WHAT IT IS: Kefir is a milk drink made with cow, sheep, or goat milk and fermented with kefir grains composed of lactic acid bacteria and yeast. You can also use soy, coconut, or the milk of some seeds and nuts. It is similar to yogurt with a creamy consistency and slightly sour taste. Kefir contains several strains of healthy bacteria, which support a healthy gut, intestinal tract, and digestive system.
In addition to supporting a healthy gut, kefir is a source of protein, calcium, and vitamins K2, B12, and D. Kefir can also aid in liver and gallbladder function, circulation, heart activity, metabolism, oxygen supply to the cells, and blood circulation to the brain.
To use for normal health maintenance, 1 cup daily is recommended.
For some people, kefir can cause constipation and intestinal cramping, especially during the first stages of use. People with weakened immune systems are also cautioned to speak with their doctors before using kefir because the actively growing bacteria and yeast might make them more susceptible to infections.
There are a number of kefir products that you can purchase. However making your own home made kefir is also fairly easy and can be less expensive.
1 20-24 oz glass jar
1 tablespoon kefir culture
Put the kefir culture in the glass jar, then fill it with fresh milk about 2/3 full. Cover the jar with a cloth.
Let the contents stand at room temperature for 24 to 48 hours; 48 hours will make a thicker, sourer kefir. Temperature affects how quickly the culture works; during the warm summer months the kefir will ferment faster.
Once it’s fermented, strain the kefir into a clean jar. While it’s fermenting, the kefir grains will float to the top of the milk along with any cream. It’s a good idea to stir it gently with a wooden spoon to mix up the solids and liquids to make it easier to strain. The kefir culture produces a jelly-like polysaccharide substance called kefiran that develops around the grains as they grow, making it look “gloopy.” Stirring will distribute the kefiran in the kefir, which will contribute to the thickness of the finished kefir.
After straining, the grains are placed straight back into a clean jar without washing them first. Fresh milk is added to the grains to make the next batch.
Source: Seeds of Health