Does everyone out there know what milk kefir is? I have had a bit of writers block this past week or so. I usually derive inspiration to write by observing the things going on around me (I have always been an observer). But lately it has seemed that inspiration had left me for the neighbors house. Other than back to school, back to girl scouts, and back to extracurricular activities, life has seemed a little mundane (unless you count the hair drama last night for the homecoming dance. But that wasn’t interesting, it was annoying). Any way, as I went to harvest my milk kefir this morning I realized that I have had a lot of interesting things going on in my kitchen lately, so I thought I would share.
Type the word kefir or milk kefir into google or youtube and you will find a plethora of articles, websites and videos devoted to this healing food.You can purchase premade kefir at any health food store as well as several of the local large chains. I started adding kefir to my diet because of a candida issue (I will blog about this later). My poor old gut needed some healing. I have always liked the comparison that our body is like an aquarium (after all we are about 75% water). Ever seen what happens when your aquarium water gets a little off? Yeah… you get the picture. In my quest to restore my internal ecology, kefir showed up in my world. I had been purchasing it at the store, but a friend of mine recently started making his own so I jumped on the band wagon when he said he would share his starter grains.
So what is kefir really? It is a fermented beverage (in this case milk). Taste ranges from a greek yogurt to a sour cream type sour. Consistency is usually somewhere between milk and yogurt. It thickens when it ferments. The fermented milk contains live microflora from the grain that may be consumed as a beverage, or used in recipes. This microflora helps your gut rebuild it’s beneficial bacteria levels. You need this friendly bacteria to digest food properly. As you continue making kefir, the grains will enlarge in the process of kefir production, and eventually split (then you can share with a friend). Add some fruit and make a super healthy smoothie. I take a cup and add a few drops of chocolate stevia as sugar (even fruit sugar) does not tend to be my friend.
Making your own kefir is easy. To start making it at home you need a starter community of kefir (go to ksl.com and type in kefir. There are several local sources for grains). Gather up a good quality milk, a glass jar, a plastic strainer and something to put it in when you are ready to refrigerate and you are good to go. Add the grains to the jar, cover with a paper towel (I put a rubber band on it to hold it in place) and let the concoction sit on your counter for at least 24 – 48 hours. Pour the kefir through the strainer (the grains will remain in the strainer). Refrigerate your latest batch of kefir and add some milk back to the grains to start a new one. Super easy right? I am not an expert at this whole kefir thing yet, but if anyone has any questions feel free to drop me an email or comment below. Stay tuned for my fermented veggies and kefir water experiments that are coming up soon!