Kefir is a fermented milk drink that is rich with enzymes that help to balance the body’s ecosystem. It contains a heap of beneficial bacteria and yeasts and is consumed all across the world. It is made from Kefir grains which are placed in milk and left to ferment overnight. The grains, which look similar to cottage cheese, are then strained from the fermented milk which is not unlike a thin yoghurt drink. The kefir drink can be used in various ways including drinking it plain, used as the base in smoothies and even used in baking. Because it contains yeast, it can also be used in bread.
It is highly popular In eastern and northern Europe but the health benefits have recently made it popular in many other parts of the world including the U.S.A, U.K, Australia and New Zealand.
Benefits of kefir:
Kefir is easy to drink and has no unpleasant aftertaste. It is easily digestible and is non-alcholic which makes it a perfect food for adults and children alike. Kefir contains a very low lactose amount which is often tolerable by lactose intolerant people. When taken regularly, it can help to eliminate lactose intolerance altogether. Studies have shown that drinking kefir as opposed to milk can reduce flatulence up to 50% which is a common effect of lactose intolerance.
Kefir contains an abundance of naturally occurring bacteria and yeasts living in symbiosis which help to neutralise your digestive tract. Kefir is also packed with vitamins, minerals and easily digested proteins.
Kefir can be made with any kind of milk including coconut milk, soy milk, almond milk and so on. Some people even choose to make it in water or fruit juice.
• Minerals and Amino Acids -Helps our bodies with healing and maintenance functions.
• Complete Protein - Already partially digested so it’s easily utilized by the body.
• Vitamins B12, B1, Vitamin K and B
• Contains Major Strains Of Friendly Bacteria and Beneficial Yeasts.
• They also help keep the colon environment clean and healthy.
• Easy To Digest
• Great first food for babies
• Arthritis and Rheumatism.
• Anti Aging and Weight loss
• Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
• Sleep Disorders
• ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
• High Blood Pressure - Has a positive influence on the heart and blood, heals circulatory conditions.
• Regulates Blood Sugar and Cures Diabetes
• Heals the Lungs
• Cures Bronchitis, Tuberculosis, Asthma.
• Cures Allergies and Migraines
• Cure For Acne
• Heals the Kidneys
• Protects the urinary tract and prostate.
• Heals The Pancreas
• Controls Cholesterol
• Controls Osteoporosis
• Helps The Liver and Gallbladder
• Regulates bile production, influences positively hepatitis
• Boosts Metabolism And Digestion
• Heals Colitis, Diarrhea, Catarrh, Reflux, Leaky Gut Syndrome and Candidasis
• Heals Duodenum and Cures Ulcers.
• Helps Lactose Intolerant People
• Have Allergies? It cures them too!
• Cures Vaginitis (Inflammation of the Vagina)
Unproven Benefits: (Still being experimented)
• Curing The Common Cold.
• Cancer - Produces own anti-cancer compounds, prevents metastasis, and some claim to have been cured.
• Longer Life - Because of a balanced inner ecosystem.
• Fights Breast Tumor Cells
How to make Kefir
The first thing you need is some Kefir grains. These can either be bought or given by someone who already makes their own kefir. The grains multiply each time you use them so once you have some grains, you will have a never ending supply.
Metal should never touch the kefir grains so you need plastic or glass utensils.
What you need:
A small amount of kefir grains (I use one Tbsp)
1 Glass jar
1 plastic strainer
1 plastic spoon
Place the grains into the glass jar and fill with milk or whatever liquid you choose to use. I use an old pasta sauce jar and cow’s milk.
Put the lid lightly on the jar, don’t close it tight or cover the top with cheese cloth/muslin cloth. Place the jar in a dark warm place. You don’t want the jar to be in direct sunlight as this can damage the grains and even kill them.
Leave to ferment for at least 12 hours. Different fermentation times create different end products. 12 hours will create a runny yoghurt-like drink whereas leaving for 24 hours or longer will create a thicker drink and it may start to separate into waters and solids . After 2 or 3 days the kefir will turn carbonated and alcoholic. I leave mine for 24 hours and have a different result each morning depending on the weather and what temperature it had been over those 24 hours. Sometimes I get a runny drink and other times the bottom of the jar is water and the top of the jar is solid with new grains.
Place your strainer over a bowl or cup, shake the jar lightly to mix and then pour the kefir into the strainer. Gently push around the grains with a plastic spoon until all the liquid has drained out and you only have the grains left. Place the grains back into the jar. There is no need to wash the grains. Just place them straight back in the jar and fill with milk again. As the grains keep forming, you can also split them and give some away. I highly suggest keeping spare grains in the fridge for yourself just in case something happens to the first lot.
You can either drink the kefir as it is or use for a multitude of things including baking or smoothies. Every morning I make my kefir into a green smoothie. I place it into a blender with a banana, silverbeet freshly picked from my garden, various other fruits, ground linseed and cinnamon. I have also recently starting making it into chocolate chia pudding.
Breakfast of champions!
by Subala Kamalan 15th April 2012