Simplifying nutrition and using food as medicine - one bite at a time.

My goal with this blog is to set folks straight about what good nutrition really is! Starting by discarding the info we get every day from 'sponsors' that do not really have our best interests at heart, I want to inspire you to eat better AND realize it is much easier than you thought it would be!

Just about any health issues can be addressed with nutrition (and meditation), from mild to chronic to acute. We truly have the ability to heal ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually...

And you can use your daily routine as your vehicle to drive that change :)

Join me...

Quote of the Month

"When food, in the minds of eaters, is no longer associated with farming and with the land, then the eaters are suffering a kind of cultural amnesia that is misleading and dangerous"
~Wendell Berry

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I am in love. again.
I have re-discovered the world of fermented beverages and my newest adventure has been with water kefir. I had tried my hand at other home-brewed bevvies in the past with success. In fact, ginger beer and T'ej (Ethiopian honey wine) were staples around my house for some time.
But water kefir has really rocked my boat. I think a big factor is that it takes a fraction of the time that others take to make - and who doesn't appreciate that?
The most pleasing attributes for me though are the flavour and how great it makes me feel after drinking it. It is the cleanest crispest flavour I've experienced in a ferment. Now I'm no fermented beverage aficionado - not by any stretch of the imagination - but I have had my fair share of 'booch' (aka: kombucha).
And there is also no denying how happy my belly feels after a cool crisp glass of my homemade water kefir. When I first made it a few months ago after a workshop I took with the talented Andrea Potter, I couldn't stop!  I was hooked on the first sip and had to have more. 
I was also adequately convinced that the refined sugar (something I don't normally use at all) was metabolized in the fermentation process and so it did not create any of the ill effect it would have if it had not been fermented. The refined sugar is virtually consumed by the active bacterial cultures within the kefir 'grains' and used as fuel to make this deliciously healthy drink. Some of the nutrients within include: enzymes, probiotic / friendly bacteria, antioxidants, assorted vitamins and minerals.
Now that's some good food magic
The method is simple once you get your hands on some water kefir grains (ask around at health-food shops and organic markets - many folks have them you just need to ask around in neighborhoods where people make or grow their own food).

Basic Recipe:
Approx. 1/4 tsp. kefir grains (that's all you need for a litre!)
1 litre boiled/purified water
1/4 cup organic cane sugar
Approx. 1/4 cup fresh or dried fruit of choice
a few sprigs of herb of choice (ie: mint, thyme, basil, fennel) - optional but recommended to achieve complex flavour and higher nutrient value.

1. Place clean jar(s) on counter top and add 1/4 cup sugar to the bottom of jar.
2. Pour just under 1 litre water into jar over sugar and stir.
3. Add the herbs of choice to the hot sweet water.
4. Let cool to room temperature.
5. Add the fruit - I mash the berries to get the maximum nutrients out of them. If I'm using lemon or lime wedges I squeeze them a little first too.
6. Then add the kefir grains. I first put them into a little reusable tea sac to avoid having to strain them out of the fruity/herbal much afterwards.
7. Place a tea towel or cloth napkin over the top of the jar and fasten with an elastic band.
8. Let sit for 48 hours in a warm place away from direct sunlight and stir with a non-metal implement every           8-12 hours. (They don't like metal so I use a wooden spoon.)
9. After 48 hours, remove the little sac with the kefir grains and place it in the refrigerator in a jar with some of the liquid from the kefir to keep it moist and fed. It will be fine for a few days but feed it with a little sugar and water if you leave it for longer. Even better, use them for the next batch right away - this keeps them the healhiest.
10. Strain the rest of the fruit/herb bits and bottle the strained liquid. *Note: Bail top bottles are my favourite and they are nice and strong for holding back the sometimes powerful carbonation that builds during fermentation. Wine bottles and corks work too - put on lids tightly :)
11. Leave the bottle at room temperature for another 24 hours if you like carbonation.
12. Transfer to fridge after 24 hours in the bottle and enjoy once cooled.
*Be careful opening your fermented beverage as it can act like champagne sometimes and flow over wildly!

A few favourites: Rhubard and vanilla pod, lime & mint, summer plum, pomegranate, aumtumn pear or pineapple + coconut water.

"Easy-peasy lemon-squeezy" as my son Oskar would say!

Enjoy drinking in the goodness...


  1. Would other forms of sugar work as well? I'm a bit leery of using refined sugar.

    1. Hi Clelie,
      Yes you can use other forms of sugar but you can also rest assured that the majority of the sugar is metabolized in this process. Believe me I wouldn't drink it if it did.
      Ps: more directions to come...

    2. That's what I thought! I must email you to make an appointment. I keep intending to do it and then getting distracted!

  2. Wowsy! What an excellent recipe for the start of summer! Definitely going to give this a try.I've never fermented before and only bought the bottles of Booch $$. I'm thinking this will be a delicious and affordable treat! Thank you for the 'refreshing' idea!


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