I am out to try to make my own kefir … again. Why do I say again? Here’s a short story for your reading pleasure.
Once upon a time, an amazing housewife (hey, it’s my story) decided to try her hand at making her own kefir. She did her reading and even took an online class that helped get her started. She was confident that she could save her family money by culturing her own dairy kefir.
Then, this amazing housewife discovered that she was pregnant. Oh, what joy she felt! However, the first trimester of this pregnancy left her disoriented from exhaustion.
One night when cleaning out her refrigerator, she saw a jar that appeared to hold the contents of coconut milk. Since she couldn’t remember the last time she used coconut milk, she assumed that this batch must be bad. So she poured the contents down the garbage disposal.
As soon as the last drop drained from the jar, she began to cry as the realization hit her that her beloved kefir grains had just been brutally disposed of. The grains she had worked so hard to obtain, re-hydrate, and culture. She tried to retrieve the grains, but her efforts were in vain. She dissolved into tears and was almost inconsolable by her husband who found her crying over her sink, one hand down the drain.
Sad story isn’t it? And yes, I confess … a bit comical. I have to wonder how Mark managed to take me seriously that day.
So about this kefir stuff …
Kefir is a favorite in our house. It’s also quite expensive when bought from the store. At least it is compared to what you can make it for. Not to mention, you can’t buy full fat kefir made from cow’s milk anywhere around here (at least I haven’t found it). We did find goat’s milk full fat kefir, but it’s far too expensive. So, I’m going to try again to make my own raw cow’s milk kefir. Yes, this time with a baby … I’ve decided there’s never going to be a perfect time to try again. Now is as good a time as any I suppose.
What in the world is kefir?
Oh, friend, let me tell you about it. It’s much like yogurt, but better! It’s similar in taste, but the health benefits of kefir are far greater.
First of all, it is a fermented beverage. It is considered a probiotic, which just means that it contains live bacteria. When it has completed the fermenting process, which generally takes about 24-48 hours depending on the temperature, you are left with a drinkable yogurt-type drink.
Much like yogurt, kefir contains beneficial bacteria, but kefir also contains yeast. When you have yeast and bacteria together, it produces a natural antibiotic. Additionally, the beneficial yeast and very friendly bacteria consume the lactose in the milk and produce beneficial enzymes, which means that those who are lactose intolerant can generally consume this treat without any trouble.
Why does this help us?
Kefir contains vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids that help the body with healing and maintenance functions. It produces a clean mucous that coats the lining of our digestive system, which creates a place for beneficial organisms to colonize.The organisms produced in kefir help with our digestion and keeping the colon clean. In addition, the yeast from kefir helps our bodies to resist pathogens and parasites. Yogurt, on the other hand, can only supply food for these organisms that are already present.
Here is a list of health benefits that I found for kefir:
- Has been used to treat tuberculosis, cancer, and gastrointestinal disorders
- Promotes longevity of life
- Helps relieve all intestinal disorders
- Promotes bowel movement
- Reduces flatulence
- Creates a healthier digestive system
- Cleans the whole body, balancing the whole ecosystem
- Helped patients suffereing from AIDS, chronic fatigue, herpes, and cancer
- Controls high cholesterol levels, protecting our cardiovascular health
This is by far not an exhaustive list, but a good list nonetheless. Now, that I’ve seen all of this written out, I am much more motivated to culture my own kefir! Poor digestive systems run on both sides of our families. This appears to be something that can help with our health problems … naturally and without medication.
I’ll keep you posted on our progress. Right now, my kefir grains are acclimating to our milk and re-hydrating. It will be several days before I can actually start the culturing process, but I cannot wait to try out my first batch!
This blog is linked to Try New Adventures Thursday over at Alicia’s Homemaking. I love her blog!