Thursday, June 20, 2013

home grown kefir

Awhile back, my mom gave me a starter to make kefir.  Maybe you remember me mentioning kefir here before.  It is a fermented milk drink - sort of yogurt-ish.   The starter for it is also called the "grain" - it looks like a little glob of cauliflower, but is actually, according to my shortcut Wikipedia, "a combination of bacteria and yeasts in a matrix of proteins, lipids, and sugars." 

Here's how I make my kefir each day:  put the grain in a mason jar.  Add a cup of skim milk.  Top the jar with a coffee filter, secured with a rubber band.  Put the jar on my shelf, away from direct sunlight (no, not in the refrigerator!)  In 12-24 hours it is thick.  I stir it and pour it through a mesh sieve, to strain out the grains - which I put in a clean mason jar with more milk for tomorrow.  The stuff I strained today, I put in the fridge with a lid.  the stuff I put in the fridge yesterday, I pull out, stir, ad some cinnamon and honey, and drink with my breakfast.  

Kefir is a slightly sour and somewhat bubbly drink.  Some days, it is kind of yummy with the honey and cinnamon stirred in.  Some days, not so much.  Either way, it is absolutely drinkable, though my mom does all sorts of creative things with fruit and a blender to make hers nicer - appealing, even.

So why do I drink milk I've let sit out at room temperature for a day (or sometimes more)?  Becaause it's crazy good for me!

  1. Probiotic - intensely so - up to 4 times more so than the kefir that can be purchased in the store.  Good for the gut.  
  2. Full of B vitamins and the elusive vitamin K2, which helps with metabolizing calcium.  Also full of calcium and phosphorus.  Good for the bones. 
  3. Anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergenic, anti-tumor in effect.
In other words, it's like taking a preventative medicine, almost, as far as I can tell.  

And couldn't be easier to make.  I recommend!  

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