Sparkling Water Kefir

Water kefir is a beautiful nutritious fizzy drink packed with pro-biotics. It can can help improve immunity & digestion along with numerous health benefits linked to having beneficial bacteria in our guts.

To make the drink, a starter culture is required.  The culture is a collection of translucent jelly-like crystal structures referred to as kefir "grains".  The grains are made up from a combination of bacteria & yeast and have the incredible ability to metabolise sugar into beneficial bacteria, food enzymes and b-vitamins.

Kefir will taste different depending on the grains, the length of time taken to brew and what it's brewed with.  It really does prefer sugar to other sweeteners (ideally organic golden castor sugar, rapadura or raw cane sugar) and does not work at all with honey, maple syrup, xylitol, coconut sugar or stevia.

Recipe:

1.5 litres of spring (or filtered) water
100g kefir grains
30g sugar (preferably organic golden castor sugar)

Method

Place ingredients in a glass kilner jar & stir with a wooden spoon 
Leave jar at room temperature for around 2 days (48 hours). During the fermentation process, the sugar converts to fructose and after around 3 or 4 days, all the sugar should have been metabolised. 
Strain the liquid using a plastic sieve
Drink or refrigerate kefir drink (it will last for several weeks)
Repeat the process with kefir grains.
If needed, grains can be stored in a fridge for a few weeks (keep kefir grains in a glass jar and sprinkle with sugar)

Variations:

Try using coconut water instead of water to ferment kefir
Add 1 slice of lemon when fermenting to alter taste. 
To make a super fizzy drink, try a second ferment.  Start with a batch of fermented kefir liquid (strained, without the grains) then place the liquid in a jar and add different flavours making sure there is something sweet including (eg a piece of dried fruit).  Try adding vanilla, a slice of ginger or freshly juiced grape juice. Leave for a further 24-48 hours and make sure the lid is opened every day to release any build up of gas. 

Notes:

When fermenting foods, avoid using metal utensils as much as possible as the healthy bacteria
Water kefir contains beneficial bacteria including yeast but this does not feed candida. Fermented foods help to re-populate the bowel with healthy bacteria and keep candida at bay.