Kefir or kephir (/kəˈfir/ kə-FEER), alternatively milk kefir, or búlgaros, is a fermented milk drink that originated in the north Caucasus Mountains made with kefir “grains”, a yeast/bacterial fermentation starter. It is prepared by inoculating cow, goat, or Sheep milk with kefir grains. These are not grains in the conventional sense, but cultures of yeast and lactic acid bacteria that resemble a cauliflower in appearance. Over a period of 24 hours or so, the microorganisms in the kefir grains multiply and ferment the sugars in the milk, turning it into kefir. Then the grains are removed from the liquid, and can be used again.
So I have been making my own Kefir on a daily basis at home. I use it in smoothies, baking such as chocolate Kefir brownies, (found some really good recipes online) and pancakes, as well as salad dressings. Fancy the gooey chocolate brownies, they were really delicious check out the recipe here.
I was kindly given some grains to get started… I can now supply friends if they are keen to have a go!
There are many You Tube videos on how to make Kefir and so much information online, but it really is very easy and straight forward.
Instructions to make Kefir
You cover the grains in whole milk, I used a kilner jar and left the lid ajar for the milk to ferment on the kitchen counter. After 24 hours( it was slightly longer the first time as it had been cold) the milk appears curdled and ‘clumpy’, it is ready. Then you gently strain out the liquid, which leaves behind the original kefir grains.
Now put the grains in a new jar with some milk, and the process starts all over again. Delicious, nutritious and highly sustainable.
I have only been drinking Kefir for the last fortnight and so far have felt no major changes. I have always been lucky with my digestion and not suffered from tummy problems but I am going to keep going on a regular basis and I am sure it will prove successful in the long run. I am also suggesting a few friends and family try so watch this space, as its changed peoples lives… really it has!
Kefir is described as a tart, fizzy beverage similar to drinking yoghurt in texture and consistency, but much more powerful and better for you. Whereas yoghurt has “transient bacteria” that are killed by the digestive process, kefir has “non-transient” bacteria that survive the digestive process and powerfully impact the gut microbiome.
Kefir is all the rage in the natural health community. It is high in nutrients and probiotics, and is incredibly beneficial for digestion and gut health. Many people consider it to be a healthier and more powerful version of yogurt.
Here are just a few of the amazing health benefits of drinking Kefir:
Kefir contains about 30 different microorganisms, making it a much more potent source of probiotics than other fermented dairy products.
Certain probiotics in kefir are believed to protect against infections.Kefir contains the probiotic Lactobacillus kefiri, and the carbohydrate kefiran, both of which can protect against harmful bacteria.
Kefir made from dairy is an excellent source of calcium. In the case of full-fat dairy, it also contains vitamin K2. These nutrients have major benefits for bone health.
Probiotics such as kefir can help restore the balance of friendly bacteria in the gut.
The lactic acid bacteria have already pre-digested the lactose in kefir. People with lactose intolerance can often eat kefir without problems.
You can purchase bottled Kefir in health food shops, online and in supermarkets this is a local company in Kent which I came across using Goats milk. Goats Milk Kefir delivered to your door
At a recent food exhibition I came across flavoured Kefir sold like yoghurt drinks and they all tasted great. My favourite was Lifeway Low Fat Kefir – cultured milk smoothie available in various flavours.