12 August 2012

The Beauty of Water Kefir

Tibicos are a zoogloea cultivated and kept since long-ago. These miraculous mushrooms live in sweetened water with addition of dried fruit and prepare the unusually tasty and curative drink reminding kvass (Russian fermented non-alcoholic refresh drink) from this water.
Zoogloea is a special state of bacterial cells when their capsules become slimy and form gelatinous structures or films. There are a lot of Zoogloea types in nature, however, only three of them are domesticated and studied at most: Tibicos, Kombucha and Tibetan milk mushroom.Though many people think rather skeptically of curative properties of zoogloeas, scientists proved long ago that Tibicos are not only nutritious but also rather useful drink containing vinegar bacteria. They promote digestion and also protect an organism from a various sort of infectious diseases. http://www.ayahuasca-wasi.com/2010/water-kefir/

I always have a hard time explaining what Water Kefir grains really are. People ask me, "are they mushrooms", "are they bacteria" ? Ack. So here is a specific description per the bible of kefir- Yemoos.com

 The grains are a symbiotic relationship of many different strains of beneficial bacteria and yeast which produce lactic acid, carbon dioxide and ethanol when consuming the sugars. The bulk of the grain that you see is a matrix of insoluble polysaccharides (complex sugars), mostly due to the L. casei and L. Brevis in it. It does not produce the stringy kefiran that milk kefir's grains produce, which is a protective mucus that is predominately soluble polysaccharides.

They are these beautiful little gelataneous structures. They bounce too! Its interesting how the grains will take on the hue of the sugar you are using. I recommend giving them a shot. Its such a cheap alternative to standard probiotic tablets. You can buy them Amazon or independent blogs. Sometimes they're giving them away for free! 

For a recipe see entry: http://lushforest.blogspot.com/2012/09/recipes-string-of-pearls-x.html