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Kefir Grains

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Kefir Grains
Kefir grains resemble pieces of coral or small clumps of cauliflower. Kefir contains around 10 different probiotic cultures and they provide a natural cure for digestive problems. Look up simple kefir recipes.

A storehouse of minerals, vitamins and easily digestible protein, kefir is a milk-based beverage. It is made by fermenting milk along with kefir grains. The grain is used in its natural form and can be used repeatedly. Kefir grains resemble pieces of coral or small clumps of cauliflower. The size varies from that of wheat to a hazelnut. These grains are easy to grow at home and can be stored easily too.

Kefir tastes mildly sour, kind of tart and has a creamy consistency. It can be sweetened or consumed as it is, plain. Kefir is loaded with the probiotic bacteria that is found in curd and also with beneficial yeast. The yeast, polysaccharides and the lactic acid bacteria together offer unmatched health benefit. The bacteria and the yeast strengthen the intestine and support the digestive system by reducing the growth of harmful pathogens and bacteria.

Kefir literally means 'to froth' and is a Russian word. Originally kefir was made from camel's milk. The history of kefir dates back to the Caucasian mountains when the process of making kefir from the 'grains' was closely guarded. Little wonder that the secret of kefir yogurt did not move beyond southwestern Asia and Eastern and Northern Europe.

Kefir nutrition

Kefir is a boon for those who are lactose intolerant and looking of the benefit of yeast and probiotics. Kefir is well-liked by kids and is a great nourishment for pregnant women. Kefir is enriched with the following:

  • Probiotic bacteria (healing and maintenance of the body)

  • Lactic acid

  • Polysaccharides

  • Essential amino acids (tryptophan - relaxes the nervous system)

  • Minerals (Phosphorus, calcium, magnesium - maintains a healthy nervous system, provides energy)

  • Vitamin B1, B12, K

Kefir has many beneficial properties that improve general health in many ways:

  • Cleanses intestines

  • Easily digestible

  • Promotes bowel movements

  • Effective in curing ulcers

  • Promotes healthy immune system

  • Reduces flatulence

  • Has a calming effect on the nervous system. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that has a calming effect on the nervous system.

  • Controls cravings

  • Anti aging and antioxidant properties

  • Treats various respiratory diseases

  • Controls cholesterol, blood pressure, etc

  • Good solution for various skin conditions and acne

Every time a person eats kefir, it is advisable to brush the teeth as the bacteria in kefir produces an acidic condition that can lead to tooth decay.

Kefir Vs Yogurt

S.No Property Kefir Yogurt
1 Fermentation using Yeast and bacteria Yeast
2 Nutritional value Very high High
3 Taste Similar Similar
4 Health benefit Colonizes intestinal tract Keeps digestive system clean
5 Digestion Easily digestible when compared to yogurt Not easily digestible like kefir
6 Consistency Thinner than curd  
7 Bacteria More friendly bacteria Less friendly bacteria

Kefir probiotic

Kefir contains around 10 different probiotic cultures and they provide a natural cure for digestive problems.

  • Easily digestible

  • Replete with vitamins, minerals and digestible complete proteins.

  • The living bacteria are friendly to the digestive tract.

  • Probiotics strengthen and cleanse the digestive system.

  • Probiotics boost the immune system of the body.

  • People who have had a dose of antibiotics would do well to include probiotics to improve the growth of good bacteria.

To benefit best from kefir probiotic, consume 3 servings of kefir per day.

Homemade kefir

Purchasing kefir from a store can turn out to be an expensive affair. Kefir can be made at home by following these simple steps. Use this:

Live kefir grains 1-2 tbsp
Milk 1 quart
Plastic strainer
Jar with lid
Plastic spoon and cup

Place the live kefir grains into jar. Add fresh milk into the jar. Cover the jar; however ensure that it is not airtight. The jar should not be closed tightly, so as to allow the built up gas to escape. While fermenting kefir grains in milk, the bacteria produce gas. Leave for 1-3 days, based on how you want the kefir to taste. The longer it is fermented, the sourer it will taste. Strain the liquid and store the kefir grains in a jar. Repeat process to grow more kefir grains.

Kefir recipes

Kefir pancake

All-purpose flour 1 cup
Kefir 1 cup
Vanilla extract ½ tsp
Salt ¼ tsp
Egg 1
Baking powder ¾ tsp
Milk/buttermilk ¼ cup
Oil, for frying

Mix the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, beat the egg lightly, add kefir, vanilla extract and buttermilk/milk and beat well. Add this to the dry mixture and blend until they mix well. Ensure that the flour is little lumpy; however it should not have flour balls. Over medium heat, heat the griddle, lightly grease and spoon the batter to it. When you see enough bubbles on the surface, flip it over and cook for another minute. Serve with topping of choice.

Kefir dip

Kefir 1 cup
Mayonnaise 1 cup
Powdered ranch dressing 1 packet

Mix all the ingredients well and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Serve as dip for crackers or raw veggies.

Kefir smoothie

Kefir smoothie is the best way to consume kefir. It adds tartness to the smoothie and is also rich in nutritive value.

Easy smoothie

Strawberries 1 cup
Kefir 1 cup
Banana 1, cut into 4 pieces
Protein powder 1 scoop, if required, any preferable flavor

Blend the kefir, strawberries and banana in a blender. Add protein powder and blend well. Serve chilled.

Pineapple smoothie

Pineapple ¾ cup
Kefir ½ cup
Honey 2 tbsp

Blend well in a blender. Serve chilled.

How to make kefir

  • Kefir grains are added to milk; goat or sheep, cow, rice or soy and coconut milk.

  • Kefir grains appear like gelatin and are available as yellow or white particles.

  • The grains in kefir are unique as no other form of milk culture is available in the grain form.

  • Once the grains are added, fermentation of the milk begins.

  • Once the milk is fermented and ready for use, the kefir grains can be removed and reused.

  • Kefir tastes tart and at times in few climatic conditions it turns mildly alcoholic.

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Tags:#kefir #kefir yogurt #kefir probiotic #homemade kefir #kefir recipes #kefir smoothie #how to make kefir #kefir grains
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