Bio:

I believe that health is wealth, and that by focussing on gut health, you can access a level of greater wellness.  I’m passionate about the crucial role that fermented drinks have played in my life and it’s my mission to craft the best fermented drinks, so that we can all benefit from better health.

A health crisis had me in despair after the birth of my second child, and in my journey to understand why I was often so ill, my research lead me back to gut health and the role the gut has to play in boosting immunity.  One of the best ways to boost overall health and immunity is to work on your gut, so I started with vigour in my kitchen, fermenting everything I could.  It was all a new language to me – kombucha, kefir, JUN, milk kefir, but never-the-less, I persevered. 

Within a couple of days of having my homemade probiotic rich fermented drinks, my health turned around and there was a noticeable shift in my energy.  I wasn’t cured, but definitely something had moved.

Inspired by my alchemy, I gave the fermented drinks to friends, they experienced benefits, gave it to their friends.  Soon there was a ground swell of people who had experienced healing, word spread, and a store contacted me.

Now we are working on National distribution so that we can bless more people with our offering.

fel pouring kefir

So Felicity firstly what is kefir?

Kefir is actually a Turkish word meaning “feel good”, because that is exactly the feeling you get after having Kefir. 

Kefir is fermented milk or water based drink.  The kefir culture or “grains” as they are sometimes referred to, convert the lactose or sugar water environment into a living probiotic drink.  The cultures eat the sugars, as they ferment, leaving a low sugar elixir, that literally bubbles and fizzes with it’s probiotic activity.

 

How do you recommend those who are new to kefir or even fermented foods/beverages in general start incorporating them into their diet?

Just have them!  It’s a simple as that.  The benefits of having well crafted, living probiotic rich foods are integral to our health.  Have a little with at least one meal a day, preferably with every meal.  So, a glass of water kefir at dinner, some sauerkraut with breakfast.  It will soon become part of your daily routine, and you will miss it when it’s gone.

At Imbibe, we have the serving ritual, which is to get home from work or being out, and instead of cracking a wine or beer, pop the Imbibe bubbles!  It will still give you that satisfying fermented flavour you are after, but without the energy draining of alcohol and all the sugars.

I love this quote from Emily:

I replace a glass of champagne in social situations with a gorgeous glass of Imbibe. I love that is has that “”frizzante” fizz and you still feel like you are being social by having a drink and giggle with your friends, but instead of champagne I am putting vitality, energy and effervescence into my body.”  Emily Crisp

The key thing to remember is that not all fermented drinks are created equal, and there are some kombucha’s on the market in particular that have as much sugar as a soft drink, and plenty of artificial flavourings.  So always look for the traditionally crafted fermented products, that are in the fridge, and that don’t use artificial essences.

 

We see a lot of fermented vegetables & kombucha commercially available these days, but not a lot of kefir, what was it about kefir that made you decide to turn it into a business and produce it commercially?

I didn’t decide to do it, the kefir decided for me!

Truly – the culture came into my life at the right time.  It was at a time when I was looking for my life’s purpose.  I started to discover how to make fermented drinks, and committed to it.  I knew that this is an integral part of my life – I live and breathe this – it was already what I was doing with my time – feeding my family probiotic rich drinks to nourish us all. 

In fact, I was looking at doing my Masters at the time, and was at a crossroads, where I needed to decide which path to take.  I decided to commit to the kefir, and it was after that time that opportunity came along.  Sometimes, I still have to pinch myself that this is how far we have come.  It is truly a blessing to be able to share the wisdom from ancient cultures in fermenting drinks.

Going from a stay at home hobby to up scaling fairly quickly was a challenge, and still is a challenge, but it’s amazing, when you trust the process you find a way.

imbibe bottle

You have a lot of interesting & somewhat traditional ‘medicinal’ ingredients throughout your kefir range such as chlorella, activated charcoal plus others, where did your inspiration come from incorporating these into your ferments?

Yes, that is what sets us apart. 

These other medicinal herbs that I use, I use in my everyday.  So it was no great stretch to incorporate them into the range.  Everything I do with Imbibe is part of my life.

I want the best for myself, my family and our customers, that is why I use the range of certified organic herbs in the Imbibe range.  For me, its not enough to add some apple juice to a fermented drink and call it medicinal  – I wanted more functionality in the elixir, so that it has a double whammy of medicinal grade herbs, plus the benefit of the probiotics.

Also, I didn’t want to add unnecessary sugars to the elixirs either, so I needed to play with a method to get them to taste amazing, as well as not contribute any extra sugars to the drink.

 There is around less than ½ a teaspoon of sugar per 1 litre bottle!   Truly, it’s a low sugar drink.

 

Being an avid fermenter myself I’m curious what other ferments you play around with at home and aside from kefir do you have a favourite?

Yes! I make a mean JUN and Honey Mead, which are really easy to do at home.  I make all types of ferments:  dairy kefir, water kefir, kombucha, JUN, beet kvass, honey mead – if you can ferment it, I do it! 

I tend to stay away from the vegetables, although my gorgeous husband makes a great kraut!

gummie

RECIPE:

Here is a probiotic rich gummie recipe you can use that incorporates the benefits of gut healing gelatine with water kefir:

Chlorophyll and Matcha Gummie Marshmallows:

3 ½ tablespoons gelatine powder (see notes below for my favourite brand plus 10% discount)

½ cup Imbibe Living Water Kefir Chlorophyll and Matcha

1 tablespoon honey or rice malt syrup

½ cup water

Method:

1/ Dissolve the gelatine in the Imbibe, whisk and leave

2/ Gently heat the water and honey or rice malt syrup

4/ Add the bloomed gelatine mix to the honey/rice malt syrup liquid

5/ Whisk in your blender or electric hand held whisk for 5-15 minutes. The longer you whisk, the more fluffy the end result.

5/ Pour into silicone moulds or a lined baking tray and refrigerate until firm

6/ Pop out of the silicone mould or cut into shapes

7/ Store in the fridge in an airtight container and enjoy within 3 weeks

kefir

For more recipes and inspiration, visit the website:  imbibewaterkefir.com.au and sign up to the newsletter for more recipes like this!

Be sure to check out Imbibe on social media at:

Facebook:  Imbibe Water Kefir

Instagram:  ImbibeWaterKefir

Notes:

I like Gelatin Australia, when at the checkout online use “HLGELATIN” as the discount code for 10% off 

And for high quality water (which is a must when fermenting) I love the zazen water filter system use “HLWATER” as the discount code for 15% off when ordering online :)