I mentioned Water Kefir a couple of weeks back and was asked to elaborate…this is my attempt:
Why Water Kefir?
Water Kefir is a non-dairy probiotic drink full of beneficial bacteria. Instead of buying and taking expensive supplements, I can make my own probiotic drink.
According to Wikipedia, probiotics potenial benefits include: Managing Lactose Intolerance, Prevention of Colon Cancer, Lowering Cholesterol, Lowering Blood Pressure, Improving Immune Function and Preventing Infections, Antibiotic-Associated Diarrhea, Reducing Inflammation, Improving Mineral Absorption, Preventing Harmful Bacteria Growth Under Stress, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Colitis, and Managing Urogenital Health.
If any of these are partially true, then taking probiotics on a regular basis sounds like a good idea and one that I have been doing the pharmaceutical way for several years, until I started drinking Water Kefir.
Looking at my expensive probiotics (and I have several), only one has more than one type of probiotic and it contains Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Bifidobacterium bifidum and Streptococcus thermophilus.
I have read that Water Kefir includes the following: Lactobacillus brevis, Lactobacillus casei rhamnosus , Lactobacillus alactosus, Lactobacillus casei casei, Lactobacillus pseudoplantarum, Lactobacillus plantarum, Streptococcus lactis, Streptococcus cremeris, Leuconostoc mesenteroides,Saccharomyces florentinus, Saccharomyces pretoriensis, Kloeckera apiculata, Candida lambica, Candida valida. (Source Dolores Sánchez-Peñalver)
What is Water Kefir (Tibicos)?
Tibicos, also known as tibi, water kefir grains, sugar kefir grains, Japanese water crystals and California Bees, are a culture of bacteria and yeast held in a polysaccharide matrix created by the bacteria. As with kefir grains, the microbes present in tibicos act in symbiosis to maintain a stable culture. Tibicos can do this in many different sugary liquids, feeding off the sugar to produce lactic acid, alcohol (ethanol), and carbon dioxide gas which carbonates the drink.
People who do not wish to consume dairy products may find that water kefir provides the living pro-biotics without the need for dairy or tea cultured products, like kombucha. Since the finished product, if bottled, will produce a carbonated beverage, it provides an alternative to sweet soda drinks for children and adults.
Do this–not that:
I have read all kinds of conflicting information about how to ferment and care for Kefir Grains. Use plastic utensils only, no metal; metal is fine, no worries. Never use honey it will kill your Kefir; honey is good. Cap the jars tightly; leave them loose. Ferment Kefir in a dark cabinet; leave on the counter.
I am still new to the process and am seriously winging it. My grains are multiplying, which is what they are supposed to do. I use a metal strainer, because I don’t have a plastic one with tiny holes. I also use regular spoons.
Water Kefir Grains
Second Ferment with Lemon
My current method/recipe (which might change as I plod along):
First ferment: In a new jar I dissolve 1/3 cup of dark brown sugar (organic, if possible) in spring water, I hear that tap water is bad because of the chemical treatments and distilled water is bad because the natural minerals in the water have been removed, leaving room for the Kefir Grains. I add the grains and cap tightly. Setting the jar in the cupboard for 24 hours or so. Taste it to see if it is to your liking. If I can’t tend to them at about the 24 hour mark, I stick the jar in the fridge for another day…the cool temps slow, but don’t stop the fermentation process.
When ready, I strain the liquid into another clean jar and set aside. I then wash the Kefir Grains by swishing them around in spring water for a moment and then redraining them before adding them to a new jar of sugar water.
Second ferment: To the strained Kefir water that I previously set aside I add some fruit (organic is preferred) and cap for another 24 hours. Then I strain it once more and refrigerate for drinking. I have tried lemons (loved them), lemon with lime (good), lemons and strawberries (yum), figs with lemon (I liked just lemon better), ginger (meh), peaches (yum), mandarin oranges from the can w/juice (it was good)…etc. The only time I really hated it was when I accidentally over-fermented a batch. I could tell immediately that I wasn’t going to be able to drink it. I threw it all out, except for the grains which I washed with spring water, and started over.
Here are a couple recipes from other sites if you are curious:
It was a beautiful weekend weather-wise. No snow!! In fact, I actually turned the air conditioning on for a few hours Saturday afternoon.
I didn’t get much done practically, but I went out Friday night to watch some live music with some friends. It was nice! We saw and experienced Meg Hutchinson. It was a very small crowd. I know that at least one couple knew Meg’s music well as they were singing along to each and every song, smiling ear to ear as they did. Their love for her, her music and each other was such a pleasure to see. I had never heard of Meg before that night, I was glad that I went.
“Home” – Meg Hutchinson
Saturday a friend and her teenage daughter, A, came over to browse through some of the clothes that Starr cleaned out of her closet in one of her first acts as an “adult”. She found way more things to take home than she expected, it was cute seeing her say “I really like this!” to item after item. Sunday afternoon, another two teens and their moms were able to come over. They ended up with a haul! I will still have at least two large garbage bags of donations unless I find another teen or two who would like to go through the rest. It was nice to purge, it was great fun and good for the spirit to see these girls excited about their “new” things!!
Starr and I made plans to go to the farmer’s market Sunday afternoon before my friends came over to “shop”. At about 11 am Starr asked me if noon would be a good time to leave and I said sure. It was just 5 minutes later when I felt a twinge in my back, just walking from the kitchen to my room so that I could get ready. I immediately turned around and went back to the kitchen for meds. I took a prescription Motrin and tried to finish getting ready. After just a few minutes, I was barely able to move and could tell that the Motrin wasn’t going to cut it so I dug out an old prescription for muscle relaxers. I don’t know if it helped because I was in serious pain all day. Still am. I wish I could say that I was lifting or doing something specific to cause the pain/stress, but I was just walking…damn it.
Despite my flippin’ back, I am ready to greet this Monday with a smile.
*Do any of you watch Grey’s Anatomy? Starr and Sunny drove my interest in the show as they were often here watching it together and they welcomed my presence. If they didn’t watch it together, they were always on the phone with each other immediately after each episode. It was fun to see them so animated and interested. *sigh* Anyway, Starr and I just finished watching last night’s season finale. Seriously intense! Whoa. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.
*Last year I bought a basil plant and kept it in my kitchen. Starr and I have used it regularly, snipping and eating…yum. Fresh basil rocks!! The plant was starting to get seriously spindly, so a month ago I bought another plant thinking to replace the old one. I killed it within a week. I don’t know what I did. Over-water? Under-water? Look at it the wrong way??? Spoiled as we have been with the fresh basil and not willing to give it up, I purchased new plants this week and am trying again. Wish them luck in my care. They will need it.
*Just over a week from now my baby will be turning 21 years old. I keep looking at her wondering if I can lock her up somewhere and when exactly did this happen?? I miss my cuddly little sweetie but am really proud of the young woman she has become. I will probably bore you with a lengthier post on this subject next week.
mp3: “The Darkest Side” – The Middle East
“…and it’s the darkest side of my heart that dies when you come to me…”
It took a couple listens for this song to grow on me. It’s funny, most of the songs I run into are “nexted” within seconds. I don’t give them another chance, but some, including several that I’ve posted here in the past catch me just enough to garner another listen or two. I don’t know what the formula is, but I am often (but not always!!) quite glad that I made that choice. The Recordings of The Middle East The Middle East-MySpace
Starr has declared that this is the summer that she will become an adult. I didn’t say anything, but listened to her musings.
She figures that she needs to become an adult before graduating from college. Before embarking on her career path and then possibly going to graduate school. Not to mention having a family.
How do you become an adult? According to Starr, you look at each decision that you make and consider “what would be the adult choice here?” before making a decision. From clothing purchases–will this outfit be appropriate for work?, to decorations–is this an item that I might want in my future home?, financial decisions and personal choices.
She figures that after a few months, the adult thing will have kicked in and she will be well on her way to an awesome future.
I know that we were just chatting and that she was just looking forward to graduating and getting her life on track, but it made me smile. I don’t remember ever having those thoughts.
Just as soon as I said that I didn’t have an mp3 for The Tallest Man on Earth, I run across one! So I thought I would share it today:
Swedish native, Kristian Matsson, a.k.a. The Tallest Man on Earth: I will be the first to admit that his voice immediately stepped all over my nerves. But then I couldn’t stop listening. It seeped into cracks I didn’t know existed.
I don’t have any mp3s to share, but I found these videos. I am in love with the first one, the song, the music store, the owner of the shop. All of it combines into something pretty amazing. I have watched it more times than I care to admit.
One catch: after soundcheck the day before, Tallest Man’s guitars were locked inside the NYC music venue, Town Hall, where he’d be playing later that night with Bon Iver. Solution: we’d have to shoot somewhere with a decent supply of guitars that he might borrow. A fan of music of all kinds, Jeff, the awesome, museum-quality proprietor of the legendary Music Inn on West 4th Street in Greenwich Village was happy to oblige.
This second video is longer and has three songs including the one above, but I like it very much…and have just stumbled onto NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts. Why didn’t anyone tell me that this kind of awesomeness was going on??
The Tallest Man on Earth NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert
Located just off the back deck, you can see this tree as you walk in the front door, or from the living room/dining room. In Spring, it blooms bright and pink.
All that pink makes me very happy indeed! The picture from inside my living room doesn’t really convey how pretty it really is…all that light pouring in the door washes out the color in the photograph. Or maybe it’s my dirty windows?
Name? Kelly. Mysterious? Not really. Passionate? Yes. Lazy? Sometimes. Outgoing? Not a bit. Trusting? Mmhmm. Artistic? On good days. Crazy? Could be. Trustworthy? Absolutely. Graceful? I wish. Sarcastic? Often. Deserving? You bet. Forgiving? Yes. Religious? No. Spiritual? Yes. Uncertain? At times. Confused? Sure. Distracted? Daily. Silly? Yeah. Talkative? Not. Punctual? To a fault. Breakable? Quite.
Robb Wolf's 30 Day Total Transformation is the ultimate "getting started" guide to the Paleo diet. Includes interactive information on nutrition, metabolism, exercise, a meal plan, shopping list, and more.
This is not a music blog. While it is my desire to share free and legal music here (music is a part of me), it is not my goal to critique this music.
If I have posted music, it is because I like it, and it moves me at the moment. It might match my mood, it could be on repeat, or mirror the sentiment of my post. It might be quite random, and just what I wish to share.
*Older links may not always work, as promotional MP3s, in particular, are known to disappear without warning.
Artists and labels: if I have erred and posted a song inappropriately, let me know, and I will remove it.
To download a song: on a PC, right click the link and choose "save link as"
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This and That
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