How To Use Water Kefir Grains (Without Sugar) To Heal Your Gut
Did you catch my Facebook Live where I ate 10-year-old RAW cabbage and lived to tell about it? We talked about the importance of fermented and cultured foods, getting over the fear of both making and eating them! Make sure to check it out here!
In this article:
- What are Water Kefir Grains, and How Do You Use Them?
- Why You Don’t Need Sugar To Make Water Kefir
- How to Make Water Kefir Without Sugar
- Masterclass to Rehabilitate Your Gut Health
Many modern health problems are related to a lack of healthy organisms in the digestive tract. And these billions of teeming flora are our main protection against viruses and bacteria.
People who have taken antibiotics have severely depleted healthy flora, which leads to getting sick over and over, inflammation in the gut causing many modern diseases, and an inability to digest foods and utilize nutrients.
What Are Water Kefir Grains, and How Do You Use Them?
Making water kefir is one of the easiest, most cost-effective ways to get tons of live probiotics to your gut.
Water kefir “grains” are actually little cultures of good bacteria that eat prebiotic sugars, creating live probiotics and enzymes that are essential for gut health. (You use them over and over. Generally, you don’t have to buy more, but I keep giving them away so, I bought a new package. And, wow are these good.)
The directions on water kefir tell you to:
- Make a sugar-water solution.
- Add the grain.
- Let it sit for a few days while the fermentation process supposedly eats up all the sugar.
This will leave you with the resulting probiotics and enzymes. That’s the marketing premise behind store-bought kombucha, by the way. But if the probiotic organisms consume all the sugars, why does it taste so sweet?
Why You Don’t Need Sugar To Make Water Kefir
I don’t EVER use sugar to make my water kefir grow, despite what the directions say.
First, I use the BEST SOURCE for grains, and second, I use organic coconut water. The coconut water provides natural prebiotic “sugars” to feed the culture.
Need proof? Check this out!
In about a week, these kefir grains formed a MOTHER on top. I’ve never seen any store-bought grains do this. (They’ll still ferment stuff even without a mother, but this is so cool!)
The Mother | Scoby
The mother, called in some applications, a “scoby,” is a colony of live probiotic organisms that form into a mass, actively making more kefir grain babies and clear evidence that culturing is going well.
How to Make Water Kefir Without Sugar
Despite what the directions on the kefir grains say, I don’t EVER use sugar to make my coconut-water kefir grow. There are enough natural sugars in the coconut water for the kefir grains to “feed” on and ferment them into a great probiotic base for your drink.
Buy coconut water, ideally organic, with no additives. And then, you’ll need water kefir grains (I like these). Put 2-4 Tbsp. of kefir grains in a clean glass jar. Pour 3 cups of coconut water into the jar. Stir gently, and then cover with a lid and let sit at room temperature for 3-5 days. Taste it, and if it is very sweet, it needs to ferment longer.
Every day, after it’s ready, I strain the coconut water kefir into my blender to make a Hot Pink Breakfast Smoothie, leaving the grains and the beautiful, jelly-fish-looking large, flat “mother” in. Then, I add another cup or so of coconut water to the jar of water kefir grains.
The coconut liquid is so fermented, in just a day or two, in the summer, it might even be fizzy like soda and wonderfully tart when I pour it out.
Water kefir can ferment for many days, even up to two weeks, if you want a very tart-tasting product that is even higher in probiotics. (Watch it carefully, because in a very hot and humid climate, it may eventually mold.)
Kefir made from coconut liquid should be refrigerated after about 2 days, as it ferments quickly.
I recommend keeping a quart jar of water grains in sugar-water or coconut water on the counter. And just drain the liquid off it every one to three days, in something you make regularly, like a smoothie recipe.
Best Water Kefir Grains
The coconut liquid is so fermented, in just one day, that it’s fizzy like soda and wonderfully tart when I pour it out! Best grains ever!
Masterclass to Rehabilitate Your Gut Health
And if you don’t know WHY you want to culture foods to rehabilitate your gut health, you really need to join us for my FREE VIDEO MASTERCLASS going on right now. You’ll also learn about:
- What foods fight inflammation and which cause it
- Foods that rehab your gut
- How to beat your food addictions fast
- My 5 best tips to eat super healthy-super cheap!
- How to make 12 simple shifts in a year, for the healthiest year of your life
Q: What if I have to leave town for a week? Can I put them in the fridge?
A: Yes, I have no problems putting my water kefir grains in the fridge.
If you’re looking for more information, check out this article from Cultures for Health.
Editor’s Note – This post was originally published on March 28, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.Robyn Openshaw, MSW, is the bestselling author of The Green Smoothies Diet, 12 Steps to Whole Foods, and 2017’s #1 Amazon Bestseller and USA Today Bestseller, Vibe. Learn more about how to make the journey painless, from the nutrient-scarce Standard American Diet, to a whole-foods diet, in her free video masterclass 12 Steps to Whole Foods.