Kefir Madness: Escape To The Tropics

Banana Cream (L) and Lime-Coconut

Just because temperatures are below freezing and snow’s in the forecast doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy a taste of the tropics – and with the goodness of water kefir, also give your immune system a boost with beneficial probiotics. Today, I bottled a flavor I call “Tropical” and have Banana Cream and Lime-Coconut doing a second ferment.

In case you’re wondering, none of these water kefir flavors have added sugar; if any sweetener is needed (and it rarely is – plain lime is one exception), I use powdered stevia, and sparingly. None of these three flavors require any additional sweetener, though, because the pineapple, banana, and strawberry lend natural sweetness.

The star of the show: water kefir grains

The Tropical batch was made with fresh, crushed pineapple; mashed ripe banana; and unsweetened dried coconut. The pineapple comes from a whole fruit, with the peel and core removed and saved for pineapple peel wine. Never cut a whole pineapple up before? It’s actually pretty easy and more cost-effective than buying precut pineapple – plus, you can ensure that the fruit is actually ripe if you cut it yourself. After infusing plain water kefir for 24 hours, the solids are strained out and a sweet and slightly tangy probiotic soda is ready to drink.

Tropical flavors, ready to burst forth

Banana Cream is made with ripe mashed bananas (remember, the darker the banana, the more sugar it contains), dried coconut, and a small splash of vanilla extract. It’s sweet and fizzy with a delightful vanilla note. This one’s sure to be a favorite!

For the Lime-Coconut, freshly-squeezed lime juice melds with dried coconut in a water kefir that’s fresh, bright, and tangy. The coconut helps tame the lime’s bite, resulting in a beverage that’s citrus-forward but more mellow than you might expect. This is a great flavor to wake up the palate and deliver a nice vitamin C punch in the dark, dreary winter months.

I make water kefir daily, so have ample opportunity to experiment with flavors and ingredients. A couple of other flavors that I’ve been making lately are Apple Spice (3 ounces of applesauce + spices of your choice) and Strawberry Lemonade (juice of 1 lemon + 2 frozen strawberries).

Dark and mysterious Apple Spice

I initially made the Apple Spice because I discovered a box of applesauce in the back of the pantry and didn’t want to waste it…but it has such great “fall” flavors, it’s in the regular rotation now

The Strawberry Lemonade was a matter of throwing together fresh lemon juice (I keep lemons on hand for the water kefir first ferment process) and frozen strawberries. Easy and delicious!

Pineapple (L) and strawberry lemonade

Get creative with water kefir flavors – you never know what experimental flavor will be a new favorite!