This lovely dessert can be prepared in advance, stored in the freezer, and kept on hand for unexpected company or a holiday dinner!
In addition to being easy to prepare, this dessert is loaded with all sorts of healthy benefits. Kefir is the result of a very happy relationship between bacteria and yeast (in the water kefir mother culture) that ends up in a delightfully fizzy probiotic beverage that aids in digestion. Not to mention, it’s tasty! What better way to end a festive dinner?
If you’ve always got water kefir going, prep time takes just minutes and other tasks can be done in between stirring sessions. If you don’t typically have it on hand, you can easily make it in advance with about a half hour or so of prep time. Just make sure that you prepare the kefir far enough ahead of schedule so that it’s nice and fizzy from the fermentation.
Grapefruit Water Kefir
You can refer to Wardee's instructions for basic first and second ferment. What follows is a similar process, but mine is tweaked to make it work for us. Everyone's water kefir is different!
The major difference is that I do my second ferment in Grolsch style bottles for even more fizz. (Wardee's Lacto-Fermentation eCourse has bottling instructions and videos, too.)
The first ferment (I do half gallon batches) is approximately 48 hours at room temperature.
- half gallon water kefir
- 1/3 cup unsweetened grapefruit juice
- crystallized ginger small amount, optional
Combine water kefir and grapefruit juice.
If using optional crystallized ginger, add to Grolsch style bottles
Evenly divide between two 1 liter Grolsch style bottles; filling just to the shoulder of the bottle.
Allow it to ferment for about 6 days total -- 2 days at room temperature on the counter and then 4 days in the refrigerator.
It should be fizzy and fermented to your liking.
Water Kefir Granita
- flavored water kefir *
- fresh ginger optional
Pour the desired amount of water kefir into a glass baking dish.
Always take great care when opening your kefir. I open mine in the sink while holding a container such as a plastic pitcher upside down on top of it in case the lid pops off.
If you'd like, you can add a generous grating of fresh ginger. For my granitas, I add about 1 teaspoon.
Stir well to combine.
Put the mixture in the freezer and set the timer for 15 minutes. You can go fold laundry, wrap gifts, or tidy up the kitchen, but don't wander off too far because the liquid will freeze faster than you think.
When you return to your granita, it should have a thin layer of ice on the top.
Using a fork, stir and scrape the ice, making it slushy.
Then return it to the freezer for another 15 minutes.
Repeat the process until no liquid remains and the entire pan looks like it is filled with snow.
Cover so it's airtight, then leave in the freezer.
The granita should keep through the winter season.
To serve: scoop into pretty glass bowls and serve with a spoon.
Serve alone or accompanied by cookies.
*If need be, prepare your water kefir (see recipe for Grapefruit Water Kefir).
This should be started 8 days before.
Grapefruit juice creates a lovely, light, "citrusy" flavor that isn't too sweet.
Other flavors that would be nice for the holidays would be cranberry and/or pomegranate.
What are some of your do-ahead dishes for entertaining or special occasions during the winter?
This post was featured in 51 Cold Summer Desserts.
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Katie Baldridge says
Jenny, what a great recipe. I’ll be trying this, this weekend.
Jenny Cazzola says
Thank you Katie! I hope you enjoy it.
I can’t have grapefruit juice. Would any citrus work in this recipe?
Jenny Cazzola says
Hi Paula, I think orange juice would work fine. I have also used apricot nectar, cranberry, and apple. I have not tried lime or lemon but you need some juice with a sugar content that the bacteria can eat. The fizziness might be different because every juice is a little different.
Becky Neville says
Oh, this might be a way I can encourage my Christmas visitors to try kefir. Thanks!
Cool! Thanks for sharing the recipe. Might just have to try this one.
Amber – http://www.herbalacademyofne.com
Victoria Sconion says
Ooo! Thank you for sharing this… We love kefir and this is a great treat to have for the kids.
Sounds like a delicious recipe. I really appreciate the info on doing other flavors with the water kefir. I’ve made ginger ale but just starting to get into water kefir.