Kefir Madness: Waste-Free Watermelon

The watermelon rind pickles are happily fermenting away, and we’ve been enjoying the refreshing coolness of the watermelon flesh right out of the refrigerator. But when fresh fruit is around, it almost always works its way into water kefir, and watermelon is no exception!

Making watermelon water kefir is easy when you have it already cut up and ready to use. I simply pulled out enough cubes to make about a cup and squashed them with my “multipurpose” (also good for packing watermelon rind pickles and kimchi into jars) muddler.

I then stirred the fruit into the finished water kefir first ferment. Transformation!

Before and after

After about 24 hours, the watermelon has infused the water kefir with its flavor and color and it’s ready to bottle. I strained out the solids (putting them in a container for the pigs, who have already enjoyed the peel from the rind) and was left with a lovely blush beverage.

Watermelon water kefir tends to be very fizzy, so I had to watch out for the potential geyser when opening the flip-top bottle. I also encounter this “issue” when using ripe banana for a second ferment…but who can begrudge water kefir some enthusiasm?

Not only delicious and thirst-quenching, watermelon has a host of health benefits (like being loaded with antioxidants) that make it a perfect complement to probiotic-packed water kefir. When summer rolls around, I know I’ll be reaching for watermelon water kefir to keep me hydrated. Not bad for a byproduct of pickle making!

Speaking of pickles…