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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Benefits of Kefir Milk and How to Make It At Home!


Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. 
~Hippocrates 

Have you seen bottles of kefir yet in your local grocery store?  They are popping up everywhere and they are EXPENSIVE.  Today, I'll review why you should pass those right by and culture your own kefir at home - your wallet will thank you and so will your digestive system!

Kefir is a fermented milk product that is a bit like yogurt but even better for you.  This drink is full of B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, enzymes and most importantly, probiotics - I mean A LOT of probiotics. Store bought kefir contains about twelve different active bacteria and probiotics which are good for your body.  This is compared to yogurt which has only two or three.  Home cultured kefir made with kefir grains includes thirty different beneficial bacteria, probiotics and beneficial yeasts to help your body thrive.

You might ask why would I want to put more bacteria in my body?  That is a good question!  The bacteria in kefir (and yogurt too) are the good ones that your body needs to fight off the bad ones that can make you sick.  Your digestive system is a key player in the health of your immune system.  Regular drinking of kefir is a great way to boost your immunity.  

How does it taste?  Tart like yogurt when you drink it plain but you can mix it in your smoothies or use it in recipes when you might otherwise use yogurt - but don't heat it if you want to preserve all of its live bacteria goodness.  

Kefir is grown as a culture from Kefir Grains.  These grains are not grains like wheat but actually look a like a piece of cauliflower.  The grains are a little community of bacteria and yeasts that grow together and fight off harmful microbes that can cause disease.   When added to milk, the grains grow and multiply to turn the milk into kefir.  Just like when we made buttermilk, it is easy to add the kefir grains to milk and let sit on the counter to culture into one very beneficial dairy food.  

Once you obtain kefir grains, you can continue to use them to culture new batches of kefir.  You don't have to buy new ones. Grains are available in many places online (like here) or you can ask a friend who is already making kefir to give you a few grains to get started.  I purchased mine from Pasture's Delights which is a dairy in my area and where I own a herd-share to get really wonderful milk. I've kept them going and growing for over a year now and they are flourishing. Here is how to make it: 

Milk Kefir
Ingredients:  
1 to 1 1/2 Tablespoons Milk Kefir Grains 
1 quart whole milk 

Instructions: 
  • Put grains in a clean glass jar.  Cover with milk. 
  • Cover the jar with a cloth or paper towel and secure with a rubber band.  
  • Let culture at room temperature for 24-48 hours.  Shorter time will result in a thinner consistency and less tartness and longer will be more. 
  • When culturing is done, strain out grains and refrigerate the finished kefir.  Start a new batch with the grains or cover with milk and refrigerate until ready to culture again.
I hope you try this process.  The resulting product has billions of healthy probiotics to help your body.  At the very least, have some available to let food be your medicine when tummy troubles find their way to your system.  You can have your own little germ-fighting army living in a jar right on your counter!  

Thank you so much for joining today, I'm so glad you stopped by.  Tomorrow, I'll post how to make your own hand sanitizer which uses essential oils and won't dry out your skin.  I hope to see you then :) 

Peace be with you, 

Star Schipp 

This post may contain affiliate links which means if you make a purchase using one of those links, I may receive compensation at no extra cost to you.  It is a great way to support your favorite hobby farm blogger.  Thank you!   

2 comments:

  1. I was looking for articles on Benefits of Milk and I came across yours inspiring read. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
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