Monday, June 7, 2010

Kefiring....Making kefir that is!

I have mentioned in past posts that I have been recently diagnosed with Lyme Disease. Treatment for Lyme is notoriously difficult if you have had the disease for longer than about 4 wks of time-- which I have (about 4-6 yrs actually). So I have started what is going to be a long treatment with pharmaceutical and natural antibiotics . Both pharmaceutical and natural antibiotics are very hard on your digestive tract, killing off your body's friendly bacteria and breaking down enzymes. Even those who are not taking antibiotics need to replenish their bacteria, which is damaged by all the chemicals and pollutants your body is exposed to every day. SO-- I've been back to my 24 hr yogurt making and have started making my own kefir....and I love it!
Kefir has been around for hundreds of years. It is a live bacterial culture much like yogurt, but contains up to 57 different bacterial strains while yogurt usually contains about 3. Why is yogurt so popular then if they only contain a measly 3 bacterial strains? Well the bacterial strains in yogurt are the same strains that are naturally in your digestive tract, while many in kefir are not naturally occurring in you GI. Although they are not naturally occurring, these bacteria are still very beneficial in aiding in your immune function, digestive system, yeast control, and over all enzyme performance (which is basically necessary for all of your body's functions). You can buy kefir bottled in your local health food store, but if you're going to be drinking it every day its much less expensive to make it yourself-- not to mention you dodge additives like: sugar, gums, thickeners, and other things we can't spell. The best part: if you can pour a glass of can make kefir.
The first step is to get your kefir grains. Now a note-- like most things in life: not all are created equal. You do not want commerically sold powder kefir grains. These kefir starters are not the real thing and will only last one batch. Real kefir grains look like cottage cheese, are stored in liquid and are alive. I got mine on craigslist from a local kefir drinker who had an abundance of grains (they grow, because they are a live). There are water kefir grains, where you ferment with water, or milk grains (you can use goat milk, regular milk or coconut milk). For those lactose intolerant try out the milk any ways-- fermenting the kefir breaks down the lactose and even helps break down casien-- so many are able to tolerate the dairy kefir. SO now on the the kefiring!

1 tablespoon Kefir Grains
2 cups of Milk (you really want organic....its only about .50 more than regular--TRUST ME!)
1 glass jar
1 pastic strainer

Place kefir grains in well cleaned jar and pour milk into jar. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a corner (our of the sun). Let sit for 24 hours then strain kefir into a glass using a plastic stainer (metal harms the kefir grains, so no metal).

Refrigerate for about an hour, add some stevia, or make a smoothie and enjoy! I have mine after dinner in place dessert. Replace the kefir and milk in the jar and repeat process. The grains will need to be in milk constantly so that it can stay alive, if you want to slow down the fermenting process because you have too much kefir, you can put the jar in the fridge which will slow down the fermenting process.
ENJOY!!! Its addictive people


Devon said...

What does the plain kefir taste like? Plain yogurt?

Whitney said...

Great question! It tastes like sour milk- lol. Ucky right? Well thats why I add Stevia and maybe some vanilla. Then it tastes like a milk shake :-)