Posts Tagged ‘how to make kefir’

What is Kefir?

If you have never heard of kefir before, it is a fermented milk.  It has become more widely available at health food stores, and even some main grocery chains.  It is located near the yogurt, in the dairy section.  To give this a proper start, let me just say that I am an advocate of drinking raw milk.  Now, before you hit the ” x” on the top right of your screen and say, “oh, one of those crazies”, open your mind.  Raw milk is not a new thing, it’s the way our ancestors drank milk and made it possible for us to exist as a generation.  Pasteurization has only been happening since 1862.  You have to ask yourself, why did pasteurization become necessary, and until that point people were doing fine with raw milk.  Well, the answer is commercialisation of milk drinking.  The population began to grow, and the cities were becoming more populated….more people in smaller spaces.  Therefore, there had to be more milk supplied by the farms in the local areas.  In order for these farms to produce more milk, the conditions of the milk cows began to deplete, which caused more sickness among the herd.  Once people began to drink the raw milk from these sick cows, of course they also became sick.  So, I am for raw milk, and have been giving raw milk to my own family (to include babies, and young children), but that raw milk has to be from a certain type of farm.  Raw milk is a challenge to obtain, but it is available. ( http://realmilk.com/where.html)

Now, let’s move on to the reason I started this post, kefir-  A fermented milk.   The kefir widely available is made from pastuerized milk, and high fructose corn syrup is usually added.  While, it is still beneficial, raw milk kefir is far superior.  Raw milk has all the enzymes, beneficial bacteria naturally present, and vitamin content.  Pastuerized milk is heated which kills and denatures what is naturally in raw milk.  If raw milk can’t be obtained, making kefir out of organic pasteurized milk, is a better option than drinking milk straight.

Here is an example of the power of raw milk, and kefir.  I had a lady whose little 20 month old daughter had chronic constipation since she was born.  She asked me about what she can do, she was giving her lots of vegetables and fruits that were supposed to help, but nothing had worked.  She had also recently taken a round of antibiotics and the constipation had gotten worse, to the point of bleeding.   So, I recommended to her to start making kefir for her, and give her only raw milk.  She, at the time, was giving her regular pasteurized milk.  I talked to her on Thursday, and by Monday after doing this she said her daughter had much improvement.  Now, after a few months of changing only this one thing, she no longer has a constipation issue.  

So, how do you make kefir?  It is one of the most simple things to make, with the right tools in place.  First you need plain, whole milk ( I recommend raw, but organic whole milk will still work), kefir starter (you can order a powder, or kefir grains) here is a great website that has what you need (http://www.culturesforhealth.com/zen/index.php), they have great prices.   All you do is poor milk into a glass jar, add the kefir grains and set it out at room temperature for 18-24 hours.  And, you have it…a wonderful health drink that will do wonders for your digestive health.

How do you make kefir into something your family will drink?  I have decided for my family that kefir will be in their diet on a daily basis.  Now, I am not superwoman, so I miss it  sometimes, but I do my best.  I would say my kids get kefir 6 out of 7 days average.  I make a weekly menu and fit kefir in with any meal or snack.  It can go with any meal or snack of the day.  Here is a standard recipe:

Kefir smoothie

2 cups kefir

1 T. organic maple syrup

1 cup frozen strawberries, peaches and blueberries, or any combination 

as a meal add:  1 raw egg, or egg yolk per person

as a snack, without the egg

This will usually feed 3 of my kids (they are little, so 2 older kids)

 

It has a slightly sour taste, but the syrup takes the edge off, and the kids drink it up.  And I feel like super mommy (for that moment!).  

The Benefits of Kefir: 

Similar to yogurt in it’s nature, it has the beneficial bacteria.  Many yogurts are loaded with sugar, so it’s best to go with a plain yogurt and add fruit.  Yogurt commonly has a very limited number of strains of beneficial bacteria. Kefir fermented fresh, has at least 30 strains of good bacteria, and beneficial yeast.  Our bodies naturally have, and need a multitude of different strains to do its job correctly.  The decline of human micro flora (beneficial bacteria) is becoming a chronic problem in our culture of eating so much cooked foods.  Our colon has colonies of beneficial bacteria that are essential to complete digestion.  Our ancestors had no way of preserving food, so they used fermentation, as many primitive cultures in our world still do today.  The bacteria that is grown in fermentation does the job that our bodies have to do if we are not consuming enough in our diet.  Constantly making more enzymes puts enormous strain on our body as the years go by.   Adding a fermented food to our diet will work wonders and improve our body’s ability to fight disease and sickness.  Another side affect of not having enough beneficial bacteria is vitamin deficiencies, constipation, and even cancer.  Although many of us are eating what is supposed to be good, like vegetables, your body may be just sending it on through without getting what it needs.   

There are many types of fermented foods that will give our body what it needs, but this is one simple, and easy way to give your body some extra nourishment.

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