Sugar and kefir

I love this drink! Free, fizzy, refreshing, good for the stomach! Simple to prepare, water kefir requires few ingredients: kefir grains, sugar, figs and lemon. But can we replace sugar, which can be responsible for certain health problems? I'll shed the light on the subject in this article!

What’s sugar ?

Fruit kefir , kefir Brussels, fermentation, probiotics

Essential for fermentation, sugar comes in many forms that can be more or less natural. It is a source of carbohydrates and provides the energy the body needs. However, sugar must be consumed with moderation. In a probiotic drink such as kefir or kombucha, it is therefore normal to wonder if it is healthy for us and to choose it carefully.

Kefir is usually up to 3 to 6 times less sweet than a conventional soda or juice! But how is it made?

In fact, sugar is essential for fermentation to take place, as the micro-organisms that make up the fermentation feed on it. The longer the fermentation process goes on, the more sugar is transformed into lots of good things, including lactic acid. The result is a very low sugar drink. However, each water kefir producer plays with this "sweet-acid" balance and this explains the range of tastes and aromas that can be found between the different kefirs on the market. It is therefore a real game of balance!

Can we replace cane sugar with another sweetener?

Yes, it is possible to replace cane sugar with honey, stevia or molasses (sugar from beets). But let me enlighten you on this point:

Fruit kefir , kefir Brussels, fermentation, probiotics

Molasses is a syrupy by-product of the crystallization of sugar from beets. In addition to providing sucrose, molasses provide other nutrients and minerals from the beet.-In addition, the beet comes from our regions, here in Western Europe, which reduces the ecological impact compared to cane sugar.

Fruit kefir , kefir Brussels, fermentation, probiotics

Honey is a 100% natural and unprocessed sweetener. But it can strongly disturb your strain! Indeed, honey is an antibacterial and for a symbiotic culture of yeast and bacteria, they will not mix well.

Fruit kefir , kefir Brussels, fermentation, probiotics

Regarding stevia, for a first fermentation it is not ideal because it does not contain carbohydrates, meaning that the bacteria will not be able to feed on it. However, you can add it to the second fermentation to sweeten the drink in a less caloric way.

So remember: for the first fermentation, it is better to use cane sugar or molasses, but for the second fermentation, you can use honey or stevia.

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