Thursday, March 13, 2014

YUMMY Homemade probiotic Water Kefir Soda Pop Recipe

Some ginger pear soda. Kinda a weird flavor, but it tasted good to me.

Water kefir grains.
Howdy,

I had a friend request information on some healthy tips. So this week I'm doing a bunch of blog post about healthy things I do that actually make me feel better. Enjoy.


Homemade probiotic Water Kefir Soda Pop

Health benefits
This drink is a fantastic source of probiotics.

Before I get to the soda pop recipe, I just want to give a plug about probiotics.
I can't stress the need for probiotics enough. You need these little guys to help your gut stay healthy. And if your gut isn't healthy, then you're probably not going to be healthy.

Our modern lifestyle has moved in a direction where the faster food is made, the better.
We have forgotten the wonderful heritage and the importance of soaking grains before we eat them, and the benefits of fermenting our food. And now we are paying for it. Our poor gut-health has caused a huge decline in our health, and way of life.

I've included a link below to an article I highly recommend for anyone interested in learning the importance of probiotics.  (Gut health linked to mental health, autism and other psychological problems.)


Be sure to watch the video on the link.

Now for the recipe.
I'm going to be honest here.
I love soda pop.
I always have. I love the way it fizzes and makes my nose tingle. I love the sweetness of it, and I love all the fun flavors.

Once I learned about how bad soda was for you, I had a hard time giving it up. Then I learned about how bad Gmo corn syrup is, and then I really had to give it up. (Darn)
Sometimes it's really hard to give up the things you like. I find it especially hard to do if there isn't something better to replace it.
It's like once you give up something, a vacuum opens up, and tries to fill that empty space. And if you're not careful, you might end up eating worse than you did in the first place.

Always try find something better---more abundant to fill that hole, or the lack of the thing you gave up will return with a vengeance.

Only just a few weeks ago did I learn about a healthy alternative to store-bought soda.
A healthy homemade soda that, (I guess) has been around for a long time---longer than the unhealthy kind you can buy at the store.

I was skeptical at first. If you could make soda at home, how come nobody gave me a heads up? I never got the memo. Nothing could taste as good as store-bought soda? Right?
Wrong. It tastes even BETTER!
Seriously. Not only that, this soda is TONS BETTER for you. It has loads of healthy probiotics that make your body, skin, and belly happy. Many people in our modern culture are literally starved for healthy gut enzymes. And studies show that a healthy gut is the key to being healthy, mentally and physically. If our guts are messed up it could effect a multitude of health problems.

So what's the catch? How do you make this healthy soda?

The science is simple, the process pretty straightforward. And it's fun coming up with new flavors.

Things you'll need
1. Water kefir grains
2. Pure cane Sugar  (I use Zulka---a pure cane sugar found in most grocery stores)
C&H sugar would probably work just fine. But I like the purer sugars better.
3. Filtered water if you have some. I'm sure normal water would work, but if you have pure water, use it.
4. A must is sea salt or trace mineral drops.
5. (Juice or fruit of your choice)
6. A jar with a lid.

How you make it.

1. First I get my water kefir grains and dump them in mason jar, or a glass jar with a lid. Note that water kefir grains are only slightly different than milk kefir grains. The milk kefir grains get nutrients from the milk, hence the milky color of their curds.
Water kefir grains get their nutrients from the sugar, salt and trace mineral drops you add to the water. I've heard that can use milk kefir grains to make your soda, and it will work just fine.

2. Add some sea salt---or a few squirts---about a teaspoon of trace mineral drops. It just depends on the volume of juice you are going to add.

3. Add some fruit, juice, or whatever you want to the mix. I've tried some canned plum juice, and that's really yummy. We've also added some 100% juices from the store, and they're really good too. Usually if the juice is sweet that will be enough sugar for the kefir grains to do their thing. So you won't need to add your own sugar in that case.

4. If you're wanting to make something of your own, a lot of people say to mix your sugar and water in a pan on the stove, and then add your flavors.

I personally get kind of lazy, so I just add my sugar into the water, and add my pieces of fruit, and other flavors. So far it's worked alright with me. But you might like it better with the sugar more fully dissolved.

If you are planning on making your own mix, perhaps a ginger ale, a lemon soda, a vanilla cream soda, or other concoction, mix your flavors however you like.

I've done a ginger soda by adding some ginger powder to some water, sugar, and some cinnamon and whatever spices I felt like to my kefir grains. Pear juice makes a nice fizz, and is really tasty too. Just have fun experimenting with the flavors you can come up with---Apple, cranberry turmeric, raisins, pineapple, sarsaparilla root---for root bear, there's really no end to the fun flavors you can add. Just be sure that your flavors are pure, and natural. Also I've noticed that lime juice doesn't seem to go well with my kefir grains.

5. Then after you've added your flavors, I suggest adding some sugar or molasses into your drink. This is not an exact science. I'm not going to tell you how much to add, because it depends now how much juice or water you add, and how sweet you want it. Just make sure it's sweet enough the kefir has enough sugars to feed on. If you're not sure, just experiment.

6. Then after you've got your juice the flavor you want it, screw on a lid---the tighter the fizzier it's going to be.

7. Then you wait. In the case of water kefir grains, you usually don't have to wait very long unless they've been refrigerated. One to two days should be sufficient. You should see bubbles rising to the top. (This is good) And when you open the lid, it will probably fizz or bubble a bit. You can taste it. If it's to your liking then strain out the kefir grains and put your juice in the fridge in order to keep it at the stage that tastes the best to you.

9. If it doesn't turn fizzy, or it doesn't seem like the juice is tangy, you probably need to add more trace minerals, salt or sugar. Note that the kefir grains have natural yeast. So it might smell a bit yeasty.  

10. If you don't like your drink fizzy, don't put the lid on very tightly. Or don't put a lid on it at all. And it will be a subtle tangy drink. 

Note. That once it's past the fizzy stage and it doesn't taste sweet anymore, and tastes kind of yeasty, it's fermented too long. If that's the case, use it as a hair rinse, face toner, or discard the juice and try again.

A fun tidbit to note that kefir (means to feel good)

This soda is very refreshing, and a fun healthy treat. Enjoy.


 

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