Cod Liver Oil

Apple Cider Kefir ~ a probiotic rich recipe

This kefir is made from apple cider and starter; a perfect combo of fizz ‘n sour that tastes a bit like champagne with its effervescence. The great news is that it contains a diverse amount of potent strains of probiotics, which are basically friendly flora that act as digestive aids to keep your gut in good working shape.

If you are looking for an easy, affordable way to get in your daily probiotics then this might be for you. Especially true if you are healing a digestive issue (i.e. bloating, constipation) or a yeast/bacterial overgrowth (i.e. Candida, GBS+). You can find more benefits here.

No matter what you have going on, a glass of juice kefir is a great way to kick start the day … and to keep those internal bad bugs away 😉 

Many people on The Body Ecology Diet (B.E.D.) ask if this recipe is allowed on stage 1. My response to this is to use your judgment. Personally, I stuck with young coconut kefir and unsalted cultured vegetables for a few months before introducing other types of cultured food. I will also say that I did not have the “know-how” on any of this probiotic-food mambo jambo at the time, so it was easiest to start slow with one thing at a time. That said, once I learned how to make juice kefir, hemp milk kefir, and so on I was flying and ready for it all!

Go with what has YOU feeling great 💜 

Juice Kefir Recipe

Ingredients

2 cups fresh apple cider, preferably unpasteurized (or other juice, I like R.W. Knudsen juices)

1 packet of Body Ecology kefir starter*

1 pint-sized Mason jar with a well-fitted sealing lid

Method

  1. Sterilize jar and lid by immersing in boiling water OR spray down with food-grade hydrogen peroxide.
  2. Warm the juice in small pot on stove until it reaches 92 degrees (skin temperature).
  3. Pour the warm juice into the jar.
  4. Mix the entire foil packet of kefir starter into the juice and twist a clean lid on.
  5. Ferment at 72-75 degrees F for 18 to 24 hrs. until slightly fizzy and pressure has built up under the lid (our incubator kit is designed to keep jars at a consistent temperature).
  6. Store in fridge, up to 2-4 days depending on how sweet the juice (see below for instructions to store longer).
  7. Enjoy up to 1/2 cup in the mornings.
  8. Feed kefir every couple days with fresh juice and/or a scoop of EcoBloom to give the probiotics living in the kefir some natural sugars to feed on so that they stay alive and thrive (rather than turning kefir into alcohol).

Starting a New Batch 

Juice kefir contains a ton of probiotics that are alive and thriving and eating away at the natural fruit sugars that are present in juice. Unlike milk kefir, which is high in protein and fats that slow down how fast the probiotics break things down, juice kefir contains none of this and so you must tend to it more carefully. For example, if you put a jar of milk kefir in the fridge, you will find that it is fine and dandy for weeks on end. Same goes for a jar of unsalted cultured vegetables; which are chock-full of fiber that the probiotics chew away on in their semi-dormant state. Both these types of cultured foods are stable and do not need much attention or care once made. 

This is not true for juice kefir. You can not let a jar of juice kefir sit in the fridge for weeks on end, as it will ‘over kefir’ and turn into an alcoholic-like beverage that tastes horrible and is not good for your body; especially one ridden with yeast overgrowth. The probiotics in the juice kefir busily eat the heck out of every tiny sugar and because there is no protein, fat, or fiber for them to eat they will speed through the process of converting the fruit sugar into lactic acid at a fast rate. So, unless you are going to drink your juice kefir each day you make it (which is a lot of work) then you you are going to want to feed them some fresh, un-kefired juice at least every other day or so. You want juice kefir that tastes good and fizzy with beneficial properties.

Transfer Instructions

To keep juice kefir longer than a couple of days, you will need to feed it. Here’s how I do it…each morning when I pour myself, and my kids, a glass I make sure to leave a small amount in the jar (about 3 Tbsp), then I top the jar off with fresh unkefired juice and leave the jar on the counter for a few hours before putting it back in the fridge. Now, if you are taking just a little bit out of your jar each time, say it is just you drinking it each day, then you may want to replenish with the same amount of fresh unkefired juice and just put it back into the fridge because there is more juice kefir then there is fresh juice and so it is going to kefir even if in the fridge just fine. Does that all make sense? This is my system, you might come up with a different one. Keep in mind that I only keep a pint of juice kefir going at once because that is what I find manageable. 

Below is another method of transfer that is similar to keeping a sourdough starter going by feeding it occasionally. Though juice kefir can not be kept indefinitely like you can with sourdough starter, you can extend its shelf life for many weeks by feeding it.

Here’s how…

  1. Use some of the initial batch of juice kefir, a.k.a. “starter batch”. 
  2. apple-cider-kefir-bedBefore you drink all the starter batch, you will want to make a new batch, called a “transfer”. This is best done within 3 days of making the initial batch. 
  3. Do this by combining fresh, warm juice with the transfer amount (see below) of each previous batch.
  4. Follow the above directions as normal ~ note that it will take less than 12 hours to kefir subsequent batches.
  5. You can repeat a transfer 5-7  times, before you will need to start a fresh batch with a new starter packet.

Transfer Amount

If you want…

  • 1 pint of juice kefir then add 3 Tbs. of starter batch and top off with juice
    1 quart of juice kefir then add 1/4 cup of ‘starter batch’ and top off with juice.
    1/2 gallon of juice kefir then add 2/3 cup of ‘starter batch’ and ”  “.

And on you go. I find that juice kefir has a hard time catching if I go past 5-7 transfers. You’ll learn as you go by how it smells and tastes. My experience is that the better I take care of those first initial batches (#1, #2, etc.) then the more vitality I can squeeze out of them. 

*Body Ecology’s kefir starter contains strong strains of probiotics. Most probiotics on the market today can be destroyed by antibiotics, fluoride, stomach acid, chlorinated water, etc. before they reach the gut, the probitoics in this starter often do not. They remain intact, so that they can make home in our intestines and keep us balanced and healthy ? Also, the lactobacillus bacteria and strains of beneficial yeast found in this starter are sturdy enough to make transfers possible. They give you more bang for your buck.

Recipe for Milk Kefir

Recipe for Unsalted, Cultured Vegetables

Recipe for Young Green Coconut Kefir

Reference

Gates, D. (2010). The Body Ecology Diet.  Bogart, GA: B.E.D. Publications

Disclaimer: Content on this site in the form of opinions, ideas, recipes, and lifestyle/dietary advice are provided for general information only; primarily educational in nature; and should not be treated as a substitute for your doctor’s medical advice or another health professional that you, the reader, may require for any cause whatsoever, now or in future. 

May all bellies be happy!

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