Kefir? What’s That?

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Holy moly have I been dying to write this post. It’s homemade kefir time people. For those who have never been introduced to the lovely world of good bacteria, kefir is a great place to start. Now, either you are raising your fists in the air with your head tilted back whispering, yeeeesss. Or you are scratching your head wondering what in the world is kefir. Kefir, my friends, is fermented milk. Now now, before you start judging and thinking why would anyone drink fermented milk? Kefir is one of the best ways to put the good bacteria back into your gut. Why is that important? Well let’s dive in shall we.

We tend to lose the good bacteria in our guts through our diets and through medications we take. Have you ever had stomach issues? Diarrhea for no good reason? IBS? Allergies? Fatigue? The list really could go on and on but we will stop there. All these things are actually linked to our guts. What research has shown is that most illness and diseases can be a direct link to the health of our gut. Our guts are the main source of health if you think about it. Our digestion controls how we feel. If we put a big fat greasy burger in our bellys, are you going to feel like you are on top of the world with energy and motivation? Probably not. Most of us would be thinking of plopping down on the couch after because holy moly we feel like we just ate a brick. That’s because the amount of energy it takes for our body to digest that big slab of meat with a bunch of grease on it, is A LOT. Our diets tend to kill off the good bacteria we should have in our guts that allow us to absorb the nutrients we ingest. These good bacteria are so much stronger then the bad bacteria that they actually kill of the bad bacteria and do not let illnesses flourish. They allow your digestion to take a rest and start flowing the way it is suppose to. I am not saying go out and eat a big fat burger then drink some kefir and all will be right with the world. Energy in changing your diet needs to be present as well.

Along with our diets, medication can really disrupt the good bacteria in our bodies to. When we take antibiotics we are essentially killing ALL bacteria in our bodies that are causing infections to grow. That’s great for the bad bacteria but we just so happened to kill off our good bacteria to. Probiotics, like kefir, help replenish that good bacteria.

What is kefir?

Kefir is a probiotic. It is fermented milk made from kefir “grains.” Now I put grains in parentheses because they are not actual grains. They are little cauliflower, gelatin looking grains that are a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY). If you are thinking, Kombucha? You are right my friend. What the grains or SCOBY’s do is, they feed off of the lactose in the milk and fill the milk with 30-50 strains of good bacteria. Store bought kefir contains about 6 strains.

Making kefir is really odd because you leave milk out on you counter for 24-36 hours with the grains inside. I am not going to lie it’s pretty nerve racking the first time you make it because the thought, “did I do this right” will be screaming through your head. I promise you, you made it right. It is really hard to mess up. The kefir grains put so much good bacteria through the milk that it is impossible for the bad bacteria to grow.

Some bacteria and yeasts found in kefir are:

Lactobacillus acidophilus

Bifidobacterium bifidum

Streptococcus thermophilus

Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus

Lactobacillus helveticus

Lactobacillus kefiranofaciens

Lactococcus lactis

Leuconostoc

And this is seriously a modest list. However, all grains contain more or less. It is kind of impossible to get all grains tested for which strains they carry. Just know it’s a ton and all that goodness is going into your belly.

There are some people who are lactose intolerant, I’ve got good news for y’all. Since the grains feed off the lactose, which is the sugar in milk, it’s turns to lactic acid. That sounds kinda creepy, but it’s actually a really amazing thing. Don’t freak out people. Making kefir is like fermenting vegetables. You are essentially controlling the environment with good bacteria to inhibit the bad. So for those of you lactose intolerant, there is a 99% chance you can drink it with little to no problem.

Are you dying to know how to make it? Oh my goodness, I thought you would never ask. Let’s roll.

Happy learning!

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Reference: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kefir

 

 

 

 

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