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Similar to milk kefir, water kefir is a probiotic drink made with fermented kefir grains, but it's entirely dairy-free. It's flavored with fruit and can even be carbonated (like kombucha) during a second fermentation. Be sure to use water kefir grains and not milk kefir grains.

Source: EatingWell.com, June 2018


Recipe Summary

25 mins
2 days


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Heat 1 cup water in a small saucepan until hot. Pour into a glass or plastic bowl. Add sugar and stir to dissolve.

  • Divide the sugar water between 2 half-gallon jars. Add 3 1/2 cups of room-temperature tap water (65-70 degrees F) to each jar. Add 1/4 cup kefir grains to each jar and stir.

  • Place 1 lemon wedge and 2 tablespoons dried fruit in each jar. Place cheesecloth over each jar and secure with a rubber band.

  • Let the water rest at room temperature out of direct sunlight (65-80 degrees F) until bubbly, 48 to 72 hours. The warmer the temperature, the quicker the water will ferment.

  • Using a nonmetal strainer, strain out the kefir grains and save for making another batch of kefir. Use the water kefir as is or continue onto a second fermentation to add carbonation.

  • To make carbonated water: Divide the water kefir among bottles that have sealable, nonmetal lids. Leave 1 inch of air space at the top of each bottle. Seal the bottles and let rest for another 12 to 24 hours, then transfer to your refrigerator for another 2 to 3 days. You may want to "burp" the water each day to release the pressure, as sometimes the pressure gets to be too great and the water may explode.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup
61 calories; protein 0.2g; carbohydrates 15.9g; dietary fiber 0.6g; sugars 14.9g; vitamin a iu 0.5IU; vitamin c 1.6mg; folate 0.4mcg; calcium 16mg; iron 0.1mg; magnesium 5.5mg; potassium 39mg; sodium 7.7mg; added sugar 13g.

1 other carbohydrate