Keeping and caring for Kefir.
We've gone there, to that place in our lives where we have festering fermenting jars of 'stuff' on our counter and people ask us "what IS that?" They routinely look so disgusted I'm pretty sure they don't want to know the answer. Kefir does not look pretty, in fact it looks a lot like rotting milk. It's lumpy, bumpy, bubbly and separated. You think I'd have to be crazy to want to drink it after it's has set out for 3 days in a row but I did. And we all know I'm not crazy, right?
Kefir is in fact not disgusting to drink at all. It has a unique taste all it's own, similar but still different from yogurt and it's also a little bubbly. It's a powerful probiotic, "Kefir's active yeast and bacteria provide more nutritive value than yogurt by helping digest the foods that you eat and by keeping the colon environment clean and healthy. Because the curd size of kefir is smaller than yogurt, it is also easier to digest, which makes it a particularly excellent, nutritious food for babies, the elderly and people experiencing chronic fatigue and digestive disorders."[source probiotic.org] WOW. I want that oh wait I have that!!
Here's the cool thing about kefir, it reproduces itself and in time you'll have enough to share with friends.
Here's how it works--you get some grains of kefir from a friend and put them in milk. Let it sit for up to 3 days stirring daily, I actually just shake the jar to mix it up.
--beginning to strain--
Then I strain it, setting the strained kefir aside for making smoothies. What's left after straining are called grains, they look like this.
I measure back about most of the grains into the fermenting jar and set some of the grains aside in a jar covered with water to share with friends when I have enough saved up.
--back to the jar, all it needs is milk--
Making smoothies is of course easy, simply replace the yogurt you would usually use with strained kefir. I had to add a bit more sweetener to the smoothies for my kids. I loved it with just fruit and kefir, refreshing and delicious and good for me too.
Peace and Love--