Water Kefir: The Ultimate Probiotic

Water Kefir Recipe The Probiotic Paleo Diet SodaA dynamic probiotic, water kefir is a carbonated (through fermentation) fruit drink. A few years ago I was doing research on probiotics. I learned that encapsulated probiotics are weak and often ineffective, that the most effective probiotics are actually foods, fermented foods and drinks that is.

What is the difference? The probiotics that you pay big bucks for usually contain millions of probiotic organisms. While this sounds like alot, it isn’t, in fact you probably have similar bacterial counts on your hand. A small serving of kefir, on the other hand, contains unpwards of 1.5 trillion probiotic organisms. Not million, not billion, trillion. That is a thousand billion. There are several times the count of probiotics in a single small serving of kefir than in an entire 120 servings of expensive probiotics. And it tastes like soda pop.. 

Additionally, probiotic supplements are always limited to a handful or even just a single strain of probiotics. Water kefir, on the other hand, contains dozens of different probiotic bacteria and yeast strains (yes, there are good yeasts). When we consume them, each one of these strains is able to manufacture different vitamins for us, fight off pathogens and regulate important longevity promoting and anti-obesity genes in your body.

Another issue will probiotic pills is that the advertised bacteria count (ex. 6 million) is only true at the time of manufacture. These counts are often greatly diminished by the time you buy them. The surviving bugs are dormant and unlikely to survive digestion. Kefir on the other hand, is busy and crawling with probiotics that are replicating when you consume them. When you consume your probiotics with the medium that they originally grew on, the survival rate during digestion increases dramatically.

Water Kefir Culture

Water Kefir Recipe The Probiotic Paleo Diet Soda

Water Kefir Grains

There is a specific water kefir culture that you must obtain before you begin “brewing” your own water kefir “soda”. This culture is often called “water kefir grains”, though they are not grains. The grains look like dozens of little clear crystals and they are made up of the colonies of probiotics which manufacture enzymes and vitamins while consuming sugars.

I got my first water kefir grains from this small family owned business which offers kefir grains, kombucha scobee cultures, fermenting starter/delux kits. This company is all organic with there cultures.

If you continually make water kefir, you will only ever need to buy one starter culture. In fact, your culture will constantly grow and you will need to start giving away cultures to your family and friends. Alternatively you can consume the extra grains for the most powerful burst of probiotics on Earth. I have done this and they are flavorless with the consistency of jello.

One thing to keep in mind with your kefir grains is that metal is toxic to the probiotic strains so this is why my recipe will call for non metal tools.

How To Make Water Kefir

Serves 4+  Prep Time: 5 min.

Equipment Needed:

Carbonated Water Kefir

Carbonated Water Kefir

— Glass Jar (1 quart or larger)

— Wooden spoon for stirring (Don’t use metal)

— Cheesecloth, coffee filters or some other cloth to cover top of jars

— Bamboo or plastic strainer

— Rubber band

Ingredients:

— Hydrated water kefir grains (I got mine here)

— 1/4 cup of organic unprocessed rapadura sugar per 1 quart of water (Worry not, this sugar will be consumed by the kefir grains. As long as you ferment long enough, there will be very small of sugar left.)

Do not use tap water, the chlorine will kill your grains. Spring water is best followed by well water, filtered rain water, distilled water and finally filtered tap water. Though if using rain or distilled water, add a pinch of pink sea salt as your grains need minerals.

Though you could use organic white sugar, organic unprocessed turbinado cane sugar is best. Honey, maple and coconut sugar should not be used since they can damage your culture.

Instructions:

1. Add sugar to your jar, then add a small amount of hot water in to dissolve the sugar.

2. Now add the rest of the water, make sure it is room temp! You don’t want to cook your grains.

3. Add your kefir grains

4. Cover jar with coffee filter or cloth and strap it on with rubber band. This allows breathing and keeps small heathens out of your kefir.

5. Leave it at room temperature to ferment for 24-48 hours. The longer you wait, the less sugar so I recommend 48 hours but no longer! If you grains run out of sugar for too long they will starve.

6. After the 48 hours, strain the liquid into a new jar using a bamboo or plastic strainer (no metal!).

7. Now add the grains back into a new sugar water solution (restart process).

8. Now onto the carbonation! Take the strained liquid from step 6 and add a few ounces of organic fruit juice. Pomegranite, grape, cherry, blueberry, acai and apple all work well. Citrus does not work well. You are now going to cover the jars with airtight lids for 1-3 days to trap the carbonation that results from the fermentation of the fruit juice. —HERE IS THE TRICK TO MAKE THE BEST SODA KEFIR— Along with the fruit juice, add in your desired amount of stevia drops. Since the kefir will consume almost all of the sugar, the kefir will not be very sweet at all UNLESS you add stevia which greatly compliments the mild sweetness of the remaining sugar. Since stevia is not a carbohydrate, it remains unfermented in the final product. 

Best Classic Drink Variations: How To

— LEMONADE — Add lemon juice and drink after the first fermentation for probiotic lemonade. (Skip second fermentation)

— DR. PEPPER — Using prune juice in the second fermentation results in a Dr. Pepper flavored kefir soda.

— CREAM SODA — After the first fermentation, seal the jar without adding any juice. After 2 days, refrigerate it for an hour, then add a small amount of vanilla extract before drinking for a cram soda kefir.

Water Kefir Instructional Video

This is a more in depth video you can follow. She is using a different recipe size but you can follow either measures.

 

 

 

 

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The Paleo diet has never been a new idea, a trend or a fad. The Paleo diet is more of a memory of what our ancestors did before us. The Paleo diet is like the young boy who walks daily through the paths of an ancieFood List To Avoid On The Paleo Diet (And Alternatives)nt forest, takes a new path, gets lost, and he then realizes that the smartest thing to do is to go back to the last place that he knew where he was.

In terms of diet, the last place where our food wasn’t the number 1 cause of death was the paleolithic era. So a clever human continues on using this extremely useful modern technology, but takes a more traditional route with the foods that he/she puts in their mouth.

List Of Foods That Paleo Dieters Shall Avoid

These are foods that we, for the most part, were not adapted to consume through the bulk of our evolutionary development.

There are some exceptions, but these foods should certainly be avoided in the beginning phases of ones healing path. As your gut heals, it becomes more adaptable and tolerable. At this point, your should tailor your diet to your own specific needs.

Lets shall we begin?

Avoid

GRAINS/LEGUMES- There is evidence that wild grains and legumes were consumed seasonally by paleolithic humans. It is not hard to believe as we were extremely opportunistic foragers. Here is the issue, wild grains and legumes are MUCH different than modern domesticated grains and legumes. Wild versions of wheat had only 2 pairs of chromosomes and a digestible gluten. Modern wheat has been so deeply hybridized, it now has 6 pairs of chromosomes and has developed new forms of gluten which are troublesome for anyone to digest.

Also, eating grains (and other foods) seasonally allowed humans to avoid food sensitivities which comes with eating one food every day of the year.

Alternatives? For flour, coconut flour is the healthiest while still being tolerable to the palate. I always use a balance of coconut, almond and chia seed meal to make sure that any one flour doesn’t overwhelm the recipe. Nuts in moderation is also okay, but not too many! Nuts contain some of the same anti nutrients as grains and legumes, they also contain high amounts of inflammatory omega 6 fats.

DAIRY- Some people digest milk relatively well, but dairy is no walk in the park to digest. Those who can digest the sugar in dairy are called lactase persistent. This means that, into adulthood, their bodies continue to produce the enzyme that breaks down milk sugar. In the paleo era, everyone was lactose intolerant, this was the norm. In reality, lactase persistence, or the ability to consume milk as an adult, is not the norm, but a new abberation of the human body. What is normal in nature is for the mammals to cease milk consumption once they are weaned from their mothers.

An equally troublesome issue for many, myself included, is the sensitivity to the protein in milk called casein. Casein is used to make glue, similar to gluten, so you can see why it is going to be an issue to digest this cleanly.

Alternatives? Coconut milk! Any other nut milk is okay but coconut milk is healthiest since it doesn’t deliver a truckload of inflammatory omega 6 fats.

REFINED SUGAR/FRUIT JUICES- When you remove sugar from the package nature delivers it in, and consume it in large quantities, your body will become a war zone.

Our bodies are designed to slowly unravel sugar from a fibrous package. When machines isolate the sugar and we eat it as a pure pharmaceutical, it immediately enters the blood stream. With blood sugar through the roof, your pancreas will release all the insulin it has at the ready! The insulin transports sugar into the cells, but the problem is, since blood sugar spiked so high, too much insulin was released. Now you have low blood sugar. Guess what you are craving? That’s right, more sugar!

Things to avoid include all fruit juices, refined sugar in all forms, processed foods (all contain sugar and other poisons), conventional soda, energy drinks and other processed snacky foods.

Alternatives? Stevia leaf extract, xylitol (from birch trees) and yacon syrup are all great option. Keep in mind, you will have to get used to their unique sweetnesses. Once you do, you’ll never go back to the dark side!

You can make delicious herbal teas and sweeten them with stevia. If you can’t go without soda, try water kefir sweetened with stevia. It is not only a sweet fizzy refreshment, it is an awesome probiotic!

OVERLY SALTED/PROCESSED FOODS- The biggest issue with processed and overly salted foods is that they taste too yum. Haha, that is how it seems, but really, these foods are designed in labs to over-ride our feelings of satiety. The result? Massive overeating. Refined salt, MSG, corn syrup and other chemicals that increase dopamine spikes in the brain are all ingredients of foods on the dark side that should be avoided.

Alternatives? Just eat whole foods! What is the paleo diet other than a whole food diet? Whole foods, generally will not bring your body out of balance.

BAD OILS- Certain vegetable oils are perhaps the most damaging substance one can introduce into their body. For example, the corn oil you buy at the store is already at least partially rancid. This and others like canola, peanut, soy, safflower and other oils are bleached and deodorized to hide the fact that the fragile polyunsaturated oils are oxidized and rancid.

If you are going to extract the oil for later use, the oil needs to be stable. There is no worse fat than a rancid fat.

Along with being rancid, these oils are extremely high in omega 6 fatty acids, which as mentioned before, is highly inflammatory in the body.

Alternatives? Stable fats safe for cooking include coconut oil. palm oil, lard and ghee. Olive oil is not stable for cooking but is indeed very healthy for consumption as a salad dressing for example.

This is not a complete list, but it will get you started nicely. Remember, the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step!

Now, I need to go do some sparring, I recommend you get busy too, and remember to spend plenty of time in nature!

 

 

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