Tag Archives: Kefir

Buy Fresh or Dried kefir grains ? Buy Kefir powder ? Which Kefir to buy ?

Choosing a Kefir Culture

Kefir is one of the absolute superstars of health food, Kefir grains are an amazing combination of lactic acid bacteria and yeasts in an absolute matrix of proteins, lipids and sugars. This symbiotic matrix, (or SCOBY) forms "grains" that resemble cauliflower.

Extremely beneficial even for those who are lactose intolerant and used in different parts of the World, it has recently caught on as a significantly important health food. But for those looking for kefir grains online would be faced with a choice to make. Whether to purchase from sites selling ‘living’ kefir or dried/dehydrated kefir grains. To figure this out you need to ask yourself

  1. What types of kefir grains would I require ?
  2. Where to buy kefir grains ?

For you to best answer the above questions, here is a quick overview on Kefir Grains to help you make the most suitable decision.

There are 2 types of Kefir available on the market

Milk Kefir Grains: A naturally occurring organism, Milk Kefir Grains originated in the Caucasus. These are white, resemble cottage cheese and have a gluey feel. It feeds on the lactose.

Water Kefir Grains: Water Kefir Grains come from the Meso-America. Water grains are translucent, resemble cauliflower and easily break apart under pressure. It feeds on sugar.

Now we come to the choice between Fresh and Dried Kefir Grains

When it comes to Fresh Kefir Grains, these gain re-balance quickly and within a few days of arriving on shipment begin producing drinkable probiotic kefir! An excellent option but only if you live within Europe and are able to immediately attend to these.

Otherwise, Dried Kefir Grains are a greater choice for you! A perfect solution if the grains are likely to be in transit internationally, this will ensure the grains is not damaged. However, these would take way longer to activate – maybe a week or more and adjust the symbiotic balance till the time frame in which it can produce a drinkable kefir beverage. This also gives the scope of a better shelf life. Of the two kind of Kefir Grains (i.e. Milk and Water) Water Kefir Grains are more difficult to revive from a dried state and may take way longer given that these are comparatively fragile.

A quick reconnaissance of some companies and websites that sell different types of kefir grain has led to the following compilation to help you further:

  1. Website: Kefirshop.eu

This particular website, selling Live and Fresh Kefir cultures which they are sure will last a lifetime with proper care; maintain that the kefir grains are real grains maintained on organic milk very unlike the pre-packaged kefir starters, such as Yogourmet or Body Ecology stocked and sold elsewhere. They also assure that the kefir grains retailed from their website are ready to use straight out of the packet with absolutely no failed productions or waiting several rounds for the kefir grains ( referring to both milk or water types) to become ‘active’ again.

The benefits listed by the said website are as follows:
  • Different types of kefir to choose from
  • Fresh and Active Milk and Water Kefir Grains
  • Starters Cultures
  • Ready to use
  • First batch of Kefir would be ready within 24-48 hours
The limitations listed on the same are as follows:
  • The fresh and active kefir grains cannot be shipped to international destinations. This is due to the fresh nature of Kefir cultures.

2. Website: Kefir-online.com

Of their stock, this particular website explains that each sachet of kefir powder (and other starter cultures) can be used an average of 7 times each. It further shares that six tablespoons of previous batch will ferment 1 liter of milk. The benefits mentioned by the website is the sheer convenience and the fact that it is great for short time usage.

The limitations associated with Freeze Dried Starter Cultures are :
  • These are isolated lab grown cultures
  • Not only is repurchase required, it also has limited usage

Overall it may be a good idea to invest in fresh and active kefir grains for long term usage.

How to make authentic milk kefir ?

How to make Milk Kefir

In order to make authentic milk kefir, you need to get the supplies ready and follow the steps carefully. Here is the step by step direction on making authentic milk kefir:

  1. Get the supplies ready: First of all, you need milk, but you should make sure that the milk is not lactose free or ultra pasteurized. Raw milk or low fat milk is preferred. Next, you would need a strainer made of stainless steel or nylon. The other supplies that you would require are a bowl, a jar, a breathable lid, a plastic spoon, vanilla or fruit extract.
  2. Prepare the kefir grains: In order to prepare the kefir grains, strain off the kefir milk in which they are dispersed. Then, rinse the kefir grains in a bowl with spring water or milk. Strain off and rinse again till you are satisfied.
  3. Feed the kefir grains: After the kefir grains are prepared, you need to feed the kefir grains adequately. Place the kefir grains in a sterile jar and fill the jar with milk. You must ensure that the jar is large enough to have adequate space between the lid and the milk. The ideal ratio is for every 1 teaspoon of kefir grains, you need 1 cup of milk.
  4. Cover and ferment: The jar should then be covered with a breathable lid. You can use a coffee filter or a paper towel. However, do not use a cloth with large holes as it will result in contamination. You should keep the jar in a cool place. Sunlight is not required. Allow the kefir grains to ferment for about 24 hours.
  5. Determine if the kefir is ready: It is quite tricky to determine when the kefir is ready. Tilt the jar slightly to see whether it is gel-like or runny. If you find that it is gel-like, be sure that your kefir is ready. It has been found that fermentation is faster in summer than in winter.
  6. Strain the finished kefir: Place the strainer over a plastic bowl or bowl made of stainless steel. Pour the contents of the entire jar into your strainer. Allow it to strain slowly. You can use a sterile spoon to stir the kefir, so that it strains through the bowl perfectly, leaving behind the grains in the strainer.
  7. Add flavors: You can mix fruit extract with the strained kefir to enhance its taste.

How to make milk kefir

Video - instructable - how to make milk kefir

Basically, these are the 7 steps that you need to follow to make milk kefir. You can store the kefir grains in the jar so that so you can again feed them with fresh milk and repeat the process.

8 healthy cultured dairy products

Healthy cultured dairy products

Cultured dairy products are healthy and nutritious. You can find the popularity of cultured products everywhere around the globe. They are consumed in large quantities in every country. Probiotic dairy products such as cultured yogurt and kefir are loved by all people as they have tremendous beneficial properties.
If you think that cultured dairy products mean only yogurt and kefir, then you are absolutely wrong. There are many more cultured dairy products such as Bonny Clabber, Matsoni, Ayran and Viili about which you will read in this article. So, here are the 8 healthy and wonderful, cultured dairy products that you must include in your diet:
  1. Kefir: Kefir is a popular cultured dairy product. When kefir grains are mixed with raw milk, kefir is obtained. Kefir grains are symbiotic clusters of beneficial bacteria and yeast. The kefir grains are spongy and small. It looks like cottage cheese. This cultured dairy product has a strikingly tart taste with effervescence. This is the reason why it takes people some time to get used to this beverage. Kefir is highly rich in folic acid and many more nutrients. The origin of kefir is the Caucasus region. It takes around 1 day or longer for the fermentation of kefir.
  1. Yogurt: Yogurt is the most popular cultured dairy product which is liked by everyone. The most unique thing about yogurt is that it is a thermophilic dairy food product. In order to culture properly, yogurt requires heat. In order to make yogurt, you need to culture milk with thermophilic bacteria that is capable of producing lactic acid. The most popular strain of bacteria that is used in yogurt is Lactobacillus bulgaricus. You can use a yogurt maker to make yogurt. You need a starter culture and a heat source in order to make yogurt.

    Make Yogurt at Home - Homemade Yogurt

    Make Yogurt at Home - Homemade Yogurt

  1. Filmjolk: This is a wonderful Swedish cultured dairy product. It has a mild sour taste. It is a tasty cultured dairy product. In order to make Filmjolk, you need to culture it at room temperature. You do not require a heat source to culture Filmjolk. The strains of bacteria that are used to make Filmjolk are Leuconostoc mesenteroides and Lactococcus lactis. The tangy taste of this cultured dairy product is because of these strains of bacteria.
  1. Ayran: When yogurt is mixed with salt, the cultured dairy product is known as Ayran. It is a cold beverage that is extremely popular in Turkey and the other Turkic countries such as Iran, Bulgaria and Armenia. People often describe Ayran as diluted yogurt. Ayran is a great drink to consume during the summer. It is served chilled. It is a traditional and popular Turkish drink.
  1. Matsoni: It is a delicious cultured dairy product of Eastern Europe. It is said that the beneficial properties of Matsoni help in prolonging life. Some unique strains of bacteria that are capable of producing lactic acid are used to make Matsoni. Therefore, it has a mild sour taste and a slight syrupy consistency. Children love to have Matsoni especially in their breakfast. Many people also love to have Matsoni by pouring it over the fruits. Matsoni is easy to prepare as it is mesophilic.

    Matsoni

    Matsoni Yogurt also known as Caspian Sea Yogurt

  1. Viili: This is another wonderful, cultured dairy product. It has a Scandinavian origin. Although Viili is a popular beverage of Sweden, it is also quite popular in Finland. The gelatinous and ropy texture of Viili is obtained due to the combination of lactic acid bacteria and yeast. Viili has a mid sour flavor which is liked by children and people who are trying sour probiotic dairy products for the first time. Traditionally, Viili is served with gooseberry jam or any other kind of sweetener. Since it can be cultured at normal temperature, you do not require a yogurt maker for making Viili.
  1. Blaand: This is a traditional and popular drink of Scotland. Blaand is prepared for many years in Scotland. However, most people have never tasted Blaand even once in their lives. Blaand generally has an alcohol content that is similar to wine after fermentation. However, if blaand is fermented for too long, then you would get an unpleasant taste. It would taste more like vinegar.
  1. Bonny Clabber: This is another traditional and popular cultured dairy food of Scotland and the Southern United States. Bonny clabber is eaten generally at breakfast with cinnamon, molasses and nutmeg. This dairy product does not require any starter. The probiotic properties of Bonny Clabber arise directly from the natural flora that is present in milk and in your surroundings. It is easy to make. You only need raw whole milk to make this cultured dairy food.
So, these are the 8 healthy and wonderful, cultured dairy products that you can include in your diet to maintain good health. If you are bored with yogurt and kefir, then this is the time to try some new cultured dairy foods such as Matsoni, Viili or Ayran.

Health Benefits of a Probiotic Drink like Kefir

Kefir - A Probiotic Dairy Composition

Kefir is a cultured dairy product, and is one of the richest probiotic foods on Earth. Asian and European folk medicines use this product to cure a wide range of illnesses and ailments. Fermented milk product from goat, cow or sheep milk, it is much like drinkable yoghurt. It is high in calcium, vitamin B12 and K2, magnesium, enzymes, folate, biotin, and especially, probiotics. Kefir nutritional value may vary, as per the animal, region and cultures. Kefir can be made not only from milk, but from water and coconut milk as well. Make probiotic drink, Kefir a regular part of your diet, and it will benefit you in several healthy ways:

  • Boosts your immunity

  • Helps in fighting some allergies

  • Builds bone density

  • Heals inflammatory bowel diseases

  • Improve digestion of lactose

  • Supports detoxification

water kefir grains

What should live water kefir grains look like ? Click on the pic to see a nice closeup.


Kefir has probiotic health benefits

Kefir grains can actually ferment milk in 24 hours, and may convert raw milk into a highly rich probiotic drink. Probiotic drink, Kefir proves to be a refreshing, naturally carbonated drink that has numerous medicinal benefits. Rich in Bifidobacterium bifidum and Lactobacillus acidophilus, Kefir also supplies sufficient amounts of beneficial yeast and lactic acid bacteria. The mixture of beneficial microbiota present in Kefir makes it one of the most nutritious probiotic drinks you can have.

  • Regular consumption of probiotic drink, Kefir can actually inhibit growth of breast cancer

  • Kefir has lactic acid bacteria, that can bind funguses and aflatoxins, thus preserve healthful genetic expression

  • If you are sick, you can skip antibiotics and drink Kefir instead. Researches have proves that probiotics work better than antibiotics to eliminate an infectious agent, and also alleviate the symptoms

  • Kefir is known to build bone density, and reduce risks of osteoporosis. Kefir increases absorption of magnesium and calcium in the body, in addition to other bone building minerals like phosphorus, vitamin K2 and vitamin D

  • Strains of bifidobacterium and lactobacillus in Kefir is highly helpful in treating IBS and IBD

  • Kefir is found to positively affect asthma and allergies too. Kefir works by suppressing IgE immunoglobulins, T-helper cells and interleukin-4 inflammatory markers, and may thus prevent asthma

So, if you are looking for a substitute of yoghurt that you can drink, then go for probiotic drink, Kefir. It is naturally sweet, slightly bubbly, mild and tangy in taste. It is much similar to yoghurt, but with much more nutritional value.

The Benefits of Lactic Acid Fermentation

The Health Benefits of Lactic Acid Fermented Foods

Most often we consume many good foods about which we hardly have any idea as to what it actually is or its benefits. The best example of such foods is yogurt, pickled vegetables and many others. All these specialty foods use lactic acid fermentation which is a biological process in which glucose and sucrose or lactose and other types of sugars are changed into metabolite lactate and cellular energy.

What causes lactic acid fermentation ?

Fungi and bacteria are responsible for causing lactic acid fermentation and the most important bacteria are Lactobacillus. Today, at every step we consume anti-biotic to fight diseases. Although these are bacteria, they sometimes kill the good bacteria present in the human body that offer immunity and the strength to fight diseases. Hence it is necessary that we have lactic acid fermented products that will keep the immune system working properly.

Lactic acid fermentation is used to produce various types of specialty foods all over the world. In the Western world, yogurt, sour dough bread, olives and cucumber pickles are common items, while in other parts of the world it is used in pickled vegetables, Kimchi which is fermented combination of radishes, Chinese cabbage, garlic, red pepper and ginger, kefir, fermented milks, fermented cereal and milk mixture, fermented rice and shrimp mixture and many others for their unique health benefits.sauerkraut The sour taste present in these foods is due to lactic acid fermentation. It also improves the safety and microbiological stability of the foods. Cheese, yogurt and kefir are the best examples of lactic acid fermented foods are a little sour in taste. The sugar contents present in cabbage act as preservatives when converted into lactic acid.

Advantages of lactic acid fermentation

The benefits of consuming lactic acid fermented foods are endless. Here is a list of only a few of the advantages that you will enjoy:

  • Lactic acid fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir etc. and other fermented vegetables help to maintain and also restore the required levels of good bacteria and improve digestive health too.
  • If beneficial bacteria are present in the body, you can prevent attacks of other diseases that are caused by harmful bacteria.
  • Lactobacillus plantarum which is one of the most used lactic acid fermentation bacteria present in a huge amount in fermented cabbage, sauerkraut etc has wonderful medicinal effects on the consumer.
  • It supplies Vitamin C.
  • Reduces chances of diarrhea.
  • Effective in dealing with constipation and bowel movement problems and pains.
  • Reduces flatulence and bloating to a great extent and thereby relieves bowel related pains.
  • Enhances the digestive system.
  • Since antioxidants are present in the lactic acid fermented foods, they help to reduce free radicals.
  • Lactose is hard to digest. But the fermentation process turns it into lactic acid that is easily digestible.
  • Helps to produce Omega 3 fatty acid which is greatly beneficial for digestion and healthy living.

It is not that difficult to prepare your own lactic acid fermented foods like yogurt, kefir etc. Since they are fermented by using friendly bacteria namely Lactobacillus, you can keep yourself healthy by working up a little. All you need is milk, live yogurt and a sterile container and the process is very easy. Another unique lactic acid fermented porridge is Magou made with maize and wheat flour that contains the bacteria. Kefir fermentation is more of less like yogurt fermentation. The difference is that kefir uses not only bacteria but yeast also for fermentation. Kefir grains contain proteins, carbohydrates and lipids and when fermented are extremely good for health. You can also make your own fermented vegetables. You can also opt for organic ingredients that you rely on for a better and a healthier life.

Most often we consume many good foods about which we hardly have any idea as to what it actually is or its benefits. The best example of such foods is yogurt, pickled vegetables and many others. All these specialty foods use lactic acid fermentation which is a biological process in which glucose and sucrose or lactose and other types of sugars are changed into metabolite lactate and cellular energy.

Milk Kefir vs Yogurt

Difference between Kefir and Yogurt

Both yogurt and milk kefir are cultured milk products. Both the foods are good for health as they are rich in calcium, protein, vitamin B and potassium. They are a little sour in taste and have an identical tart. Both yogurt and milk kefir can be found in plain form and in different fruit flavors. The live kefir cultures used to produce both yogurt and milk kefir results in the breakdown of the milk sugar. This facilitates lactose digestion. Their primary difference lies in the types and numbers of beneficial bacteria contained in them.

Here are the chief differences between milk kefir and yogurt

  1. The consistency of milk kefir is much thinner than that of yogurt. It is usually obtained as a beverage. You can pour some milk kefir over a cereal, drink it or combine it with fruits to make smoothie. On the other hand, the consistency of yogurt is thicker and it cannot be drunk.
  1. Both yogurt and dairy kefir contains probiotics. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria and beneficial yeasts that are normally found in the intestine of humans. They restrict the growth of harmful bacteria which can cause diseases and also boosts the immune system of the body. Milk kefir contains three times the probiotics that are present in yogurt. When kefir is made, milk is generally fermented with a mixture of almost 20 various types of probiotic yeasts and bacteria. Since there is a higher probiotic count in milk kefir, it has more health benefits than yogurt. Your immune system will be boosted and you will stay healthy.
  1. The individuals who are totally lactose intolerant can tolerate milk kefir but they cannot tolerate yogurt. This is because the plenty of beneficial bacteria present in milk kefir would digest the lactose in the milk. Therefore the lactose that would be left in kefir is almost 1%. So lactose intolerant individuals can easily have milk kefir.
  1. Milk kefir contains plenty of beneficial yeasts such as Torula kefir and Saccharomyces kefir that eliminates the pathogenic yeasts from the body. They keep the intestine clean and healthy. These beneficial yeasts are not present in yogurt.
  1. Milk kefir is also easier to digest than yogurt because of the smaller curd size of kefir. This makes milk kefir a nutritious and ideal food for the elderly people, babies and people having chronic digestive disorders.

Kefir fermentation

Kefir is a fermented milk product similar to yogurt

Though yogurt is a more popular food, you must try milk kefir because of its plenty of health benefits. You will surely notice improvement in your digestive health. It is better to have yogurt and milk kefir in plain form than in fruit flavors.

7 reasons homemade kefir is better

1. You'll save money:

Homemade Kefir is better than Store-Bought

  1. Store-bought kefir is more expensive

At supermarkets can buy readymade kefir. But this kefir easily costs € 4 a pint. If you go for one week every day buy kefir at a store, you soon lose € 28 a week. While if you make the kefir itself, you bear only the cost of the milk. Milk cost € 0.65 / liter or € 2.28 / weekly costs on milk. The payback period is less than a week .

 2. You will create less waste

I hate to buy plastic. It is still polluting the environment, even when it is recycled, it takes forever to break down if it is just collapses (if not recycled). I'm always looking for ways to reduce my plastic consumption. By making homemade kefir I myself work to reduce waste !

3. Eliminate the toxins that are in plastic

By culturing homemade kefir in glass jars you can prevent undesirable to be exposed to BPA and other toxic substances !

4. Buy kefir once and make kefir for life

When purchasing kefirgrains, you can make unlimited kefir. Kefir is the ultimate reusable culture. For more information about the process of making kefir, see the instructions on our blog!

5. Each day, or if you wish, fresh kefir is available

When you create you own kefir you can make kefir as much as you think you need.

6. Lactose intolerance ? No problem

An important feature of homemade kefir is that you can decide what you used to make kefir. Milk kefir grains are very versatile and can be used in cows' milk (raw or pasteurized), goat's milk, soy milk or even coconut milk, this provides opportunities to people with lactose sensitivity.

7. Homemade kefir is fresher

Make your own homemade kefir and you will get the freshest product. This also means that it will be richer in probiotics than those sold in the store.

water kefir

1. You'll save money:

 

The benefits of Kefir

The health benefits of kefir

Kefir grains come in two varieties. The most common are the milk kefir grains and the others are the water kefir grains. The Kefir users agree that the first users of kefir were the people of the Caucasus, Russia. The story tells about how the people of the Caucasus accidentally discovered kefir grains in their leather bags where they kept their milk. The people started then intentionally drinking milk kefir. Milk kefir grains turn ordinary milk into a healthy probiotic drink. Later on the Russians where the first to perform medical studies on kefir. In one way or another kefir ended in our own kitchen. We regularly started drinking kefir in our family and we are experimenting with kefir. We enjoy the benefits of kefir. By regularly drinking kefir we feel protected against a variety of digestive diseases. Both milk kefir and water kefir as are known in the treatment of many common diseases.

Kefir is a probiotic-rich beverage


Milk kefirgrains  water kefirgrains


Both milk kefir and water kefir are rich in probiotics, although they have different strains. There are many more probiotics in kefir than in other health drinks, like yoghurt. Water kefir is also called tibicos. A dairy free diet is also good for lactose intolerance. Yet milk kefir is also good for lactose intolerance because the bacteria eat the lactose before it can harm human consumers. There is a milk drink that is friendly for people with lactose intolerance, it is milk kefir. Second, with water kefir you can stay away from the fat content in milk. Although skim milk has very little fat, Water kefir has zero percent fat. Thirdly, Water kefir is flexible. You can experiment more with water kefir grains because they work with different types of fluid as long as they have a sugar content. You can add any fruit or vegetable to your water kefir and work with more exciting flavors. The result is a vibrant, soda-like drink that soda could be your healthy alternative.