Thursday, October 23, 2008

I love kefir!

This is a show and tell about one of my new favourite things...kefir. Kefir grains, actually. If you have never heard of kefir, you are truly missing out on a simple way to improve on your nutrition. I first heard of kefir from a post on Biblical Womanhood and I was very intrigued. So my research began.
I came across this site and it answered all my questions & then some! Kefir is a substitute for milk and yogurt (and sometimes sour cream) as it is high in calcium with a greater value in phosphorus and B12 vitamins. It holds the beneficial bacteria and yeasts for our digestive tracts and, even though milk is used in the process, it is lactose free with a high content of folic acid (this actually increases with over-ripening).
Here is my set up for 'kefiring'. I use a glass bowl set out in the kitchen:It sits and ferments (about 1 cup of milk for every tbsp. of kefir grains) until it becomes thick and frothy - like curds and whey. Then it is strained in a sieve, letting the 'whey' go down the drain:Then the 'curds' or kefir remaining is sifted into my refrigerator container:Until just the kefir grains are left in the sieve: Then I place the grains back into the bowl and refill it with milk to ferment again. The grains do grow as they feed on the milk and eventually there is enough to share with someone else who wants to give it a try or simply eat them - some people scramble them up with eggs, but I prefer to blend them and add to recipes along with the kefir liquid.

I use the kefir liquid in a multitude of recipes - specifically, most times when milk, yogurt or sour cream is called for, I substitute kefir.
Most of the time I make my breakfast smoothie with it. These are the final products - one pumpkin smoothie (think pumpkin pie in a glass) and one banana smoothie. Now, the pumpkin smoothie is just because I had some canned pumpkin left over from Thanksgiving.

The banana smoothie has become my traditional breakfast and occasionally I add other fruits for variety, e.g. any fruit in the house that is getting too ripe or if I happen to get a good deal on something in groceries.

There is alot more you can learn about kefir if you google the word - including other nutritional values and also the history behind it. It is a very cool product that gives me some peace of mind about the vitamins, minerals and probiotics my family is getting from it and it has cut both yogurt and sour cream out of my grocery budget!
For more show and tell go here.


Shani said...

Hmmmm... I am always up for new, nutritious, sometimes-out-there food stuffs. I'm thinking this qualifies. You have inspired me to look into it more, and got me thinking as we have milk allergies here. I'll be back to do more research. Thank you so much for sharing this today!

Have a lovely weekend,

Tina said...

You have my attention! Now I need to go study about this! Thanks for sharing.

Jenn4him said...

Interesting. :-)

Mary@Raising 4 Godly Men said...

I have other bloggy friends who have been hooked by the keifer bug. I am very intriged. I am going to have to read the site you linked and get my Handsome to get me some keifer. I would love to find a alternative to yogart and sour cream. My second ds is allergic to cow and we use goat milk. This might be a big dietary answer for us !! ((happy dance)) Thank you so much for sharing all of this.

Blessings and ((HUGS)) my SSiC
In Him<><

SuzyScribbles said... Learn something new every day. Fascinating. Having experimented with bulgar wheat (in a thermos), wheat cassrole (I don't recommend it), making my own yogurt and goat cheese, kefir sounds like another experiment in the making. For the future...when we're settled on our homestead. Never had a clue...

Jilann said...

I have a friend that raves about kefir. I am not yet convinced. But, thanks for sharing your love as well!

Mrs. Parunak said...

We love store bought kefir. You have really inspired me to try to make our own. Where did you get your grains originally?

Anonymous said...

I haven't tried Kefir in a long time...didn't really work for us the last time, but I'm sure that it was my novice attempt. Thanks for sharing.


flmom said...

One of those things I keep saying I'm going to try and just never get around to it. The smoothies look yummy!

Kim from Canada said...

Hello everyone! I am glad everyone found this interesting - and I hope you do research it for your own homes, you won't be disappointed.

Mrs. Parunak, the grains that I started with came from a complete stranger in a town about 30minutes away from home - I found him through the internet, but I am afraid I don't remember the website. It is just a matter of finding someone who will share from their excess when the grains have grown. Keep asking around and if I find the website again, I will let you know!