I though a lot about what I was going to call this blog post. Kefir benefits, Making Kefir at Home. What is Kefir… etc etc. Well today I am just going to share my Kefir story, because I love kefir!
I discovered Kefir when I launched my online business. One of my first real online clients was an organic mom blogger. She teaches people all about the organic life and I was learning right along with all her readers as I worked on her site.
One of the things that stuck with me really fast from all that she talked about was kefir. My son had allergies so I wanted something to help him with that, and Kefir helps with gut health. So I went on my own search for knowledge and cultures. The latter was not easy.
Health Benefits of Kefir
Kefir is an amazingly rich source of probiotics. It keeps the good bacteria and the bad ones in balance by replenishing your digestive system with fresh new bacteria. Kefir cultures can contain up to 30 different good bacteria and beneficial yeasts for your body. If you have to pick between kefir and the yogurt you already know and love, I’d pick kefir any day, kefir delivers more potency.
If you need more protein in your life kefir delivers. It’s rich in protein and is very filling as a smoothie. I even drink it plain in the morning instead of my meal replacement shakes and I have no snack food cravings after.
If you’re looking to support healthy digestion and lower issues caused by an unhealthy gut, kefir is going to help your body function better.
Getting Started With Kefir
It’s very easy to make your own kefir. It seems daunting at first because we have become so disconnected with fermented foods. I don’t know, all I know is that growing up I had no idea that you could ferment foods to store them, and to make them better for the body. Much of the modern day health challenges affecting families stem from processing foods in ways that do not enrich foods naturally but instead add harmful, sometimes toxic chemicals to the food. It’s no wonder it’s a challenge to keep the family healthy.
I was only curious at first, but as I dug deeper and read more books I came to realize that if I wanted me and my children to feel better and be healthier I needed to take action. So I did.
This is one of the books I highly recommend you start reading for if you want to get better health.
Getting grains was not easy at first, I had to order a batch from a friend. The first round flopped, I could not figure out what to do with water kefir and I ended up killing the cultures.
So I went back to my research and ordered again but this time I knew more. I ordered milk kefir, which is really the only type of kefir I recommend. If you have access to milk you can make kefir and unlike the milk you could buy at the grocery store, home made kefir actually has high nutritional value.
You can use store bought milk, raw unpasteurized milk and goat milk.
I recommend you get your family started on this new tradition sooner than later. I stalled a LOT, I hesitated and now that I have a steady stash of kefir in my home and reaping the benefits daily I keep wondering why I hesitated so much.
You are going to need to find someone who has kefir cultures and buy a small batch from them to get started. And a weekly stash of fresh milk.
My kefir production got a little out of hand recently, and it made me decide to switch from my meal replacement program over to kefir shakes, smoothies and plain kefir. My kids love to drink kefir smoothies and shakes, I enjoy making different flavors like: Orange Ginger, Blueberry, Strawberry and even Papaya.
You are going to need:
- 1-2 liter mason jars
- 12 liters of milk a week
- 1 kefir culture
- 1 plastic strainer
- plastic pouring cans for in the fridge (optional)
To get started with your first set of kefir place the grains in a jar and add enough cold milk to reach 3/4 of the way in your jar. You need the space for it to expand and release it’s gas.
Make sure the lid isn’t closed all the way.
Place in a dark cool place. I used the top kitchen cabinet in Aruba. When I lived in the Netherlands I used the lower cabinet.
The weather may affect your kefir’s behavior. Yes, I often talk about my kefir like I would a pet. It’s so cute how it gives birth to little new grains and they work hard to make me this amazing drink.
I had to learn that when it gets hot the kefir will be ready faster. Cold will slow it down. So when you are going away for a weekend you can “pause” your kefir machine by putting them in the fridge in a jar with a little milk.
Also it’s easier for the kefir to have a strong tangy taste rather than a softer tart taste when you live in a warm climate. Observe your kefir so you become familiar with the signs… ahahah yes, it’s a lot like watching your pet for changes in habits.
A lightly thicker consistency is usually just right for a soft taste, leave it ferment for longer and it will separate a bit. Don’t worry if it separates, you can stir it or strain it back to a more yogurt-like texture.
I love leaving my kefir on longer because it gets fizzy. I’ll share more about the many ways in which I love kefir soon.
Okay, so now I shared about kefir…
I’d love to hear your questions about this amazing health beverage. Post in the comments below.