Sunday, August 28, 2011

Fermenting Vegetables & Fruits with Water Kefir

Water kefir grains that have been dyed red from beets.
  I've been making water kefir for a few months now. It's a non-dairy and inexpensive way of getting some beneficial bacteria. I got my live "grains" from, and they've been great. The grains double with every 48 hour ferment. They are alive and require a certain amount of care. They are effected by temperature, food, and water quality.

  At first I fed the grains sucanat but then switched over to maple syrup and used yacon syrup to supplement. They love yacon syrup and palm sugar. I have also fermented store bought coconut water. When I'm not making water kefir, I store the grains in chlorine-free, flouride-free water in glass jars in the fridge. I have started to ferment vegetables using water kefir grains and am pleased with the results.

Beets and muscadine grapes.
  I enjoy fermenting vegetables and fruits with water kefir grains. It allows me to cut the amount of salt usually associated with fermented and pickled foods. The fermented food is ready in 2 days. I've been fermenting beets, which I love! I start with raw beets and end up with tasty, crisp, slightly tangy beets and probiotic beet juice.

  My last fermentation consisted of 2 raw beets cut up, 1 cup muscadine grapes, halved and pitted, 6 tbsp. water kefir grains, 2 & 1/2 tbsp Sweet Tree Coconut Palm Sugar with a hint of Balinese sea salt, and enough chlorine-free, flouride-free water to fill my 64oz. Now Foods Sprouting Jar within an inch of the top. I use a closed lid from a 26oz. Mahatma Almond Butter jar which fits well. I let the jar sit in a warm(75F-98F), relatively dark area of the house for 2 days. 

  When it's done fermenting, the water kefir grains will have settled to the bottom, and the vegetables and fruit will be on top. I scoop the fermented food into separate smaller jars. Then I screw the mesh screen lid onto the Now Foods Sprouting jar and pour the fermented juice into the small jars along with the fermented food. I put the jars in the fridge. I usually eat all of it within a day or two, so I don't know how long it lasts in the fridge. Then I rinse and strain the grains a few times with chlorine-free, flouride-free water. I do food fermentation with excess grains, and always keep backup grains in the fridge.
... breakfast

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Organic Grain-free Vegan by Jennifer Stewart is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.