A love story.
It all started back in September at the Heritage Harvest Festival.
Tate and I attended a workshop on fermented foods.
Until this day my love of good bacteria, probiotics, and healthy enzymes was limited to kombucha and lots of yogurt.
And then Dawn introduced me to the world of spicy kimchi, tangy sauerkraut, and bubbly kefir water soda.
[well, she didn’t actually introduce me because my dad used to make all kinds of ferments when I was little and he was following a Macrobiotic diet. at the time I just thought it was all “weird” and slightly embarrassing when my friends came over. oh boy, I can’t wait to embarrass my own future children!]
As soon as I got home I dove into making my own fermented veggies.
I loved the idea that I could use that giant $2 head of cabbage that I bought at the farmer’s market to make some ‘kraut that would last me weeks. And fiery kimchi soon became a household favorite to add a little zing to any meal.
I ♥ bacteria.
I have seen improvements in my digestion, appetite (smaller), and a strengthening of my immune system since I added more fermented food into my life.
Back at the festival Dawn told us about making “soda” from water kefir grains and let us sample a few flavors from her cabinet. Many of you have probably heard of the milk/yogurt drink Kefir, water kefir is the same thing except it ferments in water instead of milk.
In order to make kefir soda you have to have grains, which you can buy or get from someone else because once you start the process the grains multiply and you end of having loads of them. Dawn was talking about websites to buy grains from when an audience member raised her hand and offered to give grains to anyone in the C’ville area.
I took her e-mail but soon got side tracked by a new love of fermenting vegetables and a cabinet full of kombucha.
The other day I saw the e-mail address tacked to the side of my fridge and decided I would give kefir grains a go. Stephanie promptly returned my inquiry and said that she would be happy to leave me some grains on her front porch (she’s not home much).
She conveniently lives just a half a mile or so from me so I trotted on over there on Tuesday morning and found this waiting
Directions and everything! Thanks Stephanie! I left a little jar of my homemade lavender salt and a thank you note in it’s place.
When I returned home I quickly got to work on my first batch. And just as quickly finished! Kefir soda is super easy to make, the grains do 95% of the work!
The hard part is the waiting while it ferments but at least it is much quicker than kombucha (1-2 days instead of 1-2 weeks!). After waiting 48 hours I eagerly got to work on the second step.
After the first 24 hour ferment
The grains from the bottom of the jar, they remind me of tapioca balls from “bubble tea”
I poured off the watery liquid into clean, empty kombucha bottles and added a splash of homemade grape juice to each
Now I wait. In a day or so these bottles will start to get all fizzy and be ready to drink!
The flavoring possibilities are endless with popular ones being vanilla and lemon, both of which I am excited to try next!
I am SO looking forward to a 4:30 Vinyasa yoga class this afternoon at the gym! My body with going to thank me from the inside out as soon as I hit the mat. 🙂
If you are missing COMMENT COMMIT from the holidays, no worries, let’s keep it going on Facebook! Every morning I will post my workout plan on Gracefulfitness’s page and if you want a little extra push/bragging rights add your workout plan (or accomplished workout) as a comment.
I’d LOVE to make kimchi myself… do you have a tutorial/recipe?
I’d also be interested in making Kefir, but I just can’t get my head around leaving milk sit out, etc, etc…. I’m afraid I’d mess it up, and get sick!
Don’t think I am crazy if you saw the kombucha comment reply (that I just deleted!)! I read your comment right after I woke up from a nap and thought you said kombucha, not kimchi, so I went into a big explanation about making kombucha, whoops! I was clearly not awake yet!
This post has the kimchi step by step
Note: I now pack the kimchi into a wide-mouth mason jar and screw on the lid. After two days I on the shelf (room temp) I move the jar to the fridge and eat over about two weeks.
Write me if you have more questions!
No problem. 🙂 I DID see the Kombucha reply… I figured it was just a case of too may “K” words… kombucha, kimchi, kefir…
It was interesting to read how make it, and how to “start” it, etc. I had no idea how to start something like that. I’m not likely to make that myself (yet, anyways), as I have never even tried any. I picked up a bottle at my local health-food store one day, and it started spewing all over me! I’m assuming that it was bad, to have attacked poor, unsuspecting me, like that. But still. My hands were sticky and smelled like vinegar. I never went back for it after that. Maybe someday.
The kimchi on the other hand, looks and sounds divine! I’m planning on putting it together this weekend. Do you use a half-gallon mason jar or a quart sized jar? I have both. Thanks SO much for the info. 🙂
Yep, too many K’s, too many windows!
I use a quart size and you want to make sure to leave at least an inch between the mix and the lid. Flavorwise, it gets a little too intensely fermented for me after about two weeks in the fridge so a quart is enough at one time.
Yeah, kombucha is weird, I admit it! If the store bought ones get shaken up at all than they spew like crazy.
I live in the land of kimchi and I love it!
It flows like water here!
Any restaurant that you go to with serve you endless bowls, it rocks!
I still have to attempt making my own though.
I wouldn’t make my own either!
Is it usually very spicy or does it really vary?
Oooh I keep wanting to try making kombocha but for some reason am scared… This looks less scary to me – do you know any place online where I could buy the grains? I would gladly give it a try
http://www.culturesforhealth.com is the best online supplier. It might seem a little spendy but remember, if you take care of the grains they not only last forever but they multiply!
If my grains do well and start multiplying than I may dehydrate some and give them away on the blog so keep your eyes out!
I’ll let you know over the weekend how my grape batch turned out!