Friday, March 4, 2011

Why YES! I DO Make My Own Kefir...Thanks For Asking!

     How did you know? What gave it away? Was it the straggling brood of strapping young men following me down the grocery aisle that implied “bargain shopper” and gave you that “oh yeah, she makes her own Kefir” idea? Or maybe it was the thrift store finds that so elegantly drape my post 4 children mommy body. Hmmm? Was it that? Or do I just have that fabulous “She is obviously into nutrition, she must make her own Kefir” glow right? 
     Oh wait, you don’t even know what Kefir is? Well, have I got the scoop for you! First of all, I love it. In a shake, or pancakes, or basically anything I cannot taste it in. Yup, more about that later. Secondly, it is MUCH easier than it sounds. If you want to give me credit for work and thrifty-ness though, today I will take the points to compensate for... well... I’m not going to go there. And 4thly, check the nutrition information. This was SO good I had to skip a 3rd important reason and go STRAIGHT FOR THE THROAT! (Literally! Ha!)  According to http://www.kefir.net, the nutrition content goes something like this...


In addition to beneficial bacteria and yeast, kefir contains minerals and essential amino acids that help the body with healing and maintenance functions. The complete proteins in kefir are partially digested and therefore more easily utilized by the body. Tryptophan, one of the essential amino acids abundant in kefir, is well known for its relaxing effect on the nervous system. Because kefir also offers an abundance of calcium and magnesium, which are also important minerals for a healthy nervous system, kefir in the diet can have a particularly profound calming effect on the nerves.
Kefir’s ample supply of phosphorus, the second most abundant mineral in our bodies, helps utilize carbohydrates, fats, and proteins for cell growth, maintenance and energy.
Kefir is rich in Vitamin B12, B1, and Vitamin K. It is an excellent source of biotin, a B Vitamin which aids the body’s assimilation of other B Vitamins, such as folic acid, pantothenic acid, and B12. The numerous benefits of maintaining adequate B vitamin intake range from regulation of the kidneys, liver and nervous system to helping relieve skin disorders, boost energy and promote longevity.
Looks oh so delicious right?!


     Blah Blah Blah. The  basic concept of Kefir is that it is somewhat glorified yogurt. I have some Kefir “grains” that I store covered in milk, in a jar, in my fridge resting until I give them a good rinse and place them in another larger jar, cover again with the desired amount of milk, and let sit for the required period of time to essentially grow and ferment my own culture of sorts. This fun new little food was all courtesy of my mother in law, (who should honestly have the food blog as I get all kinds of healthy food stuff from her) but hey! It tastes much like yogurt/buttermilk but I personally just can’t handle much dairy to begin with. I recently in fact have sort of rediscovered how sensitive I am to lactose. Interestingly, although Kefir is often cultured in milk, it becomes much easier to digest as the milk proteins are broken down, and I can still handle it. Good to know right? 
     So how do you get your hand on this uber nutritious food stuff anyways? Check the link above, or give it a google. Don’t be shy. Just be sure to qualify your grains before you purchase, so they come from good stock. The history on Kefir is actually pretty cool too, but I will leave that for you to discover on your own. I am not a pro, but I will be happy to help anyone with their transition to homemade Kefir/yogurt whatever you want to call it. 
     And while your at it, Try these ideas for how and where to use it...
Add 1/2 c or so to your smoothie (check some of my delish recipe ideas, or create one of your own!)
Add some fresh/natural applesauce or pureed berries/fruit to some and make your own fruited yogurt (bet you’re wishing you had a Gary of your own by now ‘eh?!, oh and for those who don’t know, Gary is my super hot Blendtec Blender)
Try any baking recipe and substitute the milk for Kefir, it works just like buttermilk when baking, adding all kinds of nutritional benes. I like it in pancakes best. Works every time. Absolutely kid proof! (And hubby proof too!) Good Luck, and Good Eatin’!


     Buttermilk Pancakes
(Or Kefir. or yogurt, or combo of all the above)


3 c Buttermilk (kefir/yogurt/milk combo)
3 eggs
3/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/3 c sugar
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1 1/2 c flour (any combo white/wheat works well)


Mix extremely well (my sister in law throws it all in a blender, I just whisk the heck out of it). Heat a griddle, throw down some cooking spray before each load of pancakes as these are super sticky. A little butter and real maple syrup go a long way, so enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Alright, alright... I'll get my act together and actually try some of this...ummm.. stuff! Seriously, I've wanted to try it for awhile, just needed an extra kick of ambition!

    ReplyDelete

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