Kefir me up baby!

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February 12, 2013 by nourishing buttons

Kefir is one of nature’s gifts to good health…a super immune booster, nutritionally dense and full of probiotics! It is cheap, self perpetuating and tasty, very similar to yoghurt and every kitchen should have some. The beneficial bacteria in kefir are great at colonising the gut as you are eating fully live cultures rather than processed, freeze dried supplements, and unlike other sources kefir contains multiple strains.

We first cultured kefir a few years ago with a sachet purchased from Dr Sarah Myhill (ecological private GP…check out her expansive website full of wonderful information). We just added the powder to a litre lidded jug of slightly warmed milk, then kept the jug wrapped in a tea towel somewhere warm for 24 + hours, and hey presto a jug full of probiotic filled kefir. We added it to porridge, fruit, smoothies…the list is endless. When there was an inch or two left in the bottom of the jug, we just started the process again with fresh milk, stirred, put somewhere warm, and on and on this went.

Our kefir project stopped when we were between homes, and I have since found out about culturing kefir using milk grains or water grains. A kind man I met at a GAPS diet support group kindly donated us two jam jars, one containing water grains and the other containing milk grains. The hubbub of family life has meant they have been living in the fridge for a few months, which may or may not have ruined them, and I will shortly find out….I am starting with the milk grains, and thanks to google research have washed them in cold water and cut them open a bit to increase the surface area, and covered them in a small amount of milk to start with, and crossed my fingers and toes.

A bit more about the nutritional content and benefits to health of this wonder food…..

In addition to beneficial bacteria and yeast, kefir contains minerals and essential amino acids that help the body with healing and maintenance functions. The complete proteins in kefir are partially digested and therefore more easily utilized by the body. Tryptophan, one of the essential amino acids abundant in kefir, is well known for its relaxing effect on the nervous system. Because kefir also offers an abundance of calcium and magnesium, which are also important minerals for a healthy nervous system, kefir in the diet can have a particularly profound calming effect on the nerves.

Kefir’s ample supply of phosphorus, the second most abundant mineral in our bodies, helps utilize carbohydrates, fats, and proteins for cell growth, maintenance and energy.

Kefir is rich in Vitamin B12, B1, and Vitamin K. It is an excellent source of biotin, a B Vitamin which aids the body’s assimilation of other B Vitamins, such as folic acid, pantothenic acid, and B12. The numerous benefits of maintaining adequate B vitamin intake range from regulation of the kidneys, liver and nervous system to helping relieve skin disorders, boost energy and promote longevity.

WOW…has that convinced you to give it a try?

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