Thursday, November 20, 2008

Kefir, sounds funny, tastes delicious

So, I’m a little crunchy and a little paranoid of preservatives and things that are not of nature being put into my food, etc. For these reasons and others (economical) I like to make my own yogurt/kefir.

Well, in one of my fits of boredom (and this was so not done at work, no sirreee) I started investigating different ways to make yogurt, and I kept coming across references to Kefir. Still not having anything constructive to do, I started researching Kefir. It turns out that Kefir is even more amazing than yogurt!!! (Oh, the things you learn when you are at work and supposed to be working, but taking what you term “your cigarette break” internet research time).

Kefir has all the good bacteria that yogurt does plus more-- Lactobacillus Caucasus, Leuconostoc, Acetobacter species and Streptococcus species. It also colonizes in your intestines (which is a good thing) rather than leave when the job is done. It also contains good yeasts, which attack the bad yeasts. Yeah, I’m totally simplifying all this stuff. Kefir also helps digest the foods that we eat. And it is easier to digest based on the curd size than yogurt.

What an amazing food. Do you want to know the best part-- it tastes just like yogurt!

So, after learning all these fabulous things, I hopped right on over to my local health food store and bought some freeze dried Kefir starter. It’s been a love affair ever since!

My Kefir recipe:
**Heat 42 oz. organic, whole milk (eventually I plan to switch to raw milk) in a pan until it reaches 110 degrees
**Take the pan off the stove and put it into an ice bath until it cools a little
**Take one packet of the Kefir starter and mix it with some of the heated milk so it dissolves
**Whisk the Kefir mix with the heated milk and pour it into 7 (6 oz) glass bottles.
**Put the glass bottles in a yogurt maker and set for 14 hours
**When 14 hours is up, put the lids on the glass jars and put them into the fridge for at least an hour.

When I eat my kefir, I mix in organic raw honey and organic granola. SOOOO good.

Another cool thing: you don’t have to have a yogurt maker to make kefir (or yogurt). You just do the same thing as above- heat up your milk to 110 degrees, put the starter in it, put it in a big mason-type glass jar (cover it with a cloth) and set it on your counter for 24 to 48 hours (stir occasionally with a wooden spoon). The longer you let it sit out the tarter and firmer the Kefir (or yogurt) will be. Important: Always use clean utensils and hands when making kefir-- you don’t want to add bad bacteria to it and don’t store or stir it with anything metallic.

Now don’t be scared, the milk is not going bad. It’s fermenting. Hmm, fermenting still doesn’t sound as good-- but trust me, fermented foods are good for you.

You really should try this.

1 comment:

The Pearce Family said...

Hmm...I'll have to pick your brain about raw milk at Thanksgiving. See you then :)