Water kefir is one of the easiest cultured foods to introduce into a child’s diet. It is sweet, bubbly, and easy to flavor, which makes it quite similar to soda, but without all the extra ingredients.
Water kefir, as a cousin to milk kefir, contains bacteria and yeast. The kefir grains feast on sugar water rather than milk, producing a beverage full of friendly bacteria and yeasts.
In a second fermentation, a fruit, juice, or flavoring is added, to flavor the water kefir and add a bit of carbonation, producing a beverage that is like fruit-flavored sodas, though not as sweet.
Compared to other fermented beverages such as kombucha, water kefir is much less acidic, giving it a milder flavor more palatable to kids.
The sweetness of water kefir is largely dependent on the culturing time. The longer it cultures, the more sugar the bacteria consume, and the less sweet it will be.
Water kefir can be flavored in a plethora of ways. Fruits and juices are common choices, but a cream soda or root beer flavor may also be achieved. You can learn more about bottling and flavoring water kefir in one of our tutorials.
Water Kefir Desserts
Another great thing about water kefir is that it is easy to use in snack or dessert recipes. Simply mix up finished water kefir with fruit juice and freeze into a popsicle mold. Or mix with gelatin powder for a fun dessert. Browse our Water Kefir Dessert Recipes for ideas or try these favorites!
While it can be a struggle to get kids interested in sauerkraut or milk kefir, water kefir might be the easiest cultured food to introduce into your family’s diet. And after they fall in love with it, perhaps the other cultured foods will follow more easily.