Holistic nutrition for digestion; specialized in yeast overgrowth.
Tara Carpenter, NC.
Originally published on August 28, 2019.
In Vermont, we press apples into cider well into mid-late September; a fun activity for the kids to participate in the workload at home …. this year was especially abundant, so they pressed for a good 2 hours before coming in to the kitchen with many sticky gallons of fresh-pressed apple cider! I turned a few half-gallons into apple cider vinegar for the year ahead and froze a bunch to pull out for making Apple Cider Kefir.
This kefir is made simply with only apple cider and kefir starter*; a sweet ‘n sour concoction that fizzes like champagne and is pure effervescence! What I am most on about is that inside this beverage lives an abundance of potent probiotic strains that implant themselves into digestive canal of your body, from your mouth down they go to burrow in to the soft tissue lining and keep inflammation down and healing up. These friendly flora also act as a digestive aid to keep gut in good shape.
More benefits here.
A refreshing glass of juice kefir is a wonderful, healthy way to kick start the day and keep those healthy internal gut bugs in balance.
Many people on Body Ecology Diet (B.E.D.) ask if this is stage 1-friendly. Personally, I chose to stay with young coconut kefir and unsalted cultured vegetables for the first few months on the diet before introducing other types of probiotic food such as juice kefir, milk kefir and hemp milk kefir.
Go with what has YOU feeling great 🙂
Juice Kefir Recipe
2 cups apple cider, unpasteurized if able (or any R.W. Knudsen juice)
1 packet of Body Ecology kefir starter*
1 pint-sized Mason jar with a well-fitted sealing lid
- Sterilize jar and lid by immersing in boiling water OR spray down with food-grade hydrogen peroxide.
- Warm cider in small pot on stove until 92 degrees (skin temperature will show as a drop on your wrist will not feel like anything at all).
- Pour warm cider into the jar.
- Mix entire foil packet of kefir starter into cider and put clean lid on.
- Ferment at 72-75 degrees F for 18-24 hrs. until slightly fizzy and pressure has built up under the lid (our incubator kit is designed to keep jars at a consistent temperature).
- Store in fridge, up to 2-4 days depending how sweet the cider is (see below for instructions to store longer).
- Enjoy up to 1/2 cup in the mornings when stomach is empty.
- Feed kefir every couple days with fresh juice and/or a scoop of EcoBloom to give probiotics living in the kefir natural sugar to feed on so they stay alive ‘n thrive (rather than turn kefir into alcohol).
Short Shelf Life
If you put a jar of milk kefir in fridge, it’ll be fine for weeks without needing to do anything special to it because it contains fat and protein which slow down how fast the probiotics break things down. Same goes for unsalted cultured vegetables, which contain fiber that the probiotics chew away on in their semi-dormant state. These probiotic foods are stable and don’t need much attention once made as the fiber/fat/protein buffer the rate at which probiotic organisms grow in population.
The above is not true for apple cider kefir because fruit juice contains no fat or protein, so if you put live probiotics into a jar of juice, expect a fast turn around. This is a thriving product that needs more attention! The probiotics you add to the juice will convert the fruit sugar into lactic acid. Every day you have cider kefir, then drink some and then add in fresh cider to feed those probiotics every day or two with fresh juice.
If you neglect this step, you get an over-kefired product that tastes alcoholic and far from pleasant. This is the last thing you want to drink; especially if your body is ridden with yeast overgrowth.
Starting a New Batch: Transfer Instructions
To keep cider kefir around longer then 2-3 days, feed it. Here’s how I do that for my family of 4 …. each morning when I pour us all a glass of juice kefir, I leave a small amount in the jar (about 3 Tbsp) then I top the jar with fresh cider and leave jar on the counter for a couple hours before putting back in the fridge.
Say you are the only one drinking cider juice kefir. You might want to replenish with the same amount of fresh unkefired juice and put it back into fridge because there is more juice kefir then fresh juice, so it’s going to kefir even in the fridge. Does that make sense? This is my system, you might come up with a different one. Keep in mind, I only keep a pint of juice kefir going at once because that’s what I find manageable.
Below is another method of transfer that’s a lot like keeping a sourdough starter going. You feed it occasionally. Though juice kefir can’t be kept indefinitely like sourdough starter, you can extend its shelf life for weeks by feeding it.
- Use some of the initial batch of juice kefir, a.k.a. “starter batch”.
- Before you drink all the starter batch, you will want to make a new batch, called a “transfer”. This is best done within 3 days of making the initial batch.
- Do this by combining fresh, warm juice with the transfer amount (see below) of each previous batch.
- Follow the above directions as normal ~ note that it will take less than 12 hours to kefir subsequent batches.
- You can repeat a transfer 5-7 times, before you will need to start a fresh batch with a new starter packet.
If you want…
1 pint of juice kefir then add 3 Tbs. of starter batch and top off with juice1 quart of juice kefir then add 1/4 cup of ‘starter batch’ and top off with juice.1/2 gallon of juice kefir then add 2/3 cup of ‘starter batch’ and ” “.
And on you go. I find that juice kefir has a hard time catching if I go past 5-7 transfers. You’ll learn as you go by how it smells and tastes. My experience is that the better I take care of those first initial batches (#1, #2, etc.) then the more vitality I can squeeze out of them.
*Body Ecology kefir starter contains strong strains of probiotics that do not get destroyed by antibiotics, fluoride, stomach acid, or chlorinated water. they succesfully reach gut intact and make home in our intestines to keep us balanced and healthy. lactobacillus bacteria and strains of beneficial yeast in this starter are sturdy enough to make transfers possible. more bang for your buck.
Gates, D. (2010). The Body Ecology Diet. Bogart, GA: B.E.D. Publications
Disclaimer: Content on this site in the form of opinions, ideas, recipes, and lifestyle/dietary advice are provided for general information only; primarily educational in nature; and should not be treated as a substitute for your doctor’s medical advice or another health professional that you, the reader, may require for any cause whatsoever, now or in future.
May all bellies be happy!