Your health is closely linked to a wide range of bacteria probiotic thriving in your gut. Nearly every aspect of wellbeing is associated with a healthy relationship with the little friends that improve your digestion and help to defend against bacteria that could make you ill. It is not just the obvious stuff like good digestion.
Why good health means including probiotics in your diet.
The association with good health in your digestive tract ranges from mental wellbeing to immunity. The list is long. If you are like me, you’re already thinking: “Let’s not worry about the detail, how do I get this sorted out without paying a fortune and having to live like a monk.” Enter kefir…
Kefir, the health drink that took our office by storm!
So, what is Kefir?
Kefir is a simple, inexpensive and excellent source of beneficial probiotic bacteria in fermented milk. You can grow it with minimal effort. Kefir reproduces very quickly and is easy to use too.
Kefir originates from Eastern Europe and traditionally uses goat, sheep or cows milk as the base. The milk is inoculated with kefir grains. These grains are essentially a colony of good bacteria. This commonly includes friendly lactobaccilus and bifido bacteria. They rapidly turn the milk into a thin yoghurt-like drink. You strain this and drink it on its own, or use it in a number of ways in other recipes. Dr Werner explains his favourite way: “I drink +-150ml kefir every morning in a muesli and fruit smoothie. My favorite blend contains: banana, apple, papaya, pineapple, blueberries, goji berries, beetroot, dates, almonds, sunflower seeds, oats and mangosteen juice.”
It is worth noting that if you follow a vegan diet, kefir can be grown in sugar water.
Here is our step-by step guide for making Kefir:
- Place a couple of kefir grains in a large, clean glass jar. 2-3 tablespoons is sufficient for a 250ml fluid.
- Place a breathable cover on the jar – muslin or a coffee filter is great. The bacteria need to “breathe”. Keep the cover on with a rubber band.
- The watery liquid (whey from the milk) that forms at the bottom of the jar as the grains separate and grow is a sign that it is ready. The liquid should have a slightly sour but pleasant smell like yoghurt.
- Strain* and enjoy. Clean the container before restarting the process.
*Plastic or silicone utensils (including the sieve) are recommended over steel for kefir.
Since the kefir reproduces so quickly, you can accumulate quite a lot in a short time. Share with friends, neighbours and work colleagues. You can also use it as a base for starting sourdough to make your own delicious bakes. Not only does it open the door to better health, more fun in the kitchen is unavoidable too.
If you don’t know anyone who already makes their own Kefir and can donate some grains to get you started, check out this Starter Kit on Faithful to Nature to get you going asap.