Kefir is prepared using a combination of good bacteria and yeast that interact with milk/other drinkable liquids to form a slightly fermented drink with nutrients and probiotics. This drink is efficient in improving your immune and digestive systems, as well as alleviating many health issues that may arise from the lack of nutrition in your body. Aside from being a probiotic-rich food that provides bioactive compounds to your body, it also boasts of quite a number of functions such as helping fight tumors, harmful bacteria and carcinogens. Kefir is a favorite drink, for many, if prepared correctly; and hopefully it will be yours after reading this article.
With an extensive review of the benefits and preparation process of this drink, this article is meant to provide you with information on kefir that will enable you to not only enjoy a sensational beverage but also boost your health. Here are some of the benefits of including kefir to your diet.
- Boost your Immunity
- Potentially Fight’s Cancer
- Strengthens Bones
- Supports your Digestive System and Combats IBS
- Improves Skin Health
- Improves Symptoms of Allergies and Asthma
- Improves Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance
- Rich Source of Vitamins
- Antibiotic and Antifungal Properties
- Rich Nutrient Source
- Rich Probiotics Source
- Acts as an Anti-Inflammatory
- Reduces Candida Issues
- Lowers Diabetic Risk
- Improves Cognitive Function with the Possibility of Reversing Dementia
- Maintains Cardiovascular Health
- Dissolves Gall Bladder Stones
- Lowers Body Weight
- Supports Detoxification
- Hastens Healing Bruises and Wounds
- Fights the Effects of Aging
- Helps Preserve Food
- May Treat Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms
- Prevents Liver Disease
- Easy to Make at Home
- How to Make Milk Kefir
- How to Make Water Kefir
- How to Make Coconut Kefir
- How to Make an Orange Smoothie Kefir
- How to Make Soy Milk Kefir
- Frequently Asked Questions
Boost your Immunity
The immune system’s primary function is to protect you from being sick; by fighting any harmful bacteria and viruses among others that may damage your body through disease and infections. Courtesy of the probiotics, good bacteria content contained in a glass of kefir helps your body fight infection, indigestion and other physiological disorders as you will continue to realize within this read. Large amounts of probiotics content, including a special one specific to kefir known as Lactobacillas Kefiri, ensures that the body’s defense system against harmful bacteria is strengthened.
Kefir has many beneficial compounds and nutrients such as biotin, folate and the kefiran polysaccharide which work to protect your immunity. For instance, the Lactobacillas Kefiri compound is quite helpful in the effective annihilation of harmful bacteria such as E. Coli and salmonella. Whereas the insoluble polysaccharide kefiran has been utile in the antimicrobial fight against candida, not to mention its ability to lower blood pressure.
Potentially Fight’s Cancer
Cancer is among the leading causes of death around the world which entails, an uncontrolled growth of malignant mutated cells developing within a part of the human body. What you may not have known is that probiotic content from fermented products possess the potential of inhibiting the metastasis of a tumor by reducing the formation of carcinogenic compounds alongside stimulating the immune system.
Note that kefir’s ability to fight cancer has only been proven in test-tube experiments and thus no living human has had to experience the cancer healing ability of this healthy beverage. Through the vitro-tests it was established that the probiotic compounds within this natural drink slows the growth and ultimately destroys early tumors by enzymatically converting non-carcinogens to carcinogens.
A study on this aspect done on different dairy products showed that a kefir extract has the potential to diminish the number of human breast cancer cells by 56%, relative to the 14% yoghurt's extract
1.5 million, that’s the recorded number of fractures experienced by the over 200 million people affected by osteoporosis all over the world. Osteoporosis is a condition characterized by low bone mass which consequently leads to the degeneration in the structure of the bone tissue. That condition resultantly leads to brittle bones making you more susceptible to experiencing fractures. To mitigate this risk you are advised to consume a calcium rich diet, since it is the only nutrient that helps prevent osteoporosis.
Most people believe that by including milk in your diet, you are guaranteed strong and healthy bones. What if I told you that regular milk is not enough to achieve this result? One glass of milk and one glass of kefir may contain the same amount of calcium but not the same amount of Vitamin K2. Not to mention other biotic compounds that help absorb calcium into the body to prevent bone degeneration. Kefir also contains other nutrients essential in the improving of bone density, which include phosphorus, magnesium, and Vitamin D. The Vitamin K2 content in a glass of milk relative to a glass kefir is what therefore makes the difference in the bone strengthening abilities of these healthy drinks. That is because kefir is prepared with full-fat milk which in this case boasts of more Vitamin K content.
Supports your Digestive System and Combats IBS
The probiotic content in a kefir drink is quite utile in the restoration of the delicate balance of friendly bacteria such as lactic acid bacteria in the digestive tract, which is achieved by altering the microbiota in this region. This makes drinking kefir quite effective in the alleviation of the many digestive problems including treating the different versions of diarrhea and gastro intestinal diseases.
Taking antibiotics to deal with harmful bacteria can make it harder for your immune system to fight pathogens off, which is a factor that makes kefir quite appealing after taking antibiotics. That is because the probiotic compounds found in the beverage boost your immunity enabling it to be effectively restored to fight off pathogens. The probiotics also assist in the restoration of balance of healthy mucosa and flora in the gut to improve digestion.
Aside from the diarrhea, the yeast found in kefir is also utile in the treatment of other common digestive complications such as irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers, Crohn’s and inflammatory bowel disease.
Improves Skin Health
Everybody wants soft supple skin, you know you do, and a glass of kefir a day can make that wish come true for you. It possesses skin lightening capabilities, in case you need to cover the appearance of birthmarks, lentigo, vitiligo or moles to match the surround area.
Kefir contains lactic acid as part of the friendly bacteria probiotic compounds. This good bacteria inhibits the growth of bad bacteria on your skin, which are responsible for acne. The lactic acid peptides and whey which are also contained in a kefir drink gives this beverage skin lightening capability.
The imbalance of bacteria in the gut could send signals to the skin that disrupt the natural balance of good bacteria on it causing all sorts of skin problems including; skin rashes, eczema, psoriasis, and acne. But lucky for us all, kefir introduces good bacteria into your system which levels out the homeostatic status of your skin to deal with these sort of problems. Kefiran which is a carbohydrate compound found within kefir has been proven to improve the quality of your skin wound and burn healing, making it quite the health beverage for the betterment of your largest organ.
Improves Symptoms of Allergies and Asthma
An allergic reaction is an inflammatory response to environmental substances that others would consider rather harmless. People with an oversensitive immune system are prone to allergies which if constantly experienced could culminate into a condition known as asthma.
A test conducted in animals showed that kefir significantly suppressed inflammatory markers of T-helpers cells, IgE Immunoglobulins, and interleukin to create an anti-inflammatory effect. That means that kefir possesses the components necessary to reduce inflammatory cells that disrupt normal physiological functioning, which therefore, suppresses inflammatory responses related to allergy and asthma.
The allergy and asthma suppression quality is made possible by the live micro-organisms present in kefir that assist in the promotion of your immune system so that allergic reactions are naturally suppressed and the body’s response to systematic outbreak points for the allergies are conveniently aided.
Some scientists have a theory that allergic reactions are as a result of lack of good bacteria in the gut. Well, if they are right then you now know which healthy beverage could give you the good bacteria that you need to alleviate your allergy and asthma issues.
Improves Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance
People diagnosed with lactose intolerance experience adverse bodily reactions since they are unable to properly break down and digest a special milk sugar known as lactose. That is because this is the key milk sugar that is active during its digestion.
Nonetheless, kefir contains a large range of bacterial strains and nutrients some of which are only contained in this special drink which become utile in the breaking down of lactose into lactic acid. The active ingredients in kefir act by predigesting the lactose content of milk breaking it down to lactic acid making it well tolerated among lactose intolerant individuals. Kefir even has enzymes that can further assist your body process the milk sugars. You should, however, approach with caution to avoid any unforeseen eventualities. And by the expression, ‘with caution’ I mean a systematic procedure of introducing or reintroducing your body to dairy products.
Kefir can also be made 100% lactose free by using non-dairy products such as coconut water or fruit juice, which is also an option if you are lactose intolerant interested in enjoying the taste and health benefits of kefir without having to face the risk.
Rich Source of Vitamins
Kefir is known to contain high contents of vitamins K2 and B12, both of which play essential roles in the maintenance and improvement of our physiological and psychological health.
Vitamin B12 to begin with performs a fundamental function in the maintenance of brain health. Research conducted by scientists showed that Alzheimer’s patients have relatively low amounts of B12 compared to individuals within the same age. It is also quite utile in the prevention of nerve damage from toxins and free radicals from within your blood. Other health effective functions achieved by this vitamin include; protection of your cardiovascular system and supports energy creation.
Vitamin K2 from a glass of kefir, on the other hand, is well known for its role in improving your bone density. This enhances bone health; consequently mitigating and preventing osteoporosis. Kefir is a key drink that promotes the welfare of the heart by preventing the depositing of calcium in the arteries. It is also utile in other health aspects such as improving your oral health, decreasing inflammation, promoting your brain health, helps with varicose veins and to alleviate the risk of certain cancers such as prostate cancer.
Antibiotic and Antifungal Properties
Our natural environment exposes us to numerous biotic and fungal threats every day from literally everywhere that range from environmental pollution, bad lifestyle choices, processed foods just to name a few.
Even though artificial antibiotics fight out infection-causing bacteria, they sometimes wipe out friendly bacteria in their wake. This factor resultantly leads to the imbalance of good and bad bacteria content in the gut leading to the possible overgrowth of unhealthy bacteria and yeast in the gut. Fortunately for us, some of the kefir good bacteria such as Lactobacillus kefiri fights infection with research showing its ability to slow the growth of harmful bacteria such as E. Coli, Salmonella, Pylori, and Helicobacter all of which can lead to food poisoning.
The probiotic nature of this natural drink which entails microbial species such as lactic acid bacteria, yeast, and acetic bacteria enables their function as anti-biotic and anti-fungal organisms with the purpose of protecting your body from infection. The good bacteria that I have mentioned so many times above fight other bad bacteria and fungi, as well as boosts your immune system so that bad bacteria and fungi do not stand a chance in their attempt to take over and infect your body with disease. Simply put kefir keeps you healthy despite the inevitable health risks that you face every day.
Rich Nutrient Source
Kefir is originally a fermented milk product that entails the addition of kefir grains to achieve the desired taste. Kefir grains contain cultures of yeast and lactic acid bacteria that multiply as micro-organisms in the kefir grain to ferment the sugars in milk to turn it into the natural drink that is kefir. I used the term originally because despite its original preparation method there are other kefir drinks that do not involve the use of milk (coconut kefir, water kefir, fruit juice kefir).
The nutrient content found in the finished product of this natural beverage depend on the type of drink (milk or other), or the source of the milk in use (cow, sheep, goat). However, even on the range of nutrient values kefir is able to provide you with superior nutrition. Take for instance the following nutrient profile from a standard cup of store bought whole milk kefir;
- 12 grams of carbohydrates
- 160 calories
- 8 grams of fat
- 10 grams of protein
- 300 milligrams of calcium (30% DV)
- 100 IU vitamin D (25% DV)
- 500 IU Vitamin A (10% DV)
Nutrient profile for a 6 oz (175) portion of milk kefir;
- Calcium 20% of RDA
- Riboflavin (B2) 19% of RDA
- Magnesium 5% of RDA
- Carbohydrates 7 grams
- Calories 104 kcal
- Fat 6 grams (60% saturated)
- Protein 6 grams
- Phosphorus 20% of RDA
- Vitamin B12 14% of RDA
Note that kefir drinks prepared using non-dairy liquids will not provide you with some nutrients such as calcium and magnesium that are specifically found in milk. The kefir grains, however, add bioactive enzymes, microbes and amino acids to the finished beverage, dairy or not.
Rich Probiotics Source
Probiotics are microorganisms with beneficial health effects when ingested, commonly referred to as good bacteria. These microorganisms possess the ability to positively influence your health in numerous ways, including, digestion, cardiovascular, neurological and even weight management. The health benefits brought about by the probiotic consumption through a cup of kefir are all over this article but just to recap;
- Improves skin health
- Improves immunity
- Lowers blood pressure
- Reduces inflammation
- Enhances bone strength
- Reduces allergic reaction risks
- Weight management
- Improves digestion
- Enables detoxification
And those are just the common ones among the many in existence.
Yoghurt is a common food that contains live active cultures, thus they do contain probiotics. And despite yogurt being the more commonly consumed beverage among the two, it would be a mistake to compare its probiotic content to kefir’s.
Kefir has over 40 strains of good bacteria which is way more than what yoghurt has. Not to mention, yoghurt does not have yeast which provides additional amino acids and vitamins, whereas kefir does. Now that should make you to start reconsidering your favorite beverage choice, especially if it is yoghurt.
Acts as an Anti-Inflammatory
An inflammation is part of the body’s immune system response whereby when you experience physical injury or infection it triggers a number of physical reactions such as pain, swelling, immobility, redness or heat on the affected region. It acts as a healing mechanism by the immune system which can be quite uncomfortable most of if not all the time. Without inflammation, infectious, wounds would never heal yet the process can at times even excruciating.
However, inflammations can sometimes persist for longer than required, causing more you harm in the process. And that is where kefir probiotics and nutrients come in handy. The nutrient and rich probiotic content of the natural beverage help boost the immune system that is responsible for the inflammation thus enhancing the healing process to restore your health and alleviate the uncomfortable sensation.
Reduces Candida Issues
Candida is the most commonly experienced yeast infection found in the mouth, intestinal tract, skin, female genitalia and other mucous membranes. It is characterized by symptoms such as;
- Mood disorders
- Chronic fatigue
- Oral thrush
- Recurring vaginal urinary tract infections
- Sinus infections
- Intestinal distress
- Hormonal imbalance
- Brain fog
None of these symptoms sound any pleasant, yet they are experienced more commonly than you would think.
Candida is a fungus that is produced within our bodies to aid with nutrient absorption and digestion when generated in proper levels. When it is overproduced due to some internal causes, there becomes an imbalance in fungi content within your intestinal tract. This imbalance creates candida symptoms within your digestive tract, which if left unchecked could breakdown the walls of the intestinal lining to penetrate into your blood stream spreading the above mentioned symptoms to the above mentioned regions.
But you can alleviate all this with a regular cup of kefir, now that it contains probiotics that entail friendly bacteria and yeast that restores balance of fungi within your intestinal tract.
Lowers Diabetic Risk
In the kefir preparation process the kefir grains break down the sugars contained in the liquid used (milk or other) to achieve the fermentation effect. Fermented sugar is turned to kefir and hence the kefir beverage. For those suffering from diabetes and blood sugar diseases, you can still enjoy a tasty beverage like a glass of kefir fruit juice without fear of fluctuating blood sugar levels.
Improves Cognitive Function with the Possibility of Reversing Dementia
Kefir also positively affects the physiological components of the brain to ultimately influence a positive psychological function.
A study conducted on animals testing the retention of spatial training on rats showed that “Oral administration of kefir can improve spatial learning and consolidation of memory in a rat.” Another study conducted also on rats deciphered that the acetic acid bacteria which is a component in the kefir probiotic structure, contain alkali-stable lipids (ASL). The ASL was found to possibly be able to reverse cognitive decline associated with dementia.
Despite the lack of evidence based on research from a human subject these result seem quite promising, making this wonder an all-round healing beverage.
Maintains Cardiovascular Health
Yes, even the heart is not left behind in kefir’s list of health improvement beneficiaries. Given the heart’s delicacy yet importance we are obligated to seek every relevant information we get our hands on how to keep it beating.
The good news is that it has been established that an often intake of probiotics has the potential to enhance your heart’s health. A study conducted by the International Journal of Cardiology showed that when patients suffering from congestive heart failure ingested saccharomyces boulardii, which is a probiotic their heart conditions improved. Well, it is a good thing kefir is probiotic rich.
Vitamin K2 which is a known compound among the many kefir nutrients has a special correlation with the reduction of heart disease. According to research every 10 micrograms of K2 consumed reduces the risk of heart disease by 9%. This is achieved by preventing the calcium build up that is deposited in the arteries.
Dissolves Gall Bladder Stones
Gall bladder stones also known as gallstones entails a crystalline formation of calcium and cholesterol accumulated within the gall bladder and biliary tracts. They can vary in size with the larger ones forming up to the size of a golf ball, which is quite risky to your health. Gallstones are usually seen as an incomplete liver detoxification process.
However, with a regular cup of kefir you should be well on your way to curing this condition. The probiotic nature of the good beverage provides friendly bacteria that work to dissolve these harmful stones.
Lowers Body Weight
You may have tried it all, from diet pills, weight loss programs to an intense exercise routine that you end up abandoning midway, all in an unsuccessful attempt to lose weight. What if I told you that kefir has diverse strains of bacteria that work distinctly to achieve a similar result that is to reduce your weight and body fat? Well, it does and here they are:
- Lactobacillus gasseri; which increases the size of the molecules so that you absorb less fat from your meals. Ingesting this bacteria strain enables reduction of BMI, abdominal visceral fat and ultimately weight.
- Lactobacillus paracasei; which increases the levels of circulating ANGPTL4, which is a protein serum hormone that regulates fat burning thus reducing fat storage.
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus; which helps your body release leptin that is the obesity hormone. Its results have seen more in women.
- Lactobacillus amylovorus and Lactobacillus fermentum; which are fast workers in the weight reduction department, having reduced 34% of the body fat in 6 weeks for individuals that used them.
With these results in weight loss I think it is safe to say that kefir also significantly reduces the risk of getting obese.
Throughout our lifetime we move around ingesting toxins into our body systems from our environments, from our food and even from the cosmetic products that we use. With time these toxins accumulate and consequently pose a threat to our health. It is for this reason that once in a while you would consider going through a detoxification process, some of which are not so pleasant whereas others you are just not certain that they worked.
Kefir has, however, been proven and used in the detoxification of the body, being particularly effective against aflatoxins. Aflatoxins are common toxins that develop in our foods making them (toxins) hard to pass. They spread through mold and contaminate corn, wheat, soy and groundnuts, which can be carried through to peanut butter, especially if it was initially roasted during processing. Aflatoxins also contaminate vegetable oils cotton seed, canola oil and soybeans.
The lactic acid contained in kefir enables it to bind thus kill the aflatoxins as well as other fungi that you may have consumed by ingesting contaminated food.
Hastens Healing Bruises and Wounds
You are already aware of kefir’s anti-inflammatory, probiotic and anti-microbial properties. Well, this combination of benefits work quite efficiently in helping the body quicken the healing process required for a wound or bruise.
Sometimes your healing process may take longer than required, which is usually due to disruptions in the microbial communities present in the human physiology. The probiotic content found in kefir in this case functions to normalize these disruptions to restore a healthy balance of bacteria within your body to facilitate swift healing.
Fights the Effects of Aging
We all want to age gracefully, because not doing so beats the purpose of living a lengthy life. However, the unfortunate fact is that old age is accompanied by some age related diseases including cancer and dementia, which are linked to damage from oxidative stress.
Fortunately for us there are high antioxidants contained in milk and soy milk kefir, making it quite utile in preventing the mutagenic and oxidative damage that comes with old age. That therefore means that you can avoid age related diseases that includes, cancer, osteoporosis, arthritis, type 2 diabetes and dementia just to name a few so that you may enjoy a long graceful life.
Helps Preserve Food
Fermenting food is known to prevent the growth of harmful illness-causing bacteria. The presence of good bacteria disrupts the dominating endeavors of the bad bacteria. This might not have a direct health benefit to your body but, it is a health benefit to eat well preserved food. Which is why fermentation has been used for years in the preservation foods being a natural and healthy way to make sure your food lasts longer.
May Treat Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms
Anxiety, depression, cognitive issues, these are the major symptoms that you may have experienced as a person trying to quit smoking. These are among others are what I call withdrawal symptoms experienced by nicotine quitters. I admit they do not sound pleasant at all which explains why you would fall off the wagon in your journey to getting clean and better health.
Promising animal trials have proven kefir intake can help alleviate anxiety, cognitive impairment, and depression, which can be quite helpful when incorporated in your diet as a nicotine withdrawal patient.
Prevents Liver Disease
Fatty liver diseases is a common liver disease that is experienced in different versions depending on the cause. One is when the liver contains an excessive amount of fat stored within. Also excessive consumption of alcohol leads to a certain version of fatty liver disease known as alcoholic liver disease. Whichever the version is they all pose a fatal risk to you, which fortunately can be alleviated by a regular cup of kefir.
Research conducted on mice during an eight week period by researchers from the Da-Yeh and National Chung Hsing Universities in Taiwan concluded that chemicals found in kefir help prevent fatty liver disease. The two groups of mice used in the study exhibited distinct results after the eight week period of ingesting high fructose syrup. Whereby the mice that got the kefir compound showed reduced levels of fatty liver disease whereas the other group that had water instead showed full blown fatty liver disease.
Easy to Make at Home
This benefit may not be health based but it is amazing. Amazing to imagine that a drink so tasty (as you will soon realize if you have not already) and so rich could simply be prepared within the confines of your home You can get some kefir from health food stores or online, and with the right drink of choice dairy or non-dairy you can prepare one of the healthiest and tastiest beverages you may ever come across.
How to Make Milk Kefir
This is the main method for preparing Kefir which is suitable for any type of milk including milk from cows, goats and even sheep.
2 cups of milk either cow, goat or sheep milk
2 tablespoons of kefir grains
You will also need
A clean jar, preferably a glass jar
A Clean sealing cloth
A stirring spoon, either wooden or even plastic
- Pour the kefir grains into a clean jar
- Fill the jar with the two cups of milk but ensure that there is some space at the top to avoid a eureka effect
- Use the wooden or plastic spoon to stir the milk and grain. Seal the jar using a clean cloth which is meant to aerate the mixture during the fermentation process.
- Let the mixture ferment for a minimum of 24 hours but it is advisable to leave it for a couple more hours if possible.
- Although the mixture should be left to ferment for a couple of days, you can uncover it to stir and reassure it using a wooden spoon.
- Also, you will have to use your taste buds and even eyesight to ascertain whether this mixture has thickened after the 24-hour period is over. It is also at this period where you can separate the milk from the grains.
- Never throw away or smash the kefir grains as they can still be reused. For proper storage, keep the kefir grain in a clean fermenting jar.
- Refrigerate the ready to drink kefir milk and wait for it to chill as it is tastier that way.
- The milk Kefir is ready to serve.
Contamination is highly likely with this recipe unless you use part two of step number three as is. Avoid ultra-pasteurized or UHT milk when using cow milk since they are not your best bet unlike natural unprocessed farm milk. It is also worth noting that the process of biosynthesis that creates folic acid and vitamin B is enhanced by lengthening the fermentation process in this recipe.
How to Make Water Kefir
If you would love a rather diverse and affordable kefir drink, maybe you are lactose intolerant or you just do not like the taste of milk kefir, then this recipe is for you need. Water forms part of the non-dairy kefir drinks.
1/3 kefir grains of a medium sized cup
1/3 sugar of a medium sized cup
6 cups of filtered unchlorinated water
Lemon extract for flavor enhancement
You will also need
A valid source of heat
A measuring cup
A glass cup or jar
- Mix one cup of water and sugar inside a cooking pot.
- Slightly heat the water and sugar mixture for a short while to make sure the sugar is entirely dissolved.
- You can lose the heat once you are certain that the mixture has dissolved under the right temperature build up. Make sure that the temperature does not, however, reach boiling point.
- Add three more servings or cups of water into the mixture and then pour it into a different glass jar.
- Then add 2 other cups of water followed by your kefir grains into the glass jar.
- Seal the glass jar tightly with a solid lid.
- Leave the mixture for a period of twenty four hours minimum.
- After the minimum period check to see if the mixture has soured and thickened. After which you strain the water kefir to separate it from the kefir grains. The strainer you use for this separation must be plastic with no traces of metal (not even by its frame).
- Add the lemon extract to the mixture as a flavor enhancement to your kefir drink.
Water kefir is not only great a option for avoiding dairy kefir but also entails great versatility that allows it to blend into numerous other recipes.
How to Make Coconut Kefir
For those who would like a tasty change from dairy the coconut milk kefir is one drink that will take your taste buds for an adventure.
In this case you can use homemade coconut milk or the canned type as long as the brand you choose does not have additives and sweeteners. Additives and sweeteners can be hard on kefir grains.
1⁄4 cup of bewatered kefir grains
1 quart of coconut milk
1⁄4 cup of organic sugar
You will also need
Plastic or wooden stirring rod or spoon
Plastic lid, ferment cap, or clean cloth
- Add the coconut water into the glass jar.
- Then add sugar into the glass jar and stir thoroughly to dissolve the sugar to form the initial mixture.
- The sweet coconut milk mixture then is to be further mixed with kefir grains, then cover the mixture using either a plastic lid, cloth seal or fermentation cap.
- Let the mixture sit for a minimum period of 24 and a maximum of 72 hours. Any time further would lead to the disintegration of the kefir grains within the mixture. Trust me you do not want that.
- You will have to wait for 48 hours before you can separate the grains from the coconut kefir.
- Add a flavor such as lemon or vanilla extract to enhance your coconut kefir’s taste. This is, however, optional.
Sugar as an ingredient in this recipe is optional based on preference, if you would rather not have it you can still enjoy your coconut kefir drink. In fact the fermentation process for an unsweetened coconut kefir is significantly lower by 24 hours.
How to Make an Orange Smoothie Kefir
You can now enjoy a cultured creamy orange flavored kefir smoothie so long as you are willing to make it. Here is how;
1 cup of orange cream perfect 12 kefir
1⁄4 cup of peeled orange segments
1 frozen, medium sized banana, sliced
Frozen kefir ice balls
Extra orange slices
You will also need
A high powered blender
- Put all the ingredients (apart from the kefir ice balls and extra orange slices) into the pitcher of a high powered-blender.
- Blend on high until the mixture smoothens out into the desired texture.
- Pour the blended mixture into a glass and garnish with the extra orange slices and frozen kefir ice balls.
You can make the kefir ice balls by freezing orange slices and kefir in a round ice cube mold.
How to Make Soy Milk Kefir
Soymilk is another viable vegan option to enjoy a kefir drink, which can be prepared with little or no dairy milk content. The plant based drink is quite nutritious, and becomes even more so once you introduce kefir grains to it. Here are its simple recipes for your preferential tastes:
Milk kefir grain method
1 table spoon of hydrated milk kefir grains
2 cups of sweetened original soy milk
Water kefir method
1⁄4 cup of water kefir
2 cups of sweetened original soy milk
Wooden or plastic stirring spoon
A large bowl
Milk Kefir Grain Method
- Place the hydrated milk kefir grains in a glass jar and add soy milk.
- Stir the mixture gently then cover it with either a plastic lid, paper filter or a cheesecloth.
- Keep the jar at room temperature between 72-78 Fahrenheit, for a period of 24 hours to ferment.
- After a period within this time frame you will observe a clear liquid forming at the bottom of the jar which is soy kefir whey, with thickened curd floating on top.
- Stir the mixture to combine the floating curd with the sunken whey and let it ferment through the 24 hour period.
- After the 24 hours period place the plastic strainer over a bowl, then use a wooden or plastic spoon to work the kefir gently through the strainer.
- You should save the kefir grains to repeat the steps either at that moment or in future.
- If in future then you will need to transfer the milk kefir grains back to dairy milk to revitalize.
- If the jar is kept at room temperature for a longer period, the soy kefir becomes tangier due to the lengthened fermentation process which produces more acid.
Water Kefir Method
- Add and mix water kefir with soy milk in a clean glass jar.
- Seal the mixture tightly with a plastic lid and keep the jar at room temperature between 72-78 Fahrenheit to ferment over a period of 24 hours.
- Serve in a glass and enjoy.
The soy curd’s separation to the soy whey can be useful if you scooped the floating curd and used it as soy cream. You can then refrigerate the remaining soy milk.
In conclusion in case you did not have enough reasons to try this delightfully effervescent yogurt like drink, you just got served with 25 amazing ones and recipes to help you make it yourself. With the immense health benefits including; boosted immunity, enhancing bone density, improved cognitive function, improved skin health, fight cancer and so on, everyone should want to have a drink of this wonder beverage. And a lot of people over the years have taken the initiative to improve their health. I for one am glad that I did, because it has helped me improve the quality of my life, boosting my confidence because I look good and feel better.
I am not the only one because kefir is quickly becoming a worldwide phenomenon given that based on its sales in the United States alone by lifeway (which accounts for 97% of all of kefir sales within the U.S), there has been a record growth from $58 million in 2009 to over $130 million in 2014.
Join the health train today and enjoy tremendous health benefits and an improved quality of life, with reduced visits to the doctor and increased quality time with your friends and family. It is however, important to note that when it comes to purchasing kefir grains quality beats volume. You will be able to reuse the same kefir grains from time to time so the better the quality the longer they will last.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions for those whose inquiries may not have been answered within the article:
Question: how much kefir water/milk am I expected to drink?
1-2 cups of either water or milk kefir should be enough on a daily basis. If taking a cup on a daily basis seems to be difficult for you, you can start small and work your way up the ladder of ultimate health.
For some individuals taking the drink regularly is made hard by the heaviness of the milk content in the milk kefir. You can always switch to water if you have never tried it, which is lighter but with almost the same probiotic and nutritional benefits.
Question: how best can I store kefir grains?
Being that kefir grains are re-usable to an infinite number of times depending on the quality and their use, there is the need to store them properly.
To do so you begin by rinsing them with un-chlorinated water. Then you dry them by placing them on a piece of unbleached parchment paper, and leave them for a period of 3-5 days for standard climate. In a humid region you may need more days.
Once the grains are dry you can transfer them to a sealed glass jar or an airtight plastic bag. You can add a bit of dry milk powder to cover them. Then finally put the sealed glass jar or airtight bag in the freezer.
Question: how long do kefir grains last?
This depends on their active use. That is if they are stored in the freezer for most of their time they are bound to last for a couple of months. Whereas, if you are actively feeding and straining them every 24 hours then they can last indefinitely.
Question: why do I experience side effects when I drink kefir?
This experience is felt due to either of two possibilities;
- You may be lactose intolerant or have an allergic reaction to milk yet ingesting the lactose and milk present in milk kefir. Despite kefir function in alleviating the side effects of such conditions, it becomes hard for it to do so if you introduce or re-introduce the milk to your body in large quantities. You can opt for a gradual approach in the introduction of milk kefir to your body by starting to ingest smaller amounts. You can also take up consumption of the other varieties of non-dairy kefir drinks such as soy milk, coconut and water kefirs.
- Other side effects that you may experience include loose stools, headaches, bloating queasiness, or a general discomfort within the digestive tract. These side effects as much as they feel uncomfortable are nothing to worry about. That is because they indicate the healthy bacteria getting rid of the bad bacteria in your gut to create a healthy balance. Once your body adjusts to the changes in healthier gut flora, these side effects will reduce and ultimately be alleviated.
Question: how can I revive kefir grains?
When the kefir grains face conditions such as contamination, nutritional depravation or overcrowding, they tend to develop issues. Issues such as, getting slimy or syrupy, shrinking developing a white film or they develop an odd smell. These are indications that your grains are on the verge of dying. The good news is that, with the following steps you can revive them to their normal productivity and health;
- Start by rinsing the grains with un-chlorinated water. You can do this inside a shallow bowl of water with the aid of a plastic strainer.
- Slightly brush them around using your fingers to remove the yeast and other possible contaminants on the skin of the grain.
- Then get a glass jar and put sugar water inside, where the sugar is fully dissolved in the water (you can heat the water a little to ensure dissolution then cool it).
- Next you add some minerals to the sugar water. Options of what you may use include unrefined sea salt, baking soda, unsulfured blackstrap molasses or liquid mineral supplements.
- Add the kefir to the jar and cover it.
- Put the mixture in the fridge for a period of 1-2 weeks to allow the kefir grains to nourish themselves.
- After the period has passed remove the jar from the fridge and separate the grains from the sugar water solution and put them in a new sugar water solution to see if the recovery was successful.
- If not, which is unlikely you can repeat the procedure a second even a third time, sometimes third time’s the charm.
Question: how much alcohol does a kefir drink have?
As expected in all cultured and fermented foods a small amount of alcohol will naturally occur in the finished product. However, the amount varies from batch to batch. All in all given the brewing period for a typical kefir drink the alcohol content is quite low, low enough to give it to your children.
Question: what does a kefir drink taste like?
The taste of a finished kefir drink varies greatly depending on the type of liquid used in the preparation process, plus the length of time it takes to culture the specific batch. However, the generalized taste to expect is a sour taste and an effervescent texture.
Question: how do I speed up my kefir drink forming process?
There are two factors that determine the speed of kefir formation which include, room temperature and ratio of grains to the liquid in preparation.
Question: why is it preferable that make my own kefir drinks?
Making your kefir drinks at home has a number of advantages including; affordability, high number of probiotic content and complete control over your ingredients just to mention a few.
In the case of milk kefir preparing a milk kefir drink from home allows you to use the raw, organic, non-homogenized home milk which produces plenty probiotic content rather than the commercial milk with relatively lower probiotic content. Commercial milk kefir grains are also culprit to relatively lower probiotics compared to homemade kefir grains.