar?
  7. jenbooks

    jenbooks Guest

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    Maybe one should experiment with less sugar. You'd want all the sugar metabolized by the scoby (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts).

    By the way, I've advanced further in my traditional nutrition experiments. After my other bone soup, I added chicken parts to my last order. That includes chicken feet, heads, necks, etc. Like the fishheads, this actually fascinates me as a lay scientist, makes me feel good as an inadvertant steward of the earth (using up all the animal), is good for me as a sick lymie (gelatin, cartiilage, and minerals), and was just generally interesting. People may be squeamish about using these other parts of birds, cows and fish but I don't see why. We're used to chicken wings or legs, but not heads or feet. Really doesn't make sense.

    It's also much cheaper.

    So I ordered a bunch. Unfrozen I had two feet, one head, and a bunch of other body parts that usually get thrown away or shipped to China or whatever. This is Amish tho so I don't think anything ever gets thrown away. I clipped off the nails after examining the feet with some fascination, and threw them in the crockpot, along with the neck, and the head. The head was sort of cute. I put in some raw apple cider vinegar also from the Amish (draws out the minerals) and simmered for about 12 hours. This morning, I got a small bowl of delicious meat (the vinegar is tasty). If I was a person who used mayonnaise or nayonnaise I could make a good chicken salad but I don't like that stuff. I've got the broth in the fridge. My bf says he actually used to do this with roasters once he'd eaten most of the chicken. He says the fat will rise to the top and the broth will gel. He used to reduce it and use it as sauce which I may try.

    From my web reading last night, which was really interesting, this is traditional--to use feet, and was part of the reason chicken soup was Jewish penicillin. The cartilage and good stuff in the feet and head are important. And I now realize the broth had minerals. So of course it was healing--anti inflammatory, immune boosting, and then all those good minerals.

    However--this is too funny but--the soup bones (cow) I got this time were really huge. Too big to fit in a pot. I'm supposed to get a refund tho I think we can take them to the butcher to be cut up. The head of the collective is going to tell the farmers not to send us such big hunks of bone. They probably have huge stockpots for their families.
  8. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    I just order 4 whole chickens from a local WAPF farmer. I'm going to make sure the parts you mention come with the order.

    I made a lamb stew this week. It didn't have bones, just long-cooked stew meat. I love the slow cooker! It makes the meat so tender.

    Shouldn't you start another thread with these bone and meat recipes? They will be harder to find under "water kefir."
  9. kolowesi

    kolowesi Senior Member

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    kefir and bone broth

    Thanks, Jenbrooks!

    This is so inspiring.

    I am thinking about the chicken feet. I read in a mystery where the female detective knew how to eat them. Have to get used to the idea.

    I love kefir, but the brand at the health food store is the best and is so expensive. I think I will try the milk variety first. (Tried it in the past, but didn't know about not using metal strainer.)

    I get a stomach ache from goat milk, but can eat goat yogurt, so maybe I will try that.

    Thanks for all the interesting information. You are so much fun.

    Kelly
  10. jenbooks

    jenbooks Guest

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  11. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    holy chicken feet!

    That chicken feet recipe--with the photo of the pile of chicken feet!
    I am laughing so hard my eyes are watering. Why do they look so funny!
    I hope they smell okay?! :p:eek::eek:;):D:D
  12. brenda

    brenda Senior Member

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    Gross :eek:

    I have just finshed my second bone broth - this time it was with marrow bones and it has not jellied the same as the first one. There are bits of marrow floating about and i tried a nibble but was not too impressed. Does anyone know of a way to get them down? :eek:

    I really fancy a chicken now.
  13. jenbooks

    jenbooks Guest

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    Paint *that* baby....lol

    Yeah now paint that in psychedelic colors.
    They smell fine. I know--it looks like a bowl of witch hands from a Grimms fairytale.
    :eek:
  14. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    chicken feet cont.

    Oh yes, painting them would be a blast! I see reds, magenta and orange for the feet, with violet purple toe nails! :p:rolleyes:::D

    How do you KNOW they smell fine? Have you taken a good sniff?

    Actually, there is a famous Russian fairy tale witch, named BABA YAGA, who lives in the middle of the forest in a house that stands on CHICKEN LEGS! :eek:
    And it spins in circles! http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Baba_Yaga
  15. jenbooks

    jenbooks Guest

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    I swear they smell fine...

    Cuz I put two of 'em in my crockpot! I even cut off the nails, which turns out to be the correct thing to do. My embrace of the natural world stops at fish eyeballs and chicken toenails. :cool:
  16. m1she11e

    m1she11e Senior Member

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    chicken feet

    My mom is a health food fanatic and went through the "broth stage." We found out she was putting those feet in this wonderful tasting broth and never could eat it again. I just couldnt get the thought out of my mind.

    She doesnt do the broths like she was at one time. Now when she makes anything that has a broth in it we are all suspicious and she has a heck of a time convincing any of us to eat it. Just cracked me up when I saw it on here. I am sure it is good for you, but EW!!!;)

    There has been alot of crazy things along the way that I am sure my mom snuck in my food that I would just rather not know about! All in the name of health...

    More power to you Jenn!!!:D
  17. Stuart

    Stuart Senior Member

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    Chicken Feet

    I had a friend would eat chicken feet every time we went to a Chinese Dim Sum restaurant, I couldn't not bring myself to try them.:p Most Asian's believe they bring good luck and health.

    In TCM organ meats are supposed to be good for us since we have issues with them, liver function, kidney/adrenal function etc.

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