On the whole I feel like my gut is quite healthy. Without going into too much details, all is well. I am ... gulp ... regular. But like the majority of us, I can suffer from time to time so I do my best to help my own body (body love) by always having at hand either some homemade kombucha (recipe here) or Kefir water (The Kefir Company Water Kefir).
This, alongside our day to day diet seems to do the trick but milk Kefir was new to me and after reading about it I was really keen to try it asap. There's also the bonus that homemade kombucha takes about 2 weeks to brew and milk Kefir is only 2 days.
What is Kefir? Simply put Kefir is a refreshing, slightly acidic fermented drink that is packed with fantastic vitamins, minerals and probiotics. It is usually made from Kefir grains. The Kefir Company Starter Cultures take living kefir grains and uses a natural process the transform them into a powder easy to use form. The grains still contain all the same properties and benefits as the original.
One of the many benefits of Kefir is its "cleansing" effect on the system. Regular use of Kefir can help relieve intestinal disorders and promote bowel movement, reduce flatulence therefore creating a healthier digestive system & gut flora and can alleviate symptoms of allergies and asthma and promote overall wellness.
Kefir contains beneficial yeasts and beneficial bacteria (including lactobacillus caucasus, kefyr) that live together in harmony. As a result of this symbiosis, Kefir works as a probiotic, a natural antibiotic.
NOTE: Water Kefir and Milk Kefir are very similar in the process, Milk Kefir will contain more live strains of probiotics compared to the water version. Water Kefir is a dairy free probiotic-rich beverage and can be flavored in many different ways.
From The Kefir Company:
Kefir does not only support the intestinal flora, it is also praised for its anti-inflammatory effect and provides strength and vitality. Kefir offers other benefits, such as a high biotin, vitamin B1 and B12 content. A biotin deficiency can lead to muscle ache, a dry skin and symptoms of depression. As Kefir contains biotin, using it can result in a softer and more supple skin. Vitamin B1 (thiamine) ensures that the nervous system functions optimally and that there is a good mental balance. In addition, Vitamin B12 stabilises the appetite and promotes the digestion of starch, sugar and alcohol. In short, Kefir is a food product that helps restore the internal ecology.
Because I am new to making MILK Kefir, my first recipe I made was plain. I had a vision of it being a bit complicated because I found making kombucha a tad difficult the first time. Making homemade milk Kefir using The Kefir Company Starter Cultures was so simple. All you need is room temperature organic milk, a 1L glass container and one of their little sachet. Mix, cover, leave for 48 hours and presto.
How to use milk Kefir: on its own, in smoothies, over fruits and granola, in homemade salad dressing, marinades & dips. Over cereal, granola and to replace buttermilk when baking or in pancakes.
For my part I have decided to simply sweeten my first batch with pureed mango and lime zest to balance the tanginess. Once I had the 1st batch, I kept 3 large tablespoons and added them to some milk and after 24 hours I had some more Kefir.
How to use water Kefir - take it on its own or flavour it with fresh fruits, coconut water, ginger and vanilla. Try and see what you prefer.
The same principle goes if you make water Kefir. It's really simple and with water Kefir I think the end result it very similar to kombucha to some extent. It's very refreshing.
I hope you enjoy it and let us know what you think!
In Health & Happiness