Monday, July 25, 2011

Kefir Grains

My mother introduced me to kefir grains this past week and I have started making it part of my diet.  I am still learning about kefir and kefir grains so I don't have much to share other than I like the way it tastes (very acid and tart).  I started researching it to learn more about it and I found this article on (this is just part of the article you can look for the complete article on the site...sorry I have no idea how to link it).

Kefir-History, Information, and a Kefir Recipe
by: Lynn Cameron

Kefir, traditionally pronounced ke-feer', but spoken as kee'-fer in the West, is a many-centuries-old cultured milk beverage from Northern Russia. Kefir is a fermented milk drink prepared with kefir grains (see the spoon in the picture).
Flavored kefir drinks, mostly, have found their way to market in the USA because North American consumers have not scored unflavored kefir high in sensory evaluations — it has a tart, somewhat "yeasty" taste with a mouthfeel described as "prickly" or "sparkling" due to the liberation of the carbon dioxide gas (CO2) as the culturing progresses. The addition of fruit or other sources of sugars, however, may cause unwanted fermentation by yeasts used in commercial packaging for shelf-life — but adding taste enhancers to your own home-brew makes for delicious and nutritious smoothies, snacks, and desserts that scientific research is confirming are supremely health-giving.

An assortment of some 40 compounds contribute to the unique tang and slight effervescence of this simple-to-make beverage: a fermentation process old as time itself denatures the milk protein, resulting in smaller protein pieces that are more susceptible to break-down by the stomach's gastric juices. In simple terms — it's so easy to digest that even those with milk allergies often find they can take advantage of all kefir has to offer.

The list of serious conditions that recent research has indicated can be helped by drinking kefir is impressive. The Canadian publication The Handbook of Fermented Foods edited by Edward A. Farnsworth provides a comprehensive digest, meticulously footnoted, on the effect fermented foods have on human health — the latest facts from Japanese and European scientific in vivo (in human bodies) studies over the last decade.

  • Provides digestibility of milk-based products
  • Produces it own antibiotics, eliminates unfriendly bacteria
  • Rebalances the intestinal flora and stomach acid to heal ulcers
  • Regulates metabolism through improved digestion to benefit the colon.
  • Leads to good heart action, blood circulation and blood pressure.
  • Reduces serum cholesterol levels only IF they are too high for safety.
  • Regulates bile and improves the liver/gall bladder to help fight hepatitis
  • Acts on the immune system and so improves resistance to disease
  • Produces anti-cancer compounds and prevents metastasis (spread)
  • Allows eczema, acne and skin disorders to fade away
  • Reduces anxiety and depression; increases energy and joy in living.
  • Produces every vitamin and bacteria needed for healthy daily living.

Authentic Kefir

Authentic kefir can only be prepared by the culturing with kefir "grains" of fresh milk from any of several species of ruminant mammals (cows, goats, sheep, horses, and water buffalo being the most commonly used). The healthy bio-matrix (or, active molecules) in kefir is created through the symbiotic relationship between a complex mixture of specific lactic acid bacteria (lactobacillus) and beneficial yeasts as they literally eat the lactose sugars in milk for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

It is said that kefir has been such a well-kept secret for centuries because, according to legend, Mohammad, whose gift it was, strictly forbade the secret of kefir preparation to be given outside the faith. In the beginning, it was made in skin bags hanging near the door. Milk was poured in periodically, and everyone gave the bag a swing for good fortune as they entered; this ensured thorough mixing. Kumys, kefir made from mares' milk, was consumed as food and as an alcoholic drink (2-3%) some 25 centuries ago and was mentioned by Marco Polo in Asia as being a pleasant milk drink...

I am definitely excited to reap the benefits of having live kefir grains. You can use kefir different ways when cooking, in smoothies, you can make kefir cheese and spreads and I think baking as well (I need to double check on the last two) I also came across some recipes to use the kefir as a face mask and another one for hair.  I'll try them out first and if I see results I'll definitely share the recipes with you guys!:)  Ok, I'm not really feeling this blog post anymore:/ but just so you guys know I'm going to keep looking for recipes that use kefir so I can post and if I find any more interesting articles I'll let you guys know:)

Good Night!:)


  1. I don't know much about the grains but the kefir yogurt is good to add to your diet also.

  2. I just want to let you know i added you to my blogroll!