How to Make Kefir and 7 Reasons Why It Is so Healthy for You

This article was originally published by Jennifer Poindexter on www.morningchores.com

Do you worry about your gut health? Do you try to consume more probiotics either by what you eat or by taking them in pill form?

Oh, I understand. I didn’t worry about my gut health until I started getting a little older and began to notice my system wasn’t feeling as great as it once did.

I tried to take probiotics in pill form, but they tasted like chalk. I soon learned how to eat my probiotics. One way was by eating probiotic yogurt.

But another option for getting more natural probiotics in is to indulge in kefir. I’m going to share with you how you can easily make it and enjoy the benefits of adding more probiotics to your diet. Your gut will thank you for it!

You’ll need:

  • Milk
  • Kefir grains
  • Glass Jar

Making Kefir

Making kefir is extremely simple. You pour one teaspoon of kefir grains into a glass jar. Add one cup of milk to the jar.

Stir the ingredients together and cover the jar with a piece of cloth or glass lid. Don’t use a metal lid as this can cause a reaction in the kefir.

Let the concoction sit for approximately 24 hours. During this time fermentation happens. Scoop the grains out of the kefir and enjoy!

Milk Matters

When making kefir, it’s best to go with whole fat milk. It can be cow’s milk, sheep’s milk, goat’s milk, or any other milk producing animal.

You can attempt to use a lower milk fat percentage or even no fat milk to make kefir. You’ll notice if fermentation is being sluggish or not happening at all.

If fermentation isn’t taking place at all, you’ll have to discard the milk and try it again with milk which has a higher fat content.

However, if you’re someone who tries to avoid dairy altogether, coconut milk is a good option. Other vegan milk has a difficult time with the fermentation process. Coconut milk has a high enough fat content for this process to still work.

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Keeping Kefir Grains Healthy

Kefir grains are a must if you’re going to make kefir. It’s what causes the reaction and fermentation to take place.

However, they do come with a price tag. Therefore, the healthier and happier you keep them, the less of a blow they are to your wallet.

Kefir grains is something you purchase once, and use forever. However, you must know how to keep them going.

When you finish making kefir, remove the grains and add them to another cup of milk. This will create a new batch of kefir every 24 hours.

If you don’t wish to make kefir this frequently, you can place the grains in milk and place them in the fridge.

When you’re ready to use them again, simply remove the milk with kefir grains from the fridge and allow them to warm up again.

Once warm, the fermentation process should start again.

Why Choose Glass

I stated above to make sure you use a glass jar to make kefir. Kefir grains have a funny reaction to metal. It isn’t strong enough to where you can’t use a metal spoon to stir kefir, yet it’s enough to where the kefir grains won’t be active if mixed in a metal bowl.

Therefore, it’s best if you try to avoid metal altogether when making kefir. Doing that will prevent snags when making your probiotic beverage.

Temperatures Make the Difference

People have been making kefir for years, and many people love it. Keep in mind, for safety, pay attention to make sure the kefir grains are in fact fermenting.

If you leave them in a situation where the temperature is below 60° Fahrenheit, fermentation won’t take place.

However, if you place them where the temperature is greater than 90° Fahrenheit, the milk will spoil faster than it can ferment.

Be sure you leave the milk and kefir grains in an environment which is 60° Fahrenheit or greater but less than 90° Fahrenheit to have a safe and successful kefir making experience.

Why Make Kefir?

There are many reasons to make kefir and ways to use it. Here are a few reasons why you need this beverage in your life:

1. It’s Good for Your Gut

By this time, most of us know almost 70% of our immune system is in our gut. Therefore, it’s important we treat it well.

Kefir is a fermented beverage filled with probiotics – great for your gut and a good reason to consider adding it to your diet.

2. Tastes Great

Do you like yogurt? Kefir tastes like a thinner yogurt. If you enjoy a yogurt smoothie or even a cup of yogurt every now and again, you’ll be glad to indulge in kefir.

Even if you aren’t a yogurt fan, go back to reason one. The benefits it can bring to your gut and your immune system is enough of a reason to indulge sporadically.

3. Easy to Make

Kefir is extremely easy to make. Did you notice there weren’t even numbered steps to making it? It’s because there aren’t enough steps to justify numbers.

It’s genuinely this simple to make. If it’s good for you, tastes good, and requires little direction, why wouldn’t you make it?

4. Great to Cook With

When I first heard of kefir, I’ll be truthful. I turned my nose up. I didn’t want a fermented dairy drink. I didn’t even care for milk a great deal.

Yet, I learned you can cook with kefir and still get the benefits. Any recipe you’d typically use yogurt, milk, or buttermilk, you can substitute kefir. You can also drink kefir as is. It’s all about preference.

5. Ranch, Anyone?

I enjoy ranch dressing on my salad, and I also like ranch dip with veggies and other foods. Instead of pulling out the buttermilk to make these recipes – insert kefir.

As mentioned above, it can be used in many ways. Knowing what delicious recipes it fits in is helpful as well. The next time you want to  make ranch, pull out the kefir.

6. Add It to Your Dessert

Could you imagine making probiotic ice cream? With kefir, you can. Where you’d add the milk to ice creams, you substitute kefir.

Could you imagine eating ice cream and not feeling the guilt? Instead, you feel good because you know you’re caring for your gut and immune system.

7. Dairy Allergens May Decrease

I have a slight dairy allergy. It’s nothing life-threatening or makes me deathly ill. It’s enough to make me feel bad if I overeat dairy.

Well, many people have found kefir doesn’t aggravate their dairy allergy. If you’d like to try kefir but have an allergy, consult with your doctor first. If they say it’s okay, you may have one dairy food you can eat and not feel terrible afterward.

You now know how to make kefir. You also have a ton of information to help you navigate the world of kefir.

It should help you know how to use it and also how to avoid any mishaps when making it. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy it and find new ways to incorporate it into your daily life.

 

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