Kefir: The Probiotic Elixir (oh and it's free!)
Ke-what?! Some of you are asking. Well have I got news for you! Kefir is one of these things that come along in life once in a while that seem too good to be true. Kefir is a mega super health drink that is easy and practically free to make at home! So what is kefir?
Kefir is a fermented, cultured and live beverage containing over 35 strains of probiotics, which are the secret to a healthy gut- the building block of overall wellbeing and vitality. Water kefir is made using water kefir grains that can be used to culture water with sugar added to it, juice or coconut water. Milk kefir is made using milk kefir grains to culture dairy or non-dairy milks. In this post, I will be focusing on water kefir.
The term "kefir grains" describes the look of the culture only (see image below), kefir grains don't contain actual "grains" such as wheat, rice or barley, so water kefir is not only raw and vegan-friendly, it is also gluten-free, dairy-free and paleo. (FYI kefir made with dairy milk is not vegan or dairy-free).
So what's the fuss?
Well here we go... Kefir is the ultimate health drink, as it cleanses the intestines, provides beneficial bacteria and yeast as well as essential vitamins and minerals. Kefir is such a balanced and nourishing drink, as it contributes to a healthy immune system and has been used to help patients suffering from AIDS, chronic fatigue syndrome, herpes and cancer. Moreover, its calming effect on the nervous system has benefited many who suffer from sleep disorders, depression, and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).
The regular consumption of kefir can help relieve intestinal disorders, promote bowel movement, reduce flatulence and create a healthier digestive system and thus a flatter tummy and slender figure. In addition, its cleansing effect on the whole body helps to establish a balanced inner ecosystem for optimum health and longevity.
Kefir can also help eliminate unhealthy food cravings by nourishing and balancing the body by allowing a more efficient absorption of essential vitamins and minerals from what we ingest. Its excellent nutritional content offers healing benefits to people in every type of condition. It is also highly recommended for maintaining good health (not just curing an ailment). It is totally suitable for kids, pregnant and nursing women, the elderly, coeliacs and the list goes on...
Happy Kefir Fermenting! Stay tuned for my next class on How to Make Kefir to learn more about this awesome probiotic elixir and also get your own kefir grains (for free as part of the class price)!
Water Kefir – The Probiotic Elixir
Makes 1 litre
In UK-type climates, making kefir takes 7 days in the winter months and around 3 days in summer. In warmer climates like Hong Kong, it takes between 24 hours in winter and as fast as 8 hours in summer.
Kefir grains are living, they change, they have moods, they have different needs at different times – below is a basic recipe, but as you ferment more and more you will find you need to adjust the amounts of sugar and the time. So this is more of a ‘starting guide’ than an exact recipe that must be followed.
Part 1: Starting the Kefir Ferment
Prep Time: 5 minutes