Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Making Kefir

For those of you who have read my Death to a Microwave post, you know that I received my inspiration from a friend, R. This same amazing friend also gave me some kefir cultures. I asked way too many questions but she was very patient and answered them all.

So I gave it a try. I am so surprised at how easy it is and how much my family loves it. I put the kefir and milk (1/4 cup : 4 cup ratio) and let it sit.

I tried it after 12 hours initially. It was sweet and a little tangy. After 24 hours it is a little thicker and after 48 hours it was tangier and much thicker (as compared to 12 hours). Here is what it looks like after 20 hours:

It looks a little curdled but it isn't. The chunky parts that you see are the kefir grains. This evening I will strain it out and probably put the grains in some new milk in the refrigerator.

After two days, I usually have enough kefir for two or three days so I put the jar with milk into the refrigerator so that it will slow the growth. Then when I need more, I take it out and leave it out for 12-24 hours. Just remember that if you want to leave your kefir grains in the refrigerator for a long time, you still need to change the milk every week.

So after the first time (12 hours) I poured it out and gave some to my husband as a breakfast drink and used the rest to make Chia Pudding:
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 cup kefir
heaping tsp of honey
cinnamon to preference
Allow to sit in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours, then serve chilled.

The kids loved it. They just call it pudding but they couldn't get enough. So far I don't need any other recipes because this is all they want to eat. I am serious, picture the two year old cradling his cup and spoon like a football, while running away from my one year old who is trying to stick his spoon in the older one's cup. This is what my kitchen looked like last week. What was I doing? Trying to refill the one year old's cup. Yes, that is how demanding they were. 10 seconds without and they were fighting with spoons. If that isn't a ringing endorsement, I don't know what is.

After I had been trying it out for a few days, I got a great email (the universe is speaking now) from diyNatural titled How to Make Kefir. Yep guess it was time for me to learn some more information.

The kids are also drinking it with honey as a drink snack in the afternoon. I am looking forward to trying this Gelatin Treats recipe from diyNatural. R tried it with her kids and they loved it. Now I will have to pick up strawberries. I can't wait.

Do you make your own kefir? What are you making?

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  1. I make yogurt but not kefir. What are the nutritional benefits of kefir?

    1. First, please note that I am not a nutritionist so all of my information comes from research. The general consenses is that kefir has a lot more beneficial bacteria than yogurt. Depending on where you get your numbers it is seems to be about a yogurt to kefir 1:5 ratio in the bacteria count (in the trillons). How accurate those numbers are depend on your ingredients, fermentation, etc.

      According to PRLOG.com (http://www.prlog.org/10286286-kefir-not-yogurt-is-the-way-to-healthy-lifestyle.html):

      Scientific research has shown promises that regular drinking of Kefir leads to numerous health benefits. Health benefits that you can't get from drinking yogurt. Some of the reported health benefits of Kefir are:

      - Regulating cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar
      - Cleaning the digestive tract and regulates metabolism and digestion
      - Effectively healing diarrhea, colitis, catarrh, reflux, leaky gut syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome
      - Improving the body's immune system and resistance to disease
      - Improving liver and gallbladder function
      - Effective treating acne and various skin disorders
      - Has anti-aging effect due to abundance of anti-oxidants in Kefir

    2. Yogurt is a great way to get beneficial bacteria to the upper digestive system. This bacteria doesn't do very well at surviving the digestive juices of the stomach so most don't make it to the colon.

      The probiotic bacteria in kefir however, survive the digestive juices of the stomach and (bonus!) begin to colonize in the colon! They coat the walls of the colon and prevent unfriendly bacteria from taking up residence.

      There are also more probiotic strains in kefir than in yogurt as well as beneficial strains of yeast (not the bad kind).

      I love my milk kefir! :)

  2. Hi, visited from Wildcrafting Wednesday! I make kefir as well, we all love it...

  3. LOVE my kefir! One of the best benefits of kefir is that the probiotics in kefir begin to colonize in the gut protecting it against unfriendly bacteria. Whereas bacteria in yogurt does not, it just keeps right on moving along. ;) Thanks for sharing this with Wildcrafting Wednesday. You'll find additional uses of kefir on my website www.MindBodyandSoleOnline.com, just do a search for kefir. Also on the Sites of Interest page, you'll find links to some great kefir resources. :)

  4. Thanks for this info...I make my own yogurt from raw milk and I know my son loves kefir. He won't drink the store bought because, even if it is organic, he doesn't know if the animals were treated humanely. So I will definitely look into a source for kefir grains. :)

    Thanks for sharing this on The Creative HomeAcre Hop!!!

  5. I make buttermilk but haven't tried kefir. Though I love it over granola--so next time I get a deal on milk, I'll give it a try. Thanks!

  6. Ooh, I have been making kefir for a long time but never heard of or tried chia pudding. I have to try this soon.

  7. Hi Elizabeth! Thank you for linking up with Wildcrafting Wednesday!!! I enjoyed reading your posts. :)


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