Milk Kefir (pronounced keh-FEER) is a wonderfully delicious slightly carbonated fermented milk beverage similar to yogurt (or buttermilk). Kefir is simply milk that is fermented at room temperature with kefir grains for about 24 hours. It has many wonderful health benefits, a great flavor and is also usually tolerated well by the lactose intolerant. It’s much easier to make than yogurt – no heating or incubating involved, and kefir has a much larger spectrum of probiotics than yogurt. The reusable, sustainable grains also make it more economical.
Kefir has gained in popularity lately, due to interest in eating more responsibly and locally, as well as more economically, combined with a greater awareness of the health benefits of probiotics from cultures and whole foods.
But with that popularity has come a load of misinformation and deceiving products on the web. Authentic kefir can only be made by real kefir grains, not from any kind of packet or powder (or from incubating store-bought kefir). Kefir available at the stores are simply imitations. This is due to regulations on consistent products with known ingredients, bottling procedures and packaging and shipping standards. As with most nutritious foods, real kefir can only be made and experienced at home.
Milk Kefir originated roughly 2,000 years ago in the Caucasian Mountains between Europe and Russia, which makes kefir one of the oldest milk ferments in existence. If you have more questions you can check out Yemoos Nourishing Cultures to see photos, FAQ’s, health benefits and other information on milk kefir.
Now, lets get started!
When you’ve used antibiotics or if your diet has included a lot of wheat, meat and sugar, you may need to restore the friendly bacteria in your intestines. Kefir is a powerhouse cultured probiotic drink you can make at home. It’s fun!
You can make milk kefir with milk kefir “grains” or water kefir with water kefir “grains”. Yogurt pales by comparison. People who love kefir, love it. Those who don’t, probably haven’t had really good kefir. Animals love it. There is also wonderful information on the Yemoos site about water kefir, kombucha and ginger beer.
This is their introduction to milk kefir:
- What is milk kefir?
- What other names does kefir go by?
- How are kefir grains different to powder starter (such as Body Ecology’s products) or store-bought kefir?
- What’s the difference between dried and fresh/live kefir grains?
- What is the advantage of taking kefir instead of a probiotic supplement?
- Why is kefir generally tolerated by the lactose intolerant?
- Is Kefir a good option for those with Candida?
- What strains of bacteria and yeast are found in kefir grains (and kefir itself)?
- Can you make your own kefir grains or get kefir from just milk?
- What milks or other liquids can you ferment with kefir grains?
- What about raw milk?
- Does Kefir contain alcohol?
- What does milk kefir taste like?
- What should kefir grains look like?
- Are all kefir grains the same?
- How long do active kefir grains last?
- Do kefir grains need to be fed every day?
- What other uses does milk kefir have?
Read more about these questions and much more at Yemoos Nourishing Cultures | Milk Kefir FAQ.