It’s Alive! My new friend, Kefir

There is a new and delicious friend in our house.  It goes by the name of Kefir.  Kefir, if you are unfamiliar, is a probiotic.  While they are sold in the stores in the form of pills and smoothies, none are as potent as what you can grow on your own.DSC_1128

I was given Kefir grains from my brother-in-law and now milk Kefir is a regular partof my family’s daily diet. There are so many, many health benefits to consuming Kefir.  I have read that it is responsible for treating intestinal ailments, tuberculosis, among other things.  Kefir is a Turkish word, meaning “feel good,” and that is exactly how it makes us feel in our house.  So get out there and find some Kefir and get yours growing! For more info on this wonderful probiotic, search out “growing Kefir grains” and you will find a wealth of information on this healthy treat.

A quick Kefir how to:

1.  Take your freshly harvested Kefir grains and put in a glass or plastic container.  Do not use metal.DSC_1126DSC_1132

2.  Pour in one cup of whole, organic milk.  Never allow chlorinated water to touch your Kefir grains.  It will kill them.  DSC_1135

3.  Allow the Kefir to sit out in room temperature for about a day.  You could do more or less, but the more it sits, the more it will ferment.  Fermentation is when the bacteria grows and becomes just what your body needs it to be, so letting it sit for a day or so is great.  If you aren’t able to get to it right away, you can place it in the fridge and it will slow the growth down.

If you want to speed up the growth process, you can add a little sugar.  The yeast will feed off of the bacteria and accelerate the growth.

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4.  Your Kefir will soon separate as it grows and consumes the milk.  This is good!  When it is time, skim some of those healthy Kefir grains off of the top and start the process again.  What is left will be yours to drink!

Some things that I’ve learned since growing Kefir:

-You can cook/bake with it, but heating the Kefir will kill the live bacteria that is growing.

-I already mentioned this one, but chlorinated water will kill Kefir.

-Metal is not a friend of Kefir, so keep them separated.

Our Favorite Kefir Recipe:

In our house, we drink Kefir smoothies.  Usually they consist of 2 frozen bananas, which give them a good creamy consistency, 2 -3 cups frozen strawberries, a tablespoon of sugar, and the guest of honor–Kefir.  Enjoy this recipe and feel free to share some of your own!

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