From harvest to table ~ what's cooking now?

This blog shows where all those garden goodies I grow end up. I call this little eating area next to the stove my "chef's table" because at all the best restaurants it's a privilege to be invited to dine in the kitchen where the chef reigns supreme. So here I am "reigning" and you are all invited. :-D

Monday, March 11, 2013

Current kefir

When I figured out that 8oz of the Mighty Mango smoothie contained 32 grams of sugar and the peach nectar contained 38 grams of sugar (that's nearly 10 teaspoons!) I nixed using them as kefir soda material.  After all, the whole idea of kefir is to make a wholesome pro-biotic drink and I didn't want to turn it into a sugar high.

So I dumped the 2nd bottle of peach nectar (Looza) altogether.  I did, however, save the bottles.  I really liked the shape and the 1 liter size.  The sealed cap is a bonus.

I can use these for kefir teas and save the 16 oz plastic bottles for juices.

The kefir water in the carafe is my original formula: turbinado sugar, well water & molasses.  Notice how dark it is.

Meanwhile, back in the lab.  The water kefir grains are just too darn prolific.  So the last batch I made I totally left out the spoonful of mineral-rich molasses.  There.  That should stifle those babies.

Alas, no.  Between the turbinado sugar and my lovely (even softened) well water, 1.5C of grains in the last batch gave up an extra full cup of new grains.  Sheesh.

One nice thing - without the dark molasses, the kefir water is a lot lighter.  So is the flavor.

Check out the difference between the apple juice/kefir on the left (with molasses) vs the apple juice/kefir on the right (sans molasses).  Same 50/50 ratio.

Not only is the color of the kefir water lighter, the kefir grains themselves aren't so dark amber anymore. 

Encouraged by the lighter kefir flavor, I've made up my first batch of kefir/orange pekoe tea (in one of the new carafes).  To give it a bit of fizz, I added a mere 5t (20 grams) of table sugar (that's to 16oz of tea so it's WAY less than the other juices). (Yeah, I know, the bottle is mis-marked at 4t).

(FYI: The organic apple juice (Apple&Eve), only contains 22 g/8 oz.)

Now we wait for fizz.  Next juice to try - 100% tart cherry!

Hmm, and I still have to make up a soda bread with my kefir milk.  So much fun, so little time.

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  1. Would you be shocked to know that my water kefir grains have hardly grown at all? Water difference maybe? I have municipal water filtered through our Berkey. Just using unbleached sugar (not organic). Maybe cooler temps? My second batch went into the fridge tonight, with a combination of the rest of the apple juice and the light syrup from home canned figs. I love the idea of the tart cherry!

    1. Leigh, did you let your water sit for 24 hrs to get rid of any chlorine? Or buy a jug of SPRING or MINERAL water and try it on your next batch. Did you add molasses? I don't think 'organic' sugar or molasses is truly necessary. Go to YouTube and search on 'water kefir' - you'll see folks also add a touch of Celtic sea salt for minerals. Hope you grains wake up. Keep playing around. Glad you're enjoying the 'soda'.

  2. Alas, every time I have tried the trial and error approach around the house, my wife wants to drag my before a real judge in a real trial for making too many errors.

    1. They are only errors, Jerry, if you didn't learn something from them. Keep pluggin' away.