by Heather Gannon
Cultured foods, also known as fermented foods, have a healthy bacterium that supports healthy digestion and strengthens the immune system. Popular cultured foods include sauerkraut and kombucha. Cultured drinks and foods can be consumed daily and can heal a damaged gut, restore intestinal lining, reduce inflammation and remove unwanted toxic waste from the colon. These healing foods can be bought at local health food stores and grocery markets or made at home.
Water kefir is gluten and dairy-free and possibly one of the easiest cultured foods to make. It cleanses the intestines; is an excellent source of B-1, B-6 and B-12; and contains anti-fungal and antibiotic properties, minerals and vitamins. Water kefir also boosts the immune system, normalizes and resets metabolism and supports skin issues like eczema, psoriasis and acne.
Enjoy this easy and beneficial way to introduce water kefir into the diet, by making it at home.
Homemade Water Kefir
YIELDS: 1-4 servings
First, order water kefir grains. One recommended website is CulturesForHealth.com, which offers fresh or dehydrated water kefir grains. Fresh kefir grains are great because they don’t need to be re-hydrated.
- 4-cup glass jar with a wide opening and a tightly sealable lid
- 3 cups clean, non-chlorinated water
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ lemon or slice of lemon
- ¼ cup hydrated water kefir grains
- Wooden spoon
- Plastic strainer
Note about the sugar: The grains will consume most of the sugar, leaving the amount of sugar equal to a piece of fruit. The longer the drink ferments, the less sugar it will contain.
Add water to jar, then dissolve the sugar and add lemon. Add kefir grains, seal jar airtight, and let stand at room temperature for 2 days. Stir contents after 24 hours, then as often as you like.
Strain contents using plastic strainer. Squeeze lemon into liquid, then fill bottles with water kefir and seal airtight. Discard lemon.
Place grains in a bowl filled with fresh water, stir, then strain. Once the culturing process is complete and the grains have been removed, bottle up the finished water kefir for several days to allow carbonation to build. Kefir grains can be used over and over again.
Enjoy one to two cups a day. Keep in mind that cultured foods are powerful, so go slow when introducing them to anyone’s diet.
Heather Gannon, CHHC, AADP, is a health coach located in Plymouth Meeting. Connect with her at 610-306-3722 or HeatherGannonCoaching.com. May 2014.