Water Kefir Grains generally contain close to 30 strains of beneficial yeast and bacteria. They thrive on a sugar-water solution, and the grains produce lactic acid, alcohol and carbon dioxide, yielding a fermented carbonated drink. Don’t worry, the end product has an alcohol content of less than 1% if made correctly so you’re unlikely to feel the effects! The bacterias formed are highly beneficial to people suffering from conditions such as candida or irritable bowl, or for anyone who has been using anti-biotics, to re-populate their guts with the good guys.
Keeping on a wild foraging theme, I have decided to try making a version of elderflower ‘champagne’ using water kefir as a base. Elderflowers are often used to help prevent colds and hay fever, so I though they would work well with some bee- pollen to make a spring hay-fever preventing fizzy drink. Bee pollen works amazingly in water kefir, unlocking some of the enzymes which are thought to be unavailable to our bodies unless fermented first, and produces the fizziest kefir I’ve ever seen. The natural pollen and bacteria’s on the flowers will increase the enzyme and beneficial bacterias in the finished drink. As fresh elderflowers are a few months away from being ready to harvest, I chose to use some dried elderflowers, usually used for tea, to add to my water kefir base. The result was a sweet, sparkling, fruity and fresh drink which reminds me of early summer days in the sunshine. I hope this adds some sunshine to your week!
1 litre water kefir base made with white sugar and lemon
1 handful fresh elderflowers, or 2 tbsp dried elderflowers
1 tsp bee pollen
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Make your water kefir base using white sugar and a slice of lemon. You will need to obtain some water kefir grains first, or check out our fermentation masterclass for more details.
Leave to ferment for 48-72 hours. Strain the grains and lemon out of the liquid, and pour water into a bottle or kilner jar with a tight fitting lid or clip top.
Pour in the lemon juice, bee pollen and elderflowers, and leave to second-ferment for another 48 hours. Check it is ready by carefully releasing the lid, watching for lots of fizzy bubbles rising to the top. Strain the drink through a nut milk bag, and store in bottles in the fridge.