Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Everything You Always (?) Wanted to Know About Kefir

Kefir. It's one of nature's miracle foods. Our family eats it at least 2-3 times a week.

What exactly IS kefir?
Kefir (key-fir) is best described as a liquid yogurt. It's a fermented probiotic super food (read = really healthy for you). Unlike yogurt, which has probiotic bacteria -- microscopic good guys -- in it, kefir has both probiotic bacteria AND beneficial yeasts. These are essential to helping heal our bodies from a deluge of antibiotics, toxins, and other health stressors we encounter.

Kefir is made at room temperature, so the beneficial enzymes in milk aren't damaged by the heating process if you're using raw milk. Since no stove is involved (like in making yogurt), it's an ideal fool-proof first step in making healthier food for your family. But you don't HAVE to use raw milk. Any type of milk will do.

Bonus: since kefir is made at room temperature, the bacteria/yeasts are mesophilic (meaning, room-temp-growing-guys). Yogurt is made by fermenting the milk at a higher temperature, so its bacteria are thermophillic (meaning, heat-loving). So you can keep eating kefir AND yogurt and get different beneficial properties.

You also don't need any sort of special equipment, like a dehydrator or yogurt maker.

Plus, if your family struggles with lactose intolerance, kefir is a wonderful way to get dairy into your system. The kefir grains eat away at the lactose in the milk and transform it into digestible liquid gold dairy. 

What do I do with kefir?
You can make smoothies, use it as a buttermilk replacement in pancakes, use it as a milk replacement in baked goods. You could drink it straight, too. But I like my fru-fru smoothies. Kefir tastes like liquid yogurt with a little bit of a carbonated zing. That's the yeast components at work.

What do I need to make kefir?
You will need:
So now that you're all set to make kefir, 
click here to learn how to make it!

2 comments:

  1. What is the calorie/fat content of Kefir? Any idea? Thanks!

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    1. Hello, Debbie! Honestly, that is a hard question to answer. It depends on the milk you use (skim? whole? raw, unhomogenized?) and how much you are consuming. Thanks for stopping by!

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