I have been making and drinking Kefir for years and really like it. I like the taste and I like what it does for my body. But did you know that while it was originally a dairy drink, you can use any drink that has some sugar in it for the microorganisms s to eat?
I like to use apple juice and coconut water, but I have also used beetroot juice, water with some sugar added, and even coconut milk. They all turned out great and are easy to make. My secret weapon to being able to make all of these different varies is that I use the Kefir Culture, not kefir grains.
The grains are great, but, for me and my proclivity to change the type of kefir I want to make every few days, I need to be able to go from milk to water, to apple juice, to beetroot juice and then back to milk, all within a few weeks. With grains, you just can’t do that. Dairy grains are used in milk and water grains are used in water. They do not switch from one medium to another.
So, if you like to make 4 different types of kefir, and you don’t want to have to maintain 4 sets of different grains, the way to go is with Maintenance Free Kefir Culture.
Just warm up your drink to 30 degrees. I do this by placing the unopened drink into a sink of warm water for a while. Then transfer the drink into a large jar. I use the flip top 1.5-litre jars for one litre of drink. I am using apple juice in one and coconut water in the other. Add a VERY SMALL amount of culture and mix it in. Then use a piece of tight weave cloth to cover the open jar and secure it with a rubber band or a piece of string.
Allow the jars to set for 24 hours to ferment. In winter, I usually leave mine for a little longer because I am in Stanthorpe QLD, and it is cold here in winter and it takes a little longer to get where I want to go in terms of flavour.
Once the kefir has fermented to the taste that you are looking for, remove the cloth and string and close the lid. You can now pop it into the door of your fridge and drink once chilled.
Fermenting drinks like coconut water and apple juice reduces the sugar while at the same time giving a home for the rapid growth of probiotics, essential to good gut health. For me, it also drastically improves the flavour. Most juices are far too sweet for me, and the acidity created by the fermentation of the sugars is just what I need to make this a refreshing beverage that is a pleasure to drink.
Give your favourite juice a try and see what you think. Kefir is so good for your gut and delicious and with the maintenance fee culture, you can feel free to experiment.