Many of you many know that I float between eating as a vegetarian and some days eating as a vegan and then some days raw and some days a combination of all three.
I have also been using many fermented foods in my diet for years but I was recently sent down the path of discovering that I have Leaky gut (and a few other issues from a life time of taking heavy pain killers and pharmaceuticals for my chronic back pain.)
I have had to clean up my diet even more to cut out sugar, gluten, dairy, caffeine and alcohol…..there a few that are so easy and one that is a little hard, I will let you guess which one is the hardest.!!
So this journey lead me down the path of discovering the health benefits of milk kefir…have you ever tried it?
To start with you must purchase some milk kefir grains or find a friend who uses the grains, you can purchase them from me if you wish, just leave a comment below. Kefir grains are a living culture, they are a combination of bacteria and yeast existing in a symbiotic colony and clumped together with casein and complex sugars. They look like little pieces of chopped up cauliflower.
To make the milk kefir you need some full fat organic milk and then you add your grains to the milk, leave your jar out of the refrigerator and cover with a cloth, leave for 12–48 hours depending on the temperature or the consistency you are after. If you strain the kefir off after 12 hours it should resemble runny yoghurt and slightly effervescent.
If you leave the kefir for a longer period of time you will see the kefir will separate into solids and whey, as this is now a fermented drink you can use both the whey and the solids in cooking, cheese making and many other amazing dishes.
After you have waited the desired amount of time you must strain off the milk and repeat the process. Use a plastic sieve and a wooden spoon and slowly and gently sieve the milk mixture off the grains,trying not to break up the grains too much. Find a clean glass jar and pour you milk in, put as much milk as you think you will drink over the next couple of days, I like to make my milk kefir every second day so I only make 1-2 cups of milk. You don’t need to rinse the grains before adding them to your next batch, if you decide you do want to give them a quick rinse don’t wash them in hot water or water with chlorine as it will kill them. If you are going away on holidays or you just want a break you can pop your grains in milk into the refrigerator and they will go to sleep ,they should last for a couple of weeks.
Now the fun begins, deciding what you are going to do with your probiotic drink….you can drink it as is, you can add it to a smoothie, you can pour if over a fresh fruit salad, make cheeses or drizzling it on the top of a soup with a handful of chives…..perfect.
Kefir is much more beneficial then mainstream yoghurt, kefir has 35 different strains of bacteria and yeasts, most yoghurt only provide prebiotics. Kefir is great for boosting your immune system and the fermenting process creates lactic acid which helps to heal and sooth our gut lining, it is also rich in many vitamins and minerals.
I hope you have fun experimenting with your kefir and playing with fermented foods.