Have you ever tried kefir?
You many have seen kefir in the supermarket or small grocery stores and it is most definitely gathering in popularity.
Gut health has never been more topical and words such as kefir, probiotics, microbiome, and beneficial bacteria, get bounced around a lot these days. Our gut is a busy place and keeping it in good shape is vital to boost our immunity, reduce inflammation and boost our mood.
You may have heard of prebiotics and probiotics – they can reduce the number of harmful bacteria that may survive in our gut. These guys can also add communities of good bacteria into our gut too.
What Are Prebiotics?
Prebiotics are mostly soluble fibres and resistant starches that act as the fuel for our good bacteria in the large intestine or colon. They get the party started by being fermented by gut bacteria.
Some foods that are naturally high in prebiotic’s include green bananas, cashew nuts, legumes, raw oats and roasted and then cooled, potato.
What Are Probiotic’s?
Probiotic’s are quite different as they are live bacteria that are naturally found in our gut and in some foods.
Three particular foods that are rich in probiotic’s include:
Kombucha begins its life as sugary black or green tea, which are then fermented with a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). The SCOBY eat most of the sugar in the tea and this results in a fizzy, slightly sour drink.
Kimchi is a spicy, fermented cabbage with Korean flavours of garlic, ginger and chilli. You can make this at home or purchase from almost anywhere now.
Fermented Kefir Goodness
Kefir is a fermented drink, usually made with milk but can also be made with coconut water and coconut milk. It is known to contain around 30 strains of beneficial bacteria.
Kefir grains are not actually grains like cereals but are colonies of yeast and lactic acid bacteria. The grains look a lot like cooked tapioca or sago in appearance. Some say the grains look like tiny cauliflowers but I have not had the same vision!
How To Make Kefir
To make kefir, firstly find a friend or family member who already has some growing. My friend Roberta and Richard gifted some grains to me a while back. They are are now 10 years old and have been shared around the community many times.
To get your batch started, measure your kefir grains (these are the starter culture) and simply add the same volume of milk to a glass container and cover. The container should be left on the kitchen bench in a cool place.
Over the next 24 hours, the microorganisms in the grains multiply and ferment the lactose (sugar) that are naturally occurring in the milk, turning it into kefir.
You then sieve the liquid, remove the grains and repeat the same process on a daily basis. The liquid that remains is the kefir that you can now drink! Kefir tastes quite sour like natural yoghurt but is delicious in a smoothie, overnight oats, pancakes or just on its own.
Would You Like Some Kefir?
My grains have been growing very rapidly lately and I have four small portions to share. If you would like your very own kefir grains, be the first to tell me.