I have asked myself time and time again “now what do I do with all the extra water kefir grains”!
Mine have gone crazy from day one and I simply cannot give them away quick enough! And I DO give them away, some weeks I have over 12 people at my doorstep which is just exciting because I feel part of a very important movement towards better global health. I always say “a healthy gut means better emotions” which means I am in someway helping bring more happiness into the world.
So…as I was saying, mine go crazy and so do others. It is a common question among enthusiasts on what to do with the extra water kefir grains. Throwing them away just feels…wrong…
For those who don’t know. When you feed these grains they grow, or more like multiply. One day I put 9 tablespoons in and the next day I had over 20 tablespoons in just 12 hours!
I got to the stage where I had bought 5 x 5 litre bottles and was spending 2 hours every 48 hours juicing away and making delicious soda pop when suddenly I went WOAH!! I am running a business, single mother of two babies and now that winter is over (we drank the stuff like crazy as it kept away all the nasties winter brings), it was time to pair back. So I started to look into what I could do with extra water kefir grains.
Naturally my absolute favourite option goes without saying…share the love… Hand them out to as many people as you can. How about Christmas / birthday or anniversary presents. I advertise mine for free on gumtree and meet such wonderful people every week.
Here are some other remarkable ways to use the magical little creatures…
NATURAL ORGANIC FERTILISER
Feed the extra’s to your plants, whether in your garden, home or grass. A friend horticulturist suggested turning them into your soil. I’m not sure how that would work for grass, perhaps only use sludge there unless you don’t mind seeing the blobs sitting there.
Use them to improve your soil. The bacteria that is essential to dirt is exactly what Kefir grains are all about. They are naturally acidic, so, along with the bacteria is essential to converting nitrogen into an edible source for your plants (www.yemoos.com).
ADD TO THE COMPOST HEAP
These guys will help break down your compost matter super quickly (www.wholetraditions.com)
USE FOR FERMENTING OR TO MAKE BREAD OR PIZZA
They can be used in place of salt for fermenting vegetables (beet, kvaas, sauerkraut), although it’s suggested milk kefir whey is best (www.yemoos.com, www.babycenter.com). Or how about as a starter or yeast pack for your breads / pizzas (www.wholetraditions.com).
EAT THEM OR SHARE WITH YOUR PETS
I have tried this and they’re not bad, haven’t done it more than once or twice though and forget to add it to food. I attempted to give it to my dog once but he’s super fussy as is so that was a no go (I think I just need to get craftier!). Feed them to any animals if they will have them, chickens, cats, you name it (www.culturesforhealth.com, https://wherethewildrosegrows.wordpress.com/2015/02/06/water-kefir-part-ii-taking-a-break-what-to-do-with-all-the-extras/)
USE THEM IN AND AS BEAUTY PRODUCTS
Try the no-poo option (no shampoo). I have personally been doing it for a number of months now and love it. Every now and then I may use my vegan shampoo and conditioner but for the most parts I use bicarb and sometimes apple cider vinegar as my conditioner. Www.yemoos.com suggests using it on your hair for a clarifying conditioner and ph stabaliser as Kefir is acidic which is better than soap that is alkaline so drying.
You can add it to your exfoliator and lotions for extra nutrients. Yemoos doesn’t explain how but my guess is that since our skin is an organism that absorbs everything, these gorgeous nutrients will penetrate and keep us looking fabulous!
In fact, if you’ve left your fermentation a tad too long and it’s just about vinegar, this is apparently brilliant as a hair rinse to re-balance the hair ph after baking soda. Which makes sense because I use raw apple cider vinegar for the same reason.
TURN THEM INTO YUMMY TREATS
Don’t fancy eating them straight up! Pop them into the blender with your favourite smoothie (I used to sneak some in my girls breakfast banana smoothie all the time for an extra probiotic punch).
Or how about popsicles.
USE IN THE PLACE OF VINEGAR
Already doing your bit for the environment and using the trusted vinegar to clean everything. Well these work even better suggest Yemoos.
They also say that they’re brilliant for soaking grains, softening rice and in soups and stocks to help extract more nutrients from the bones (I will DEFINITELY be trying this one!) www.yemoos.com.
AND OF COURSE, STORE SOME JUST IN CASE…
You may think at the start that you would NEVER let you little guys down, but life happens my friends so it’s always great to have a portion tucked away in your fridge in a sealed container (they say you can store for 2-3 weeks but mine have definitely stayed in longer and when I give them away people say they are still brilliant) or in the freezer (haven’t tried this yet).
You can also dry them out to store.
Any one of the websites I’ve listed in this article have information on the storing of water kefir grains.
I have to say, if you’re looking for more information on everything water Kefir, checkout Yamoos, their library of FAQ’s is outstanding and where I got the bulk of these suggestions from.
Look out for my videos and feel free to subscribe to my youtube channel for any updates or quick videos on how to make your very own water kefir grains, or each of the fermentation processes, different flavours and still to come some troubleshooting J
Well now you should have a good library on what to do with extra water kefir grains, so for now, I’m out, remember, whatever you do, BE Happy!