Blog post 16: Free “cider”?

Home made “cider-taste drink (left) and “ginger ale” (right) from water kefir.

Are you dreaming of free, tasty, slightly sparkling, alcohol free “cider”? It would be nice if this would also be excellent for your intestinal flora, he?

Here is one solution:  WATER KEFIR

I received it from a friend of mine who is expert in alimentation (orthomolecular medicine). She is explained me that if your intestines are always “irritated” (inflamed by light intolerance or imbalanced bacterial flora), you can feel continuously tired. And she was convinced that by modifying a little bit the way of eating, it could be better! I must admit that I didn’t believe her at the beginning… but we tried… and know she is our hero! (there are some interesting recipes on her website)

What is Kefir? Kefir is a mixture of yeast and (probiotic) bacteria who work together (symbiose). They “eat” the sugar and produce lactic acid, ethanol (0,1% => considered alcohol-free), and carbon dioxide (making it sparkling). This process is called fermentation (as in beer).

You’ll find online many sites selling water kefir, but don’t buy it, just ask around, use social media to ask friends who can give you some! (If you live in Antwerp, contact me).

You’ll also find a lot of recipes; where you have to weight all ingredients. But we want quick and easy recipes, right? So, let’s not be exact (no problem for this recipe) and let’s take it easy. Your final product will always differ anyway, even if you add exactly the same amount of ingredients.

What do you need?

  • A glass container (that you can close, but not obligatory sealed)
  • Sugar: I use cane sugar, but you can experiment with all kind of sugar, except honey as honey will kill your kefir (antibacterial).
  • Sweet dried fruits NOT TREATED (or biological). I use figs, but you can try with apricots, raisins, dates,…
  • A PLASTIC sieve (NL: zeef; FR: passoire). Do not use metal as the kefir gets bad from it (I use my old plastic juicer).
  • A NON METALIC spoon

Recipe (3 min + 2-4 days waiting):

  • In the glass container, add 2 spoons of kefir with one spoon of sugar. Add water (about 10x more than the kefir). Add dried fruits (for this quantity of kefir I would add 1 fig). If you close the lid hermetically, DON’T FILL COMPLETELY the glass container (or take a bigger one).
  • Put the lid on it (can be loose; be careful if you close it that you don’t forget it…it produces gas and could explode…)
  • Let it sit for 2-4 days (I do open it once in a while as I’m scared of the gas production 😉). Room temperature, no direct sun (can be in the dark too). From day 2: the dried fruits will be “swimming” and some “foam” will be at the top. If you stop after 2 days, it will be sweeter and less sparkling.
  • Filter
    • keep the liquid to drink (you can keep it for some time in the fridge)
    • rinse the kefir grains with cold water
    • keep some kefir to make new one or keep it in the fridge (See scheme below).


  • Water kefir and milk kefir are 2 different kefirs grains. You cannot keep a culture of water kefir using milk, neither the other way around.
  • Some people add lemon (together with the dried fruits). I didn’t try it yet.
  • If you want ginger ale, add candied ginger (NL: gekonfijt gember, FR: gingembre confit) to the filtrated kefir (the liquid) and let it sit for one more day.
  • If you leave it too long, it will get more bitter.

Sourdough bread

I always thought that sourdough bread (FR: levain; NL: zuurdesem) was something very complicated… I never thought that I would be baking bread one day; nor that I would write a post on it on my blog. 😉

I’ve added a new page on Sourdough bread where I explain how I’m doing (of course, I’m keeping it easy). I’m applying the recipe that my godmother gave me… and it works perfectly!

Blog post 3: DIY cleaning products

Most of my cleaning products…

Did you try to make some cookies? I hope it was a success. Each time you make some, it is a packaging less. If you don’t have time to bake every week, why not alternate?

Ready for a new challenge?

Cleaning products… we collect so many of them. Strangely enough, we can reduce them to a few of them: laundry powder, “all use cleaning, dishwashing detergent, and dishwasher soap. You’ll also need to store some of the ingredients for your home made-products (citric acid, soda, soap, vinegar), but you need very few of them.

First a funny story… I wanted to try the recipe from a friend called “toilets bombs”: I had to make some “ice cubes” with a mixture of baking soda and citric acid; and add a little bit of water to bind the mixture; but not too much otherwise the baking soda gets transformed in carbonic acid (H2CO3) and then in H2O and CO2 => bubbles).

 I thought “it will take me no more than 5 minutes”… yeah… I added much too much water… and it has been “making bubbles” for about 1,5 hours!!! I’m happy that I used a huge cooking pot…I had to keep stirring otherwise it would rise and get bigger and bigger and go over the pot every 2 minutes… so to go to the toilet, I had to run 😉


Let’s starts with the one I like the most, and the easiest: the laundry powder.  I mix baking soda, crystal soda and soap flakes… done… 

You can also make liquid soap if you want; but I’m not fan of it. You have to cook your mixture, let it cool down and pour it into a bottle (hum… always a mess with me). Not so quick, so I’ll not share it on this website.

I’m probably like you: I want to be more ecological, but it fits my family life better if it doesn’t take too much time!

You can also do your laundry with Ivy or horse chestnuts! Very easy and free!

As softener, I only use vinegar! Easy, he?

All purpose cleaning

According to me, the second best time/quality product is the “all purpose cleaning”. Mix vinegar and water. That’s it. I promise that the smell of vinegar doesn’t stay in your house! I reuse spray bottles, and I’ve added a mark with a permanent pen to indicate the volume of vinegar I’ve to add. So, when I need to refill: Vinegar to the mark, and water to the top… And done!

If you want it to smell better when spaying it, you can add pieces of lemon or oranges for a couple of weeks (then remove it before it gets rotten); or add some drops of essential oil.

You can use this for cleaning your bathroom, windows, remove the dust in your living room,… Don’t use it on natural stone!!! (The vinegar destroys the limestone in your natural stone…I’ve done it once…don’t try it).

I’ve found a lot of other fancier recipes, but this one is very easy and quick and I’m happy with it!

All along this blog, I’ll try to keep to easy and quick solutions, hoping to motivating you to use some of them.

Toilet cleaning

For cleaning the toilet, I follow the advice from the “famille zero déchet”: a tea spoon of citric acid that I try to stick on the side (if you do it after flushing, it works). They add flour; … I tried it too, but as I’m always forgetting it for too long… the flour gets very sticky into the toilet…. You can alternate with baking soda and vinegar.

I also tried a recipe of “toilet bombs” (as explained here above). But, in fact, it contains citric acid and baking soda (+ essential oils). Water is to make it hard and have nice looking cubes. But if it is for yourself, you don’t need a good looking product, right? Just working products. If citric acid works, why make good looking cubes?


Update October 2019: I’m now making my dishwashing powder.

Up till now, those are the recipes that I’m using often. It is maybe enough for you to start?

To buy the ingredients, I either buy at the zero waste shop in Antwerp ( Marseille soap flakes, baking soda) or ask the bio shop to order for me (paper bags of crystal soda from “la droguerie ecologique” But I’m still looking around for more packaging free. If I find a zero waste cheap solution, I’ll let you know. If you leave in Antwerp, I can buy it for you (I buy in big quantities to reduce transport pollution and transport cost).

If you have good tips, don’t hesitate to write me ( or via the contact form).

Have fun,


PPS: and if you liked my post, don’t hesitate to “like” it, and to share it to friends and family!