Homemade soda that’s actually good for you!

We all know, or at lease I hope, that soda is bad, bad, bad for you.

Years ago I drank about 6 Coke’s a day! Ugh- that’s so disgusting to think about now. I always had bad breath and craved the caffeine and sugar; my stomach always hurt and I always felt sick from it. Why did I do that to myself? It wasn’t easy to quit soda- but I did it- and you can too!!

Soda causes so many health problems like diabetes, weight gain, kidney problems, osteoporosis, inflammation, asthma and so many other health related issues. Here is a great chart I ran across the other day showing some of the effects. Making the decision to quit soda is one of the best things you can do for your health.

So now, instead of sugar and chemical laced sodas, we make a bubbly, fruity homemade soda that is satisfying and actually good for you! It super easy to do and almost takes no time at all.

Here’s how:

First you need to obtain water kefir grains. You can get them from someone you know (like me) or purchase them online from Cultures for Health or Amazon. Just make sure you get water kefir grains and not milk kefir grains, they are different strains of bacteria.

Water Kefir Grains

Kefir grains are scoby’s-symbiotic cultures of bacteria and yeast. This is the good stuff, the beneficial bacteria that your gut needs to function properly. You are used to hearing about the good bacteria in yogurt, well this is similar but a different type of bacteria than what is in yogurt. 🙂 Got it?

Once you have the grains you are ready to start fermenting some water. Sounds a little hippy dippy for you? Well, don’t get too weirded out just yet, this stuff is good for you and I promise you won’t regret it.

Start with a glass jar, quart size mason jar is a good size, and fill it with filtered water, leave about an inch of headspace so you can add your water kefir grains. Do not use tap water, the flouride and chlorine and other stuff could kill your water kefir grains. Sometimes I buy a good quality mineral water to use, the grains need minerals to thrive.

Next you need to add some “food” for the grains. You can use any type of natural sugar that you have on hand, organic white sugar is the best though. I know, I know, you are thinking… “if white sugar is so bad for you why are you adding it you your healthy soda?” Well, all bacteria feeds on sugar and the kefir grains “eat” the sugar and transform it into the “good stuff” so by the time you drink your soda almost all of the sugar is gone. You only need to use about 2 teaspoons of sweetener (NOT tablespoons) for the quart size jar.

Once the sugar is dissolved you can add your kefir grains. I have never measured the amount and mine always comes out perfect, every time. Usually I add about 2 tablespoons of grains per quart.

Then you simply let it sit at room temp. for about 12-24 hours. Don’t let it sit for too long or it will start producing alcohol, which you may or may not want. 😉 If you are going to give this to your kiddos- obviously you don’t!! I typically let mine sit for 24 hours.

After 24 hours is up, you remove the grains by straining through a fine mesh strainer, making sure to save your fermented water. It should be sorta bubbly at this point.

Return the fermented water to your container and add some fruit, I usually use frozen berries. I have also used fresh and dried fruit with good results. Just make sure you are using organic fruit. Again, I never measure the amount, I just throw in what feels right. Typically it ends up being about 1/4 of a cup, if I had to guess.

Let this second ferment sit for another 24 hours. At his point I usually don’t cap the jar/ bottle too tight, it can get very bubbly; I actually had a lid blow off once!!

Second ferment with frozen berries

You can also make a simple syrup with fruit and a little sweetener. For the holidays I made a simple syrup with mashed cranberries and honey and it was super yummy! Experiment and have fun!

After the second ferment is done, strain out the fruit and cap your bottle and refrigerate. Once its chilled you can enjoy the bubbly goodness! If your soda isn’t as carbonated as you want, tighten the lid and let it sit for a couple more hours and more bubbles should be produced. Again, be careful the carbonation can be something fierce!!

Homemade berry soda!

Recipe recap:

  • Fill quart sized jar with filtered water
  • Add 1-2 teaspoons sweetener
  • When dissolved add approx. 1-2 tbsp water kefir grains
  • Let sit for 24 hrs
  • After 24 hrs strain water kefir grains
  • Add approx 1/4 cup fruit and let sit for another 24 hrs
  • After 24 hrs strain fruit, refrigerate soda and enjoy!

See it’s super easy!!

You can also substitute young green coconut water for the filtered water and make coconut water kefir the same way! Just eliminate the sugar because the coconut water has enough sugar to feed the grains- and there are tons of minerals that the grains just love!! This adds so much more nutrients and probiotics.

Side notes about water kefir grains:

To keep your grains healthy and in good working condition they need minerals. Periodically you will want to add half of a clean egg shell from organic eggs, use a little molasses or trace minerals while your grains are resting. If you are making a lot of soda you will need to let them rest here and there so they don’t get pooped out!

When you are not using your grains and/ or you are letting them rest you should store them in the fridge in a glass container with some filtered water. This is also a good time to add either egg shell, molassis or minerals.

And, they will multiply each time you use them, so be prepared to share them and pass on the love!!

I’ve given you a lot of information here and I hope you don’t feel overwhelmed. The water kefir grains are really very easy to keep.

I hope that you decide to give this a try and ditch that nasty soda habit.

This post is shared at Simple Lives Thursday, Allergry Friendly Lunchbox, Sunday School , Fresh Bites Friday,  Full Plate Thursday, Healthy 2 Day, Weekend Gormet, Monday Mania

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10 Responses to Homemade soda that’s actually good for you!

  1. You may be the first person who convinced me to take another look at kefir. Great post.

  2. Barb says:

    A friend gave me this link, I am so happy she did! I am going to try it!

  3. Pingback: HnB Top 5: Healthy Blog Posts | Healthy-N-Balanced

  4. Rachel Roberts says:

    I’m so excited to try this. I grew up a complete Coca-Cola junkie, also, so you’ve inspired me to give it a shot! Thank you!!

  5. I’m addicted to diet pop. I think I will give this a try. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Miz Helen says:

    I don’t drink soda, I don’t remember the last time I drank one. This looks like a really fun drink and I just might give it a try. Hope you are having a great week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
    Miz Helen

  7. Pingback: So- “What do you eat?” | ournourishingjourney

  8. This is a great technique! I use a soda stream ( http://amzn.to/GQAhyU ) to make fizzy water and then add a tiny bit of lemon or lime juice for a natural soda.

    Your blog is fantastic – I am looking to feature some food bloggers on my blog & would love for you to consider the opportunity. Here’s a link to the post with details : http://bit.ly/GHuRbR

  9. im wondering if i made this in bulk and bottled it and had it in the fridge, will it keep fermenting? Will i end up with exploding bottles? or will it turn into booze? Im wanting to start a soda line to sell at the weekend market.

    • Linnae says:

      Once refrigerated the fermenting really slows down and it shouldn’t produce alcohol once you transfer to the fridge. It should keep in the fridge for about 6 months, maybe longer but will probably be less bubbly. In my experience its best used within 6-8 weeks. 🙂 Hope this helps and good luck with your soda line!!

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