Friday, July 8, 2016

Milk Kefir---Yum.

KEFIR. What an adventure. If you haven't read my first entry on it, check it out here: Water Kefir---The Super Soda. I have so many updates for you guys on water kefir! A bunch of stuff happened, then they(our grains) had to go to rehab(the fridge.), and then we were trying to activate them again which hasn't worked so far. So, I ended up throwing them out! :( So sad.

But, this entry is on MILK kefir, as promised in the water kefir entry. It is funny because at first I thought water kefir was so easy (and it is, as long as you keep up with it), but our grains are definitely not bouncing back as quickly as our milk kefir grains did from their rehab! And, I actually think  it is because we were using sink water to make the water kefir instead of spring water...anyways.

Milk Kefir is like a liquid yogurt drink. Some call it the "Champagne of yogurt". If you buy it from the store, it is quite normal for it to be a bit fizzy from the cultures in it. If I remember correctly, in store bought kefir you generally get around 12 strains of different gut bacteria a.k.a probiotics. With homemade kefir you get almost double the amount and types of strains, PLUS you get good yeast strains as well. To read more on Milk Kefir FAQ go here.

Your gut is so so important when it comes to your health, because that is where all of your health comes from! The strength and health of your gut is what your immune system relies on to stay strong and what your body relies on to be strong. So, take care of your gut, and you will feel great.

I'll start at the beginning. The milk kefir was really hard for us to get started. If you haven't had kefir from the store, it is this delicious creamy milk fruit drink---like yogurt, but not. It is more tart. Anyways, for such a long time I could never get our kefir to be creamy. It always just separated into curds and whey or simply just soured(not normal souring...this is a good souring). Either way, we still used it all up in smoothies and it tasted great AND still had all of the pro-biotics as creamy kefir. But, it was not the same. We wanted our dreamy creamy kefir back that we had gotten used to from the store! And we wanted all of the added benefits.We had looked on SO many different sites trying to find what ratio might work for ours, because it depends on so many things like temperature of where you're at, what milk you used, what your grains are used to, etc. Finally, after giving some grains to my brother-in-law, he figured out the ratio (hallelujah!bless him.) We use 1 tsp. of grain per pint of milk. We have realized that with store-bought 2% cows milk, it takes a full day and night to reach that delicious consistency. After getting some raw goats milk from an awesome family down the street and using that to culture, it only takes literally like a day! Change the grains in the morning and you have creamy kefir by nightfall or sooner depending on the temperature. And, I have to say, the goats milk definitely gives it an aged rustic depth of flavor---if that makes any sense. So so good ! We always make smoothies with frozen berries and bananas OR just use fresh berries and a little bit of vanilla and it is so good. I like using the fresh fruit better and just having it be kefir than a smoothie, but fresh fruit is usually limited, and both are good :)

Kefir is an everyday thing. Fresh milk needs to get switched out consistently or the grain will die. But, it is also not that hard. If you end up not switching out the fresh milk in the morning and you wait a whole extra day, the kefir will just be more thick and more separated. All you do is mix it up and give the grains more fresh milk. The kefir will still be fine. If it goes too far and is pretty dang separated, you could always look into trying your hand at homemade kefir cheese! ;) Also, if you need to go out of town and won't be able to be feeding your kefir grains for a while, all you have to do is stick them in a little tupper-ware of milk and put them in the fridge for up to about a week! Maybe two....When you get back home just put them in some fresh milk out on the counter and wait a bit longer than normal because they take a while to get back into the swing of things, and then BAM, they will be thickening up that milk in no time :)

If you want any info on what milk kefir is and all of the health benefits it offers and WHY you should start making it too! Check out this website here. Our milk kefir grains are re-producing like mad, which is awesome!!!