Why kefir Is A Superfood
There are several types of kefir – kefir grains, kefir cheese and kefir milk. Kefir becomes a fermented food which is also incidentally a
probiotic by culturing fresh milk with kefir grains. Kefir grains are life colonies of over 30 bacteria and yeast living together in harmony
in a stable symbiotic community. These grains are added to fresh milk to create kefir milk which in turn is used to make Kefir cheese. As a result of the fermentation process very little lactose remains in kefir. This makes it a great drink for those who are lactose intolerant.
Kefir grains look like cauliflower! The kefir grains themselves are actually a mixture of news lactic acid bacteria which comprise proteins lipids and sugar. The actual composition of kefir even when industrially produced is difficult to predict each batch is different due to a variety of reasons which include some of the kefir grains rise above the liquid or curds forming around the grain and the ambient temperature
It has taken the Western world considerable amount of time to accept that there are such things as good bacteria’s. Over the last 30 years there have been much more media coverage about probiotic drinks and yoghurts. So much so that these are often consumed on a daily basis. However kefir yoghurt is a superior product because it actually cultivates good bacteria in the digested gut.
The western world’s view on bacterial cultures as beneficial medicinal remedies has taken considerable time due to the lack of correct education on good and bad bacteria. However over the last few decades there has been much positive publicity for probiotic yogurts and drinks that so many of us now consume on a daily basis. As in much the same way, kefir grains offer a highly prosperous and health rich boost to your immune system.
This is a superfood for many reasons but it is better as with most healthy foods to make your own. When you buy manufactured kefir it has questionable additives and also very often added sugars.
Why is kefir good for you.
It supports a healthy immune system. Kefir has an indigestible fibre unique to itself called kefiran and this has anti-inflammatory
properties. It also supports the immune system by increasing the activity of the bodies natural killer cells which are called T-helper cells.
Equally importantly kefir helps maintain the balance of healthy bacteria in the gut desire to fight viruses bacteria and fungi. In recent
years there has been a huge increase in child allergies. No child is ever born with analogy it is always something that they acquire and
doctors think the reason this is occurring is because some children have less healthy bacteria in their gut.
It is also thought that the kefir breaks down the lactose the natural sugar in milk. This reduces symptoms of lactose intolerance which often cause bloating stomach pain.
Research in animals has shown that kefir can slow breast cancer growth but this has to be substantiated. Also some heart studies has shown
kefir may help lower unhealthy LDL cholesterol and blood pressure but other studies have shown no affect.
Kefir Milk Recipe (1 L or one 3/4 pints)
INGREDIENTS For Kefir Milk
1 tablespoon of kefir grains
1 Litre of raw unpasteurised milk or whole pasteurised non-homogenous milk at room temperature.
Sterilise a clear glass jar and add the milk cover with a clean linen tea towel store in a dark dry place for four hours. I just put mine in
the kitchen cupboard.
Strain the milk and reserve the kefir grains to use in a new batch milk. Kefir milk will keep for about five days in the fridge but to get
the best of its probiotic properties you should use fresh milk. However, if you want to get a kefir cream it does continue to ferment in the
fridge and get thicker.
How to make Kefir Milk Cheese
kefir cheese strengthens the immune system by feeding good bacteria in the gut.
Ingredients Kefir Milk Cheese
1 tablespoon of kefir grains
1 Litre or 1 3/4 pints of unpasteurised milk or whole pasteurised non-homogenised milk at room temperature.
Put the kefir grains in a sterilised glass jar and add the milk cover with a clean kitchen towel and store in the kitchen cupboard in the
dark between two and four days or until the liquid separates into solid curds and liquid way. When this happens the solid kefir grains
usually remain on the top layer of the curds, use a plastic spoon to remove them and make a new batch of milk or store them in the fridge.
Strain the curds and whey using a clean plastic serve into a large bowl. You only need the curds for cheese but I use the whey in cauliflower
soup or drink.You can use the curds as a soft cheese immediately I like to add soft herbs such as lemon thyme, orange time, marjoram, oregano, mint, basil and dill.
However you can make a smoother and also a denser soft cheese by wrapping the curds cheesecloth and hanging it overnight and leaving it to
drain. Generally I hang it over the tap so the excess whey drains into the sink. I also love it when you add seeds such as pumpkin, flax,
crackling feed and nuts. Sometimes I add tahini and Brazil nuts which is one of my favourite combinations. The fun of making your own cheese experimenting and bringing it to your taste. I see no reason why you could not use added dried apricots or cranberries.
Vegetarians can still use kefir milk by adding Armond, hazelnut, soya, coconut, rice or oat milk to kefir grains. One of my favourite usage
is to use it as a starter for sourdough bread. Because kefir is fermented and therefore mildly acidic it also can be used to tenderise beef.
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