Thursday, August 11, 2011

Probiotics- Homemade water Kefir

Probiotics are wonderful!  In plain English, probiotics are a type of living bacteria that actually benefit your health.  When mention the word probiotic, most people either think of yogurt or a supplement. 

With Myla having an auto-immune decease (Nephrotic Syndrome, aka kideny decease) I'm always on the search for natural ways to help her.  One of our biggest challenges with her is she can not get sick.  Even a simple cold causes her to relapse and get put back onto heavy drugs.  Which is what just happened.  She probably got sick from someone at church.  A simple cold has now caused her to relapse yet again. 

I don't believe that probiotics is a cure all. I just know it helps. The supplements are expensive and let me tell you, we already pay way to much for all of her current meds as it is.  So I started a few months ago making my own water kefir.  I have this love obsession with anything homemade.  I love being able to make the things I need rather than running to the store all the time.

You have most likely seen Kefir in dairy form at the store.  Water Kefir is close but rather than a buttermilk taste, it taste more like a juice.  My favorite right now a lemonade kefir.  Perfect on a hot summer day.

Milk kefir grains you can buy at your local health food store but water kefir grains are much different.  You can either buy them online or get them from someone that makes water kefir.
Everyone makes it a little different but here is my recipe

1/3 cup water kefir grains
1/3 sugar (yes sugar)
1 quart (canning jar) filtered, Chlorine-free Water or well water

2 fresh lemons
1 12 oz flip top bottle (I bought mine at Ikea)
top off with filtered, Chlorine-free Water or well water

First mix sugar and 1 quart water until sugar has dissolved.  Add Kefir grains.  I cover with a coffee filter and then the screw just the ring on the jar.  Leave for 24 hours, out of direct sunlight.
Once the 24 hours have laps, drain the water into your flip top bottle, staining the kefir grains as you pour.  They say to not use a metal strainer but I have not found this a problem.  I squeeze two lemons in the bottle and then top off with filtered water.

I like it nice and cold before we drink some.  They say that 1/4 cup -1 cup is more than plenty per day.

When looking online there are a lot of ideas and recipes out there.  Most places will tell you to let it sit out closed tight for 1-4 days to ferment.  With anything fermented there is an alcohol content.  That is why I only let mine sit out for 24 hours and I do an open jar.  That is my personal preference.  They longer you let it sit out the bubblier it gets.  More like soda.

The following health benefits are associated with the intake of daily doses of probiotics.

Enhanced immune system response

Reduces negative affects of taking many types of antibiotics

Aids in preventing and treating colon inflammation following surgery

Helps to prevent eczema in youth

Increased ability to digest food

Therapeutic for viral respiratory tract infections by enhancing the overall immune system

Reduces lactose intolerance

Reduces incidence of yeast infections, vaginitis and candidiasis

Increases ability to assimilate the nutrients from food

Alleviates many common digestive disorders such as constipation, diarrhea and IBS

Acts as a remedy for bad breath (halitosis)

Increases ability to synthesize vitamin B

Increases ability to absorb calcium

Promotes anti-tumor and anti-cancer activity in the body

Many common leafy greens are also excellent sources of probiotics
Give it a try!!

1 comment:

Nikki said...

That's awesome. So, I still haven't done the milk keifer because I was intimidated by the directions, don't know why, it doesn't look hard. I'll have to have you explain it, then once I'm comfortable with that I'd love to try water keifer...especially since the boys aren't supposed to drink cows milk! I love how adventurous you are.

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