You guys. YOU GUYS. I am SO excited to share this with you today! This is THE awesomest food creation ever in existence. Totally not overreacting here, btw.
I have to say, since I changed my diet and lost 25 lbs., soda has been a BIG NO NO. Soda & I parted ways over a year ago and I'm not gonna lie, I have missed my fizzy friend. Dearly. I really didn't have an addiction to a particular soda, as long as it was sweet and was full of carbonation, I was happy...
But, commercial soda is bad news people. BAD. Not only do you have refined sugar (39 grams in one can!) but more often than not it's high fructose corn syrup which is HORRIBLE. Not only does it spike your blood sugar like a beast, it has "corn" in it, meaning "genetically modified corn" meaning "pesticide-filled corn" meaning "poisoned corn". Still with me? And don't even think about diet soda. The aspartame alone will give you altzheimer's, parkinsons, ADD, ADHD, multiple sclerosis or even cancer.
The pH of soda is the same as vinegar. That's why it cleans your toilet bowl in about 5 min. Yeah, not good for your body. The high levels of phosphorus will leach calcium from your bones and teeth, and oh yeah, all that processed sugar loves to eat your teeth enamel too. Did you know that "the relationship between soft drink consumption & body weight is so strong that researchers calculate that for each additional soda consumed, the risk of obesity increases 1.6 times."?
Finally, let's not forget about caffeine. I know some people can't seem to live without caffeine, but caffeine lies. Yep, it's one big fat liar. Caffeine make your adrenal glands secrete adrenaline, which produces that fake extra energy and buzz. It makes your body think you're in a dire emergency and need extra energy. It also increases dopamine which activates the pleasure part of the brain. Why hello there, addiction.
Okay, enough about commercial soda. It's bad. We all know it. Now let's get to the good stuff!
You've all heard of Kefir, right? No? Well, I first saw Kefir at a health food store in the dairy isle. I was told it was like yogurt, only better. I bought some and sure enough, it tasted like yogurt.
Fast-forward 3 years.
I knew that if I wanted to make yogurt I needed to buy a culture, or starter. I needed that bacteria to turn my raw goat's milk into yogurt. I bought some, but then realized I could also buy Kefir. I decided I needed to figure out the difference between the two.
-Yogurt & Kefir both ferment milk.
-Yogurt is made from bacteria
-Kefir is made from yeast & bacteria.
-Yogurt provides the food for the friendly bacteria in your intestinal tract & keeps it clean.
-Kefir actually colonizes your intestinal tract with the friendly bacteria your body needs.
I had been making yogurt for a couple years, and then when I went to order more starter culture at Cultures for Health, I decided to order some Kefir. Then I noticed they had 2 different kinds.
Milk Kefir & Water Kefir.
Water Kefir? What?
Turns out water kefir is the most awesomest creation ever! They have the same health benefits as Milk Kefir. Basically you put these little yeast/bacteria grains in sugar water(it has to be a healthy or unrefined sugar btw), they eat the sugar and produce carbonation! Oh my gosh forget world peace I want to make my own carbonation!
I bought some right away, and made my very own soda!
In the words of Dora the Explorer it was, "DELICIOSO!" *blink*blink*
And get this... wait, are you sitting down?
Those little water kefir grains? They grow and reproduce and will LAST. YOUR. ENTIRE. LIFE.
Did you freaking hear me people?! Go ahead, I'll wait while you run around your house screaming.
Okay, whew. Now here's my recipe for homemade soda pop that's actually healthy!
Homemade Soda Pop
Water Kefir Grains (no need to measure, just put all you have in)
I gallon of fruit juice either fresh or store bought (no added sugar, 100% juice, organic is best)
Step 1 - Add all the Water Kefir grains to juice.
Step 2 - Close lid LOOSELY and leave on counter for 12-24 hours.
Step 3 - Strain out Kefir grains, pour juice back into bottle and store in fridge.
See how simple it is?
Oh, and carbonated Kefir Soda works totally opposite than commercial carbonation. Kefir Soda gets MORE carbonated as it sits in the fridge. MORE. Like endless. And MORE.
NOTE: This DOES NOT produce alcohol, although if you let it sit on your counter for longer than 72 hours, it has the potential to produce alcohol, so I guess it's up to you ;)
You can also make sparkling lemonade, root beer, raspberry, grape, orange & coconut water soda. If you buy the Kefir grains from Cultures for Health these recipes are included. I love Cultures for Health, they always have cheap shipping!
Some require you to make plain Kefir with just sugar and water first, and then add the juice. But you also have the option to put the grains right into juice like my recipe above. When you start with fruit juice, the Kefir grains can eat the fructose from the fruit juice. When you need to start with just sugar water, the best sugar to use is Sucanat. You can buy Sucanat cheaper in bulk online HERE. And I bought my swing-top bottles HERE.
When you don't want to make soda, you can store your Kefir grains in the fridge in a little jar of sugar water or juice. Remember to change every 2 weeks to keep them alive.
|Take that Coca Cola!|
We have been enjoying homemade soda for the past 2 months or so and just loving it! It's so nice to get that fizzy carbonation and giving our bodies good healthy bacteria for our guts. I love your guts too, that's why I'm sharing. Are you as excited as me??