Centuries ago shepherds of the North Caucasus discovered by accident that fresh milk carried in leather pouches fermented into a rich nutritious food, which contained active yeast grains that could be used again and again to continue to ferment the milk of cows, goats and sheep. Traditional kefir was made in leather bags, hung near a doorway which would be knocked by anyone passing to keep the milk and kefir grains well mixed.
Principal benefits of Kefir
Friendly to the lactose intolerant
A cultured, enzyme-rich food filled with friendly micro-organisms that help balance your “inner ecosystem”
Easily and cheaply made at home
Tastes similar to ‘friendly bacteria’ yoghurts advertised on TV, but hundreds of times more nutritious and therapeutic - at a fraction of the cost!
It supplies complete protein, essential minerals, and valuable B vitamins
Excellent nourishment for pregnant and nursing women, the elderly, and those with compromised immunity
As opposed to yogurt whose beneficial bacteria are transient, kefir can actually colonize the intestinal tract and continue working
Contains major strains of friendly bacteria not commonly found in yoghurt
Contains beneficial yeasts which control and eliminate destructive pathogenic yeasts in the body, forming a virtual SWAT team that housecleans and strengthens the intestines, which become more efficient in resisting pathogens like E. coli and intestinal parasites
Kefir’s active yeast and bacteria provide more nutritive value than yogurt by helping digest the foods that you eat and by keeping the colon environment clean and healthy. Because the curd size of kefir is smaller than yogurt, it is also easier to digest, which makes it a particularly excellent, nutritious food for babies, the elderly and people experiencing chronic fatigue and digestive disorders.
Use & Preparation
Organic milk is poured over kefir grains in a container (volume approximately 25% grains to 75% milk), covered and left to ferment for a minimum of 48 hours at room temperature, till it becomes lumpy and a clear liquid separates near the bottom (pure liquid protein). The mixture is then strained through a sieve and the grains re-used. The strained liquid can be mixed with fruit and drunk as a ‘smoothie’.
Kefir is best taken on an empty stomach first thing in the morning before breakfast. Taken as a smoothie in a large glass, it is a nutritious and filling breakfast in itself!
A good kefir grain can be used over and over again, as it naturally replicates and grows. So when the volume of kefir increases significantly you can give what you don’t need to others and spread the word!
NB: It is vital that the kefir mixture never comes into contact with metal (to prevent it ionising), therefore only use glass containers and plastic sieves and mixing tools. The grains should be ‘refreshed’ every now and again by washing in a good quality, still mineral water. They should never be left exposed out of milk for long.