Call it soda, or pop (as I, and every other Minnesotan calls it), but call it quits!
Whether you’re addicted to the sugar, the fizz or just the habit of drinking it, you can substitute your love for soda for water kefir.
Why make the swap?
Instead of buying swill in an aluminum can that’s been sitting on a shelf for months, make your own health drink that has just a few, simple ingredients. The ingredients don’t read like a science lab experiment (like soda), but your homemade brew IS definitely natural science at work. And don’t worry, it fizzes like soda pop when you flavor it.
Kefir grains are gluten-free, despite the misleading name. The “grains” refer to a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast that eat sugars, and give your body a probiotic and enzyme boost.
Sure, you know yogurt and kefir are good for your gut, but what if dairy isn’t? Kefir water is an excellent lactose-free alternative.
Believe it or not, there’s GOOD bacteria. And your body thrives off of it for healthy digestion. People drink this tasty beverage for a wide range of benefits, from healthy gut to autoimmune disease to allergy relief.
Similar to kombucha, these ferment-loving grains multiply when you throw them into the sugar water party. As they feast off the sugars and grow, you can gift your excess grains to friends and family (my sister gave me my starter set), or even blend them into drinks.
If you’ve made kombucha before, this takes about 1/5 of the time to ferment, tastes less sour and is super easy to make. It’s even kid tested and approved. My niece loves it, especially when my sister blends it with fresh squeezed lemon and strawberries (yes, no need for the 65 gram sugar bomb McDonald’s frozen strawberry lemonade). Or you can make a DIY water kefir soda (see below).
Once you have your kefir grains, see just how simple it is (follow along with my photo tutorial).
Heat water (1/2 to 1 cup) in tea pot or on stove. I took it off the stove once it was steaming (but before boiling).
Add 1/4 cup organic sugar (I used organic evaporated cane sugar).
Stir until sugar is completely dissolved in water.
Add sugar water to mason jar. If you’re using the 32 oz. mason jar, fill with fresh water past the 24 oz. hash. Once the water is room temperature, add the kefir grains. Fill the jar to around 30 oz. (so there’s some room at the top). Cover the top with a breathable material, like cheesecloth. I usually opt for unbleached coffee filters, as pictured below.
After a short 24-48 hours, you can either strain and drink, or infuse with flavor.
Make your own cream soda or Dr. Pepper, but without the artificial ingredients and explosion of sugar (or aspartame).