Kefir has been popular for centuries and with good reason! It is a Turkish word that simply means “to feel good”. And if you begin to use it you will see why! It is believed to originate from the people of the Cancasus mountains in Russia. Kefir is full of live bacteria which are also known as probiotics.
What is kefir?
Kefir is a probiotic food that has up to 30 strands of good bacteria that help fight off and limit the bad bacteria, such as toxins and invading pathogens trying to take over. The kefir is made by “grains” or “babies” that are a live culture. It is a mix of bacteria and yeast growing as milk ferments.
2 Types. –
- Milk kefir. (Cow, sheep, goat or coconut milk).
- Water kefir. (sugar-water or juice. Coconut water).
It’s filled with =
- Minerals. -Calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, iron and more!
- Vitamins. – Many B complex vitamins including folate and biotin. Vitamin K, D and others!
- Many other nutrients and enzymes! These all work together to better absorb the vitamins and minerals putting them to use 100% of their worth. Great for bone health as well!
Why do we need to eat it?
We need natural good bacteria for the health of our gut! For our body to heal and continue to be well as a whole, our gut needs to be healthy first. Here are four great reasons we why we need Kefir for our gut health. –
- It has over 40 billion microorganisms! Yogurt, for example, only has around 1 billion..
- It has up to 30 different strands of those microorganisms (good bacteria). Which are
- Lactobacillus (including keferi and acidophilus)
To name a few of the great ones! (When buying yogurt or probiotics look for those strands).
3. It cleans out our bowels and gives them a boost of what it needs! Therefore your immune system kicks into gear preventing you from sickness and disease.
4. It serves as an – Antioxidant – Molecules that inhibit oxidation.. Oxidation can produce free radicles that damage our cells and damaged cells produce disease.
Anti-Tumor agent – Prevents the growth of tumors.
Antimicrobial agent – It kills the growth of microorganisms… Such as bacteria and fungi.
- Note: You also don’t need to worry about sugar content because the bacteria eats it to live and grow.
- If your lactose intolerant you don’t have to worry because the lactose (milk sugar) is broken down into lactic acid.
How to make it.
If you don’t have a friend to give you some kefir babies than you can buy a kit at your local health food store. There are a lot of “how to’s” out there but I believe this one is so simple and practical you won’t go any further!
Some tips before starting:
- Use a mason jar with plastic screw-on caps you can buy at your local hardware store or walmart.
- Start with a small jar and increase the size as you go to how much you eat in an average 3 day period.
- Use a plastic strainer.
- The babies should not touch any metal.
- If they are kept in the fridge they are pretty safe. The fridge stunts the growth and they will last for a long time. However, they need to be in milk.
To make kefir:
- Place your kefir babies into your mason jar.
- Pour in the milk you want to just under the lid. (Use the closest form of whole organic milk, ie: 3%)
- Put the lid on tight and set it on the counter or any place that keeps room temperature. Keep it there at least 3 days to allow for good fermentation.
- After 3 days, check to see if it is thick, chunky and almost like yogurt but a bit more runny. It will smell and taste a bit sour. (You may see some separation with cloudy water on the bottom which is normal). Strain your new kefir into a bowl to separate the babies.
- Stir the kefir (I just use my fingers for a few seconds, but you can use a plastic or wooden spoon) and pour it in another mason jar with a lid into the fridge! It’s ready to consume!
- Put the kefir babies into milk again and set on the counter repeating the process!
And there you have it! It Only takes a few minutes to take care of your babies every 3 days! A very cheap and easy way to get the best good and live bacteria into your gut! This is much better made at home than anything you can buy in the store. The babies will grow and break off creating new babies!
How to use it.
- Personally I love them in smoothies! You wont even notice it’s there.
- Mix it up in yogurt
- Cereal or granola is good
- Drink it straight up!
I usually add honey, cinnamon, dates or berries to make it taste great!
I would have it in the morning. I find it works the best to get good bacteria in on the empty stomach with breakfast to start your day. It does not have to be a large amount. Just be consistent with it everyday along with a nutritious diet and you will see that your bowels start to move well. I know some people take 1/4 to 1/2 a cup or just a tsp.. judge the amount by how your bowels work. Enjoy!
I hope this has been helpful! Kefir is a must have in our home and I have seen it work first hand with us and our young kids. If you have any questions ask away!