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Kefir

This is something that I discovered just a couple of years ago but it's been

 

 

around for a very long time.  And it has become my new best friend.  Kefir

 

 

(kuh-feer) is a fermented drink that is usually made from milk, but it

 

 

can also be made with water.  It is full of good bacteria that are healthy for

 

 

our digestive and immune systems.  You can buy it ready-made at

 

 

specialty markets or health food stores, but I like mine better, mostly

 

 

because it's less expensive but also I know what's in it.  

There are several great articles out there on the benefits of Kefir, one of

 

 

which is from Medical News Today.  You will need the starter and milk, juice,

 

 

or coconut water.  The starter culture (grains) can be used multiple times,

 

 

by using the same kind of liquid that was used before.  Kefir is an anti-

 

 

inflammatory and probiotic-rich drink and it's fast becoming a superfood. 

The starter grains of Kefir are a very complex group of milk proteins, yeast,

 

 

bacteria, and complex sugars.  They are necessary to ferment the milk and

 

 

have no gluten in them.  They are removed at the end of the fermenting

 

 

process by straining and can be used again.  Milk Kefir is a little stronger

 

 

than yogurt, more tart and tangy to me.   If you like yogurt, then you will

 

 

definitely like the milk kefir.  It makes a great smoothie when mixed with

 

 

fresh fruit and a little bit of honey.  

The Water Kefir is great for those who are lactose-intolerant or vegan. 

 

 

Even though it has fewer strains of yeasts and bacteria than the milk kefir, it

 

 

still has enough for a healthy gut.  I like to make mine with Coconut Water  

 

 

or Coconut Milk.  

 

 

A photo of the basics for making kefir.

Kefir (the basics)

Ingredients

  Starter culture (I use this one from Cultures for Health)

•  Pasteurized whole milk*, juice, coconut milk or coconut water

You will also need:

•  Glass jar (1 quart)

•  Coffee filter, or clean fabric square**

•  Rubber band

•  Mesh strainer

Instructions

1.   Pour one quart of your choice of liquid into your glass jar.  Add 1 packet of the kefir  starter culture and stir      

    gently until dissolved.

 

2.  Cover with a coffer filter or cloth and secure with a rubber band.  Place it in a warm place to sit for 12 to

 

 

     18 hours. A temperature of 72-74°F is suggested, but I just sit mine in a warm place that's out of the way.

 

3.  When the time is up, here's what to look for to see if it's finished:

     •  Milk will increase to at least the thickness of heavy cream.

     •  Coconut milk will not thicken, but will have a sour, not-to-sweet aroma.

     •  Juice or coconut water will become cloudy and not as sweet.

 

4.  To store: cover with a tight lid and refrigerate for two weeks, saving ¼ cup to culture** again.

*  Do not use ultra-pasteurized milk or UHT.

 

 

**  Mix your ¼ cup of culture with your liquid of choice (same as before) and stir.  Repeat steps 2, 3, and 4 of the

 

 

      instructions.

Fermenting tops from the company MasonTops.
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