Kefir is a fermented drink usually made from milk, but if you are vegan you can still enjoy the probiotic benefits of kefir! You just have to use another type of "grains" that are made for water instead of milk. I got my water kefir grains from kombuchakamp.com. They also sell different herbs that you can use for flavoring and basically anything you need to make fermented drinks.
Water kefir is slightly fizzy and tastes just like soda after you flavor it. What you'll need to make water kefir is:
- A glass jar that is at least one quart. I got mine from the probiotic jar. Fermented foods are usually high in histamine, but the air-tight jar is supposed to prevent this from happening. That's why it has that weird thingy on top.
- 4 cups of chlorine-free water
- 2 tbsp water kefir grains
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Optional mineral source to help the bacteria grow. I used molasses, but other options include lemon, ginger, raisins or fig. Just add a dash.
All you have to do is fill the jar with water, dump in the kefir grains, add the mineral source and stir in the sugar. So easy! Then put the jar in a cool, dark place for 24-48 hours until the water has fermented and is slightly fizzy. It's important not to leave it for more than 72 hours because the grains could starve.
Once it's done fermenting, use cheesecloth to strain out the liquid into another container. You can keep the kefir grains in water in a closed glass container and put them in the fridge until you're ready to use them again. If it will be more than a couple days before you use them again, keep them in sugar water so they won't starve, and if it will be longer than three weeks, coat the grains in molasses. Now on to the flavoring.
To make a quart of root beer, you'll need:
- 1/4 tsp sassafras
- 1/2 tsp wintergreen
- 1/4 tsp sarsaparilla
- 1/4 of a vanilla bean stalk
You can put all the ingredients in a tea bag and let them seep in the water kefir in the fridge for at least one day. When it's done, it will taste just like root beer, but it is way healthier and all natural!