Saturday, June 11, 2011

Whole Milk Kefir

Kefir (pronounced /kəˈfɪər/ kə-feer)[1] (alternately kefīrs, keefir, kephir, kewra, talai, mudu kekiya, milkkefir, búlgaros), purportedly[citation needed] from either the Arabic "keyf" (joy/pleasure) or the Turkic "köpür" ((milk) froth, foam), is a fermented milk drink that originated with shepherds of the North Caucasus region, who discovered that fresh milk carried in leather pouches would occasionally ferment into an effervescent beverage. It is prepared by inoculating cow, goat, or sheep's milk with kefir grains. Traditional kefir was made in skin bags that were hung near a doorway; the bag would be knocked by anyone passing through the doorway to help keep the milk and kefir grains well mixed.[2] Dairy-free alternatives, such as coconut milk kefir and soy milk kefir, are available.

Marco Polo mentions kefir in recounting his travels.[3]

Kefir is an amazing health drink with many benefits!

In a quart jar add about 1/4 cup of Kefir grains and a start from a previously cultured batch. Pour whole milk over the top until it fills the jar a little over 3/4 of the way full.

Let it sit in a dark place overnight, depending upon the strength of the Kefir that you wish to obtain allow to sit 12-18 hours. (If it is allowed to sit further it will be considered "Over-Ripened" which is not particularly harmful but it will be very sour).

You can then use it to make smoothies, as a replacement for buttermilk and yogurt, plus it contains yeasts from which you can make sourdough bread.

Here's a quick recipe:

Ingredients: Makes 1 serving (1 each)

1 cup Whole Milk Kefir [recipe]
1 cup Whole Strawberries
1/2 tsp. Stevia

Add Kefir, Strawberries and Stevia to a Vita-Mix mixer. Blend until smooth.


Nutrition Facts
Strawberry Kefir
Serving Size 1 each

Amount Per Serving

Calories 201.81 Calories from Fat 80

% Daily Value
Total Fat 8.87g 14%
Saturated Fat 4.57g 23%
Trans Fat 0.24g
Cholesterol 24.4mg 8%
Sodium 105.74mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 22.79g 8%
Dietary Fiber 2.88g 12%
Sugars 18.77g
Protein 9.3g 19%
Vitamin A (IU) 266.16 5%
Vitamin C 84.67mg 141%
Calcium 298.76mg 30%
Iron 0.68mg 4%

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