Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Kefir...say what?

I've been dabbling in growing bacteria on my counter, then taking it one step further, and eating it!  My husband thinks I'm crazy and hasn't touched the stuff, let alone eat it.  I've done a bit of reading and research on kefir (pronounced like key-fer), enough at least to know that I should be implementing it into my diet regularly.  

I first heard about it from Green Smoothie Girl's 12-Steps to Whole Foods book a few years ago.  It's one of the later steps in the book and it finally intrigued me enough to give it a try.  She recommended checking out the but the website is a bit dated.  I was eventually led to this youTube video HERE that I found very informative.

But here's a quick definition of what it is and does:

Kefir’s tart and refreshing flavor is similar to a drinking-style yogurt, but it contains beneficial yeast as well as friendly ‘probiotic’ bacteria found in yogurt. The naturally occurring bacteria and yeast in kefir combine symbiotically to give superior health benefits when consumed regularly. It is loaded with valuable vitamins and minerals and contains easily digestible complete proteins.

You can buy a drinkable kefir from the grocery store, but what I've seen has TONS of sugar.  Costco sells the Yakult brand but the amount of sugar in it didn't thrill me.  So I decided to go the homemade route and ordered some milk kefir grains from Amazon HERE (there are water kefir grains too).  When they arrived, I followed the instructions and placed them in a glass jar...

Poured a cup of whole milk over them, and gave them a good stir.

Then I simply placed it on the counter and sat and waited, occasionally stirring...

A day or two later, it looked like this:

See all the curds?  Then there's a little whey on the bottom that looks like a yellowish liquid.  Apparently you can make a natural carbonated healthy soda using that whey... I haven't gotten there, nor do I intend to.

Then I strained it into a plastic strainer (the grains don't do well with metal so plastic is advised)

And pressed through all the kefir...

Leaving only the grains...

With these, I simply washed out my glass jar and put them back in, then placed another cup of whole milk over them to repeat the process.  After several batches, the grains will multiply so you can either make more, faster, or give them away.  If you want any, let me know ;).

Then I was left with this kefir, kind of a thin liquid yogurt consistency...

It's not very good plain (kind of tart and has a strong smell) so I make a smoothie with it, which is really quite good!  It reminds me of a drinkable yogurt smoothie you'd buy at the store, but NO processed sugar!

I like to add frozen berries, any other frozen fruit I may have (peaches - yum!) a few dates, some honey and maybe 1/4 of a ripe banana.

Here's the finished product:

I make a kefir smoothie about every other day.  My 2-year old and I drink it (she's the only other person who will touch it).  Since it is TMI to talk about changes in my stool (which there definitely have been), I'll talk a little about hers...she's been constipated since she's started having an opinion about what she eats, but since drinking this, she's definitely become more regular.

On another note, Pink Eye has been spreading through the family like wild fire the last few weeks!  My husband was the first one with symptoms, then all the other kids had it except for...wait for and my toddler.  My husband thinks it's just a coincidence but I'm pretty much sold it's due to the healthy probiotics living inside our guts, keeping us healthy.  Only time will tell if we are able to avoid other infections as we continue to drink this little pink concoction.

If you are one who is prone to infections and diseases, this may be worth looking into.  It's been fairly simple to implement into my diet and as far as taste goes, it's really growing on me {pun intended -  ha!}.

If kefir is a regular part of your diet, I'd love to hear!


  1. So interesting. I would like to try it when you have some extra grains.