November 16, 2014: Probiotic Soda Workshop with Kim Ireland

Probiotic Soda Workshop

We had a great gathering learning about making probiotic sodas!

Kim Ireland, a retired chemical engineer has enthusiastically switched careers into kitchen chemistry creating fermented foods.  The health benefit he has experienced has made him a passionate advocate of the importance of kefir and the foods that can be made from it.

He says fermented foods are very safe to eat due to the preponderance of beneficial bacteria. He said that humans are 1/10th human cells to 9/10th microorganisms! Toxins from an imbalance of these microorganisms can cause health problems.

Kefir is the Turkish word for “feel good”.  It is an ancient food handed down from a couple thousand years ago.

To make kefir soda, one first must make milk kefir to obtain the whey for culturing the juice into soda. Ideally, kefir grains are used because bottled kefir or powdered kefir cultures only have 6-10 different strains of bacteria and yeast. Kefir grains, on the other hand, have over 40 strains of beneficial bacteria and yeast! Kim says that having kefir grains is like having a pet ~ one must take care of them. They can last a lifetime if you take care of them and they will take care of you by providing health with these beneficial microorganisms.

Kim’s favorite resource for kefir-making is Donna Schwenk’s book called Cultured Food for Life.

Probiotic Soda Workshop

The recipe for the kefir soda he used is:

  • 2 cups apple juice
  • 2/3 cup whey from kefir
  • 1 ½ cups water

Add all ingredients to a liter-size flip-top bottle (round, high pressure bottles made in Italy) and put on counter for two days. Burp the bottle each day then place in the fridge.  Enjoy!

Kim generously shared his resource list. Download it here.

Thank you, Kim, for this inspiring talk!

By Karen Hamilton-Roth