Elderberry Water Kefir
Recipe & image: Lindsay Young, RHN, BSc Holistic Nutritionist
Preparation time: 24-48 hours
Makes: 4 cups of water kefir
3 cups raw coconut water
1 cup boiled spring water*
1 heaping scoop Elderberry Crystals
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 tsp cloves (whole)
1 packet activated water kefir grains
- Pour the coconut water into a large 4-cup measuring glass. Stir in grated ginger and cloves and set aside.
- In a separate glass, add Elderberry Crystals to the hot water and stir to mix. Let elderberry mixture cool until it reaches room temperature. Then, add it to your coconut water and stir to mix.
- Strain the kefir grains through a nylon or silicon strainer (it’s important not to let metal touch the kefir grains*) and add the grains to a quart-sized mason jar. Add the coconut water mixture over top and stir briefly just to mix everything together.
- Use a towel or cheesecloth to close the mason jar. Don’t fasten the metal lid as fermentation requires some air flow*. Let this ferment for 24 hours at room temperature (22-25 C). I put mine in a closet in my house that stays pretty warm. At 24 hours, give it a taste and decide whether you want to continue fermenting for 12-24 more hours or if you like the taste as it is. The longer it ferments, the tangier and more carbonated it will taste. Therefore the time you let it ferment is up to your taste preference! I let mine ferment for about 35 hours.
- Finally, use a nylon or silicon strainer to strain the water kefir into a large measuring cup. Use a plastic or silicon funnel to transfer it to a pitcher and let it chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours*.
- Use spring water instead of tap or distilled water. Kefir grains won’t grow in fluoridated or chlorinated water, and they need minerals like the ones found in spring water. Using coconut water, ginger, and elderberry also provide minerals.
- Don’t let the kefir grains touch metal at any point as this causes a chemical reaction that will alter the taste and efficacy of the fermentation.
- Fastening a lid on this process may create too much pressure or prevent fermentation altogether
- Don’t discard your grains! You can use them for a second ferment by refrigerating them in a closed glass container covered just barely with spring water. They will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks.