How To Make Kefir Easy - Goats Milk or Coconut Milk
July 16, 2012
Kefir is considered a super food by many and it is super easy to make and perfect at home or to take with you as you travel for better health and to protect your immune system. Kefir is a fermented drink/food that began centuries ago in the Caucasus Mountains where the people were known to live extremely long, healthy lives.
WHY DRINK KEFIR - BENEFITS
"Kefir is a probiotic, which means it contains "friendly" bacteria. Kefir also contains calcium and protein. The viable lactic acid bacteria in fermented milk products, such as yoghurt and kefir, have been associated with increased lactose tolerance, a well-balanced intestinal microflora, antimicrobial activity, stimulation of the immune system and antitumoural, anticholesterolaemic and antioxidative properties in human subjects." Ray Sahelian M.D . "A study published in the Journal of Immnobiology in 2006 showed that kefir has the potential to positively modulate immunity in mice making it more effective at destroying viruses and bacteria that enter the body as well as destroy tumor cells. Although these studies still need to be confirmed in humans, the potential for kefir to be helpful in maintaining a healthy immune system seems likely." Kristie Leong M.D.
This is the BIG key I think "Kefir actually helps to colonize your intestinal tract" because all diseases start in the gut and the typical western diet harms us all. More medical validation at the end of this post.
"Discover the incredible health-promoting benefits of kefir. If you are serious about boosting your immunity and increasing your daily energy, then adding traditionally fermented foods to your diet is a must. Although not widely known, the health benefits of these foods are tremendous While both Kefir and yogurt are cultured milk products, they contain different types of beneficial bacteria. Yogurt contains transient beneficial bacteria that keep your digestive system clean and provide food for the friendly bacteria that already are present. Kefir actually helps to colonize your intestinal tract -- a feat that yogurt cannot match." Mercola D.O
HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN BEST KEFIR - SO EASY!
This is all one needs to make your own kefir. Once you buy the kefir grains ( about 10 dollars) they last forever, so this is a cheap, easy way to health. You need two mason jars, 1 wooden spoon, a dish towel, rubber band and small sieve. On the road you can just use one jar.
Raw milk is best, but you can use cow, goat, sheep, camel, donkey, horse, coconut, almond etc milk. So even vegans and paleo types can eat kefir and there are even water kefir grains for natual sodas.
"Real kefir grains are the genuine article from the Causasus Mountains, not to be confused with the direct set cultures that eventually lose their potency requireing you to reorder again and again. Real kefir grains never need to be reordered. With proper care they last forever."Kefir Lady
WHERE TO GET KEFIR STARTER "GRAINS"
I would shy away from the kind you have to buy over and over, save money and get the best quality. Contact Dom in Austrailia ( perhaps the world's best expert on kefir) or the Kefir Lady Exchange ( recommended by WAPF).
I got mine through Kefir Baby here in KL, Malaysia...she sent it through the mail and held my hand via email through my first attempts at making kefir last year.
WHERE TO BUY KEFIR AND WHAT KIND
If you must buy it, I've read that good commercial products include Redwood Hill Farms's Traditional Goat Kefir and Lifeway's Organic whole milk plain kefir that you can find in health food stores. Of course, it is always better to make your own and cheaper.
This is the goat milk that I use to make my kefir. Sadly it is pasteurized as I have not found a good, safe source yet for raw goat milk here in Penang, but thankfully, the kefir makes it much healthier by all it adds to the milk. Also they deliver it fresh to my door twice a week, so that is handy.
This is the fresh coconut milk that I use to make kefir with. Luckily coconut milk ( and coconut water, coconut meat etc) is every where here in Penang as it's part of the culture. I will be writing more about that fascinationg story and how we get this at the local market for so little. We watch them make it, so it couldn't be easier and is as fresh as making our own. Try your health food stores or Asian markets at home and make sure it is a good brand, or make your own!
The process for making kefir is the same no matter what kind of milk you use, athough I use separate kefir grains for the coconut milk and do them with goat milk too once a week to keep them strong. The grains thrive more in milk, so will need more babying if you do regular daily coconut milk kefir-making.
This is how one knows the kefir is "done". Remember the childhood song about,"curds and whey" ? Well this is it and the whey is the clear part on the bottom here. Later I will tell you how to collect whey when you make easy kefir goat cheese and how you can make wonderful things like lacto-fermented salsa with the whey.
We want both parts, so the first things to do when it is done is just stir with a wooden spoon. I am not sure why but one is not suppose to use metal with kefir and kefir products.
Then you pour the "ripe" kefir through the strainer into another clean jar.
Sometimes you need a little help, so just use the spoon to move the grains around a bit, so the liquid kefir can get through the strainer.
This is what kefir grains look like! They are not really grains, but quite magical and they grow as you use them. Eating the extra is very good for you or you can pull some off to start your coconut kefir or give some to a friend. You will come to love your magical kefir grains!
Then you just use your spoon to move the kefir grains into a clean jar.
Plop! That's it, now you are ready to make more kefir.
Add milk to the grains.
Top it with a clean dish towel and a rubber band to hold in place and put in a warm dark place like in a kitchen cabinet for 12 to 24 hours. That's it! When it is ready you drink it or put it in the refrigerator.
MAKING KEFIR IS SOOOO EASY!
Kefir will vary in taste and if you have health problems or are lacto intolerant, you might want to take it slowly the way Dr. Cambell-McBride suggests on the GAPS Diet. None of us have had any trouble taking loads right from the start and we use more when sick. If you don't care for the taste, it is easy to mask it in smoothies with raw, unheated honey and fruit like I do for my husband and child. They didn't even know they were getting nutritious kefir and pastured raw eggs in their daily, yummy "power milk shake".
Also a second fement helps the taste and I often do that in a clamp-down jar adding things like organic orange peel or goji berries ( or garlic for a dip) which makes a great taste and increases the vitamins plus makes the calcium and magnesium even more bio-available. I will be writing more about that in another post.
RELIABLE SCIENCE ABOUT KEFIR?
Ilja Iljitsch Metschnikow, who was a Russian bacteriologist, won the Nobel Prize in 1908 for citing the life-extending properties of kefir. His research showed the connection between the high percentage of longevity in Bulgarians and Romanians and their regular consumption of kefir.
Johanna Budwig ( six times Nobel award-nominated German doctor) says that combining kefir and cold pressed flaxseed oil creates a newly structured super nutrient which can actually help the immune system to prevent and degrade cancer and heart disease.
Dr. Cambell-McBride ( M.D. Neurosugeon and Pediatrician with a Masters degree in Nutrition) writes extensively about kefir in her popular book Gut And Psychology Syndrome. Natural Treatment Of Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Depression And Schizophrenia. She had a son who had autism who she cured with her innovative methods and diet and has helped tens of thousands with everything from autism to chronic fatigue syndrome.
QUESTIONS ABOUT KEFIR?
I have long known the benefits of Kefir and used store bought, organic goat milk kefir for Mozart when she was a toddler, but I didn't take it real seriously until lately because of my travel health issues. I used it on and off last year, but have gotten a lot more into it this year and feel it is really helping rebuild my gut and immune system as well as my families.
We find it a great, cheap and easy addition to add to our healthy travel lifestyle and it is even easier for you to do at home. Takes me about 5 minutes a day to make both the coconut and goat milk kefir. I only bought a very few mason jars to use for lacto-fermenting many things and my bone broths, so I collect and use jars that we buy things in like honey and organic peanut butter. I used the mason jars for these photos, but usually just use the other jars on a daily basis. We use up what we make so it doesn't stay in the refrigerator long.
Any questions or comments? Read Dom's kefir site for anything you might want to know about kefir.