This kefir is made from apple cider and starter; a sour ‘n fizzy concoction with a champagne-like taste …. pure effervescence rich in diverse, potent probiotic strains; basically a bunch of friendly flora that act as digestive aids to keep the gut in good shape. More benefits.
Looking for an easy, affordable way to get your probiotic dose? This might be for you. Especially if you have an issue with your gut (i.e. bloating, constipation) or yeast/bacterial overgrowth (i.e. Candida, GBS+).
No matter what you have going on, a glass of juice kefir is a way to kick start a day and keep the internal bugs in balance.
Many people on Body Ecology Diet (B.E.D.) want to know if this is stage 1-friendly. My response is use your own internal judgment. Personally, I stayed with young coconut kefir and unsalted cultured vegetables for the first few months of being on the diet before introducing other types of probiotic food. I will say that I didn’t have the “know-how” on this probiotic mambo jumbo at the time, so it made sense to move slowly with one thing at a time. Once I learned how to make juice kefir and hemp milk kefir I was ready for anything.
Go with what has YOU feeling great ?
Juice Kefir Recipe
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
- Sterilize jar and lid by immersing in boiling water OR spray down with food-grade hydrogen peroxide.
- Warm the juice in small pot on stove until it reaches 92 degrees (skin temperature).
- Pour the warm juice into the jar.
- Mix the entire foil packet of kefir starter into the juice and twist a clean lid on.
- 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).
- Store in fridge, up to 2-4 days depending on how sweet the juice (see below for instructions to store longer).
- Enjoy up to 1/2 cup in the mornings.
- 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).
Short Shelf Life
If you put a jar of milk kefir in fridge, it’ll be fine for weeks without you needing to do anything special to it. This is because it contains fat and protein; both of which slow down how fast the probiotics break things down. Same goes for unsalted cultured vegetables, which contain fiber that the probiotics chew away on in their semi-dormant state. These probiotic foods are stable and don’t need much attention once made as the fiber/fat/protein buffer the rate at which probiotic organisms grow in population.
The above is not true for juice kefir because juice doesn’t contain fat or protein. If you put a bunch of live probiotics into a jar of juice, then expect a fast turn around; a thriving product that needs more attention. The probiotics you add to the juice will get right to work at converting the fruit sugar within into lactic acid. So, unless you drink juice kefir each day you make it, then feed those probiotics every day or two with fresh juice.
If you neglect this step, you’ll get an over-kefired product that tastes alcoholic and is far from pleasant. The last thing you want to drink; especially if your body is ridden with yeast overgrowth.
Starting a New Batch: Transfer Instructions
To keep juice kefir around longer then 2-3 days, feed it. Here’s how I do that for my family of 4 …. each morning when I pour us all a glass of juice kefir, I leave a small amount in the jar (about 3 Tbsp). Then I top the jar with fresh juice and leave the jar on the counter for a couple hours before putting back in the fridge.
Say you are the only one drinking juice kefir. You might want to replenish with the same amount of fresh unkefired juice and put it back into fridge because there is more juice kefir then fresh juice, so it’s going to kefir even in the fridge. Does that make sense? This is my system, you might come up with a different one. Keep in mind, I only keep a pint of juice kefir going at once because that’s what I find manageable.
Below is another method of transfer that’s a lot like keeping a sourdough starter going. You feed it occasionally. Though juice kefir can’t be kept indefinitely like sourdough starter, you can extend its shelf life for weeks by feeding it.
- Use some of the initial batch of juice kefir, a.k.a. “starter batch”.
- Before 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.
- Do this by combining fresh, warm juice with the transfer amount (see below) of each previous batch.
- Follow the above directions as normal ~ note that it will take less than 12 hours to kefir subsequent batches.
- You can repeat a transfer 5-7 times, before you will need to start a fresh batch with a new starter packet.
If you want…
1 pint of juice kefir then add 3 Tbs. of starter batch and top off with juice1 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.
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!