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Since I accidently ruined my kombucha sobies (apparently, they don’t like the Berkey water and prefer either distilled or reverse osmosis filtration), we have been enjoying more water kefir at dinner. One of the differences between kombucha and water kefir is that the kefir only takes 24-48 hours to complete, whereas the kombucha take 6-10 days. Usually I would make up 4 gallons of kombucha a week since we use about half a gallon a day of it. To make up for that lack now, I have been experimenting with the water kefir. My grains aren’t the happiest though, since they don’t really reproduce. Not quite sure how that happened. It’s just all one big experiment around here. Ordering grains and scobies are next on my shopping list. If at first you don’t succeed…

Adding fermented foods and beverages are essential to maintaining a healthy digestive system and immune system. Having water kefir or kombucha at a meal time is a simple way to incorporate these invaluable probiotic sources. Here’s our latest version of water kefir.

sassafras leaves and fruits

Root Beer Water Kefir

Ingredients:

  • 7 cups filtered water
  • 1/2 c sucanat or other minimally processed sugar (not a white variety, as the grains like the minerals in the darker sugars like sucanat)
  • 1 tsp sassafras root
  • 2 tsp wild cherry bark
  • 3 TB water kefir grains (if you have milk grains, you can convert them over to water, just takes a few days)

Method:

  1. Add water and sugar to a half gallon jar. Shake vigorously until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add kefir grains and allow to sink to bottom of jar.
  3. Add sassafras and wild cherry bark to jar. If you prefer you can put them in a cloth bag to keep them separated from the grains.
  4. Cap lightly and set on the counter away from light for 24-48 hours.
  5. Taste should be carbonated, slightly sweet – then it’s done.
  6. Strain out the bark and root and discard. Strain out the grains and put in a new sugar water glass for a new round.

Mountain Rose Herbs or Frontier has lots of fun barks and roots to play around with to get the flavor you like best. If you like water kefir, here’s another recipe for a Ginger Apple flavor. Enjoy!

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