Who or What is Kefir?

We could do with a kitchen about 4 times the size of the one we have now.

Phill loves appliances, I love crockery and we both love a good gadget.  But what’s taking up space at the moment is large jars of living things.

Yes you read that correctly.

No our kitchen hasn’t become a lab but it’s main inhabitant (me) has become obsessed with preserving and fermenting foods.  Don’t jump off this post too quickly – hear me out!

You probably eat preserved or fermented food already.  Pickles and jams are just preserved fruit and vegetables – yoghurt and cheese are fermented milk.  And I bet you have all four in your kitchen most of the time.  I’ve really come to.enjoy making them myself.  So we have shelves of unusual jams, jellies, chutneys and pickles made from the spoils of last Summer and Autumn.  And on the worktop we have a variety of jars which bubble and gurgle as the bacteria inside them does its job.

I’ll chat to you about Kombucha at a later date but for now, let’s talk about Kefir.

Have I lost you yet?  No!? Good.

A few months ago my friend Gemma gave me some kefir grains.  They look like little florets of cauliflower and all you need to do is put them in a jar of milk.

You cover the jar in some fabric so that it can breathe and the next day the milk is slightly thickened and tastes like yoghurt.  Then you strain out the grains to use in another batch and the yoghurty milk that you’re left with is kefir.  Simple!

Why would you want to consume kefir?  It turns out that kefir is a powerful probiotic with antibacterial properties.  It has also been shown to stimulate the immune system – something it’s safe to say I’m pretty keen on right now!  It’s also lactose free so great for my dairy sensitivity (which I usually ignore and then suffer for later) and it’s even been shown to help to break down the lactose in other foods.

Full disclosure – I don’t love the taste of it but then again I don’t love the taste of plain yoghurt and this is very similar.  But I do want the benefits, so I’ve found ways to make it work.  Actually it’s better than that, I’ve found ways to make myself look forward to drinking kefir!

Kefir tastes great in overnight oats especially if you’re adding berries or honey.  You can use it instead of regular milk when making milkshakes

You can add kefir to soups and curries and nobody even knows!!  I recently made a chickpea curry and used kefir instead of coconut milk (because I didn’t have any – lockdown problems) and Dorothy cleaned her plate!

Kefir can be used in baking where you would add sour milk or even ordinary milk and although I haven’t tried it yet, I’m told that kefir makes amazing ice cream.  But the way I’ve been drinking it, every single day, is in smoothies.

I use one cup of kefir with one of the following

2 bananas and a pinch of cinnamon

1 banana and 2 strawberries

A tablespoon of peanut butter

A table spoon of chocolate and nut spread

Cacao powder and honey

I just blend it all together, adding some ashwagandha powder if I feel like it and decorate with pretty flowers if I feel like it too.

It’s such a treat and as the next batch only takes a few hours to make, I have a never ending supply.

As you use them, the kefir grains grow, so eventually you can split them and give some to friends to start their own fermenty adventure, which is how I came to have some.

Next time you see a carton on the shop, try it.  I’m sure that home made tastes better but you should definitely give it a go.  Then all you need to do is find a friend with some of these babies 😂

Love Rachel ❤️

 

 

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