By Shannen Irwin, Office Manager
I recently had the pleasure of attending an intriguing lecture on the benefits of probiotics, presented by our registered dietitian, Maria Hepler. During the hour-long presentation, she covered the importance of replenishing and maintaining good bacteria in the gut, and demonstrated how to make homemade water kefir – a probiotic drink made with water kefir grains. I was inspired to try to make it myself! I asked my co-workers at Kaplan Center if they would be interested in receiving a daily dose of probiotics in the form of water kefir and many of them agreed to give it a go. This is our experience.
After purchasing all the necessary ingredients and tools online, including the dehydrated kefir grains, I began the first step of rehydrating the grains. I poured the grains into a large glass container that held room temperature water and evaporated pure cane sugar. After 5 days the grains grew in number exponentially, and by the following week I was ready to make a batch of water kefir that we would be able to consume. I then drained and discarded the water/sugar mixture and used a portion of the rehydrated grains to make a fresh batch following Maria’s recipe. Two days later I was ready to serve the homemade water kefir to the staff.
The water kefir has a sweet, effervescent taste with a hint of fermented flavor (some of us add a touch of organic, pure lemon juice for an extra splash of flavor). Overall we are enjoying drinking it and find it to be light, crisp and refreshing!
So, how has it made us feel?
Our staff, myself included, are very pleased with the changes we are seeing after just a few weeks. Personally, I have noticed that I feel less bloated. One of our providers stated, “I think I have a flatter stomach and got over a cold much faster than I have in the past.” Overall my experience with water kefir has been great, and because I can grow and store the grains, I plan to continue to provide it to our staff!