I have read and experienced the benefits of Whey a byproduct from our mozzarella cheesemaking classes. Having conquered the whey I was ready to embark on another product for a healthier lifestyle. I was contacted by someone locally about a product called Kefir. Having no idea what she was talking about I was on the “hunt” for information. First, I would like to share a first hand account about Kefir from Bootsie Battle a Goochland, VA local.
Something old, something new – About 2 1/2 yrs ago, a friend came to my door with a cup. In it were pieces of cauliflower floating in milk. Second look, I am not sure what she had. I had asker her, “What is it?” Her reply was “Kefir and it’s good for you. I want to share this with you, go look it up on www. You should do this today as this may die. I am sharing this with you to keep alive. I may need a daughter one day.”
Leaving me alone with this questionable thing, I decided to put it in the fridge. I did not want to kill this thing the first day it came into my life. Off for some time with the www. Kifer? Kefir? Kifur? How do you spell it? Many thanks to the web for saving the day. Kefir, where should I go? The first one told how the husband prepared the kefir while the wife was making dinner. For sure, this is not going to happen. Let’s try another, Dom’s Kefir, this is a keeper. The history, a must read, how to keep it, ways to use kefir. So much information, I had to pick my swelling head up from the keyboard. Heading to the fridge to get my daughter (aka kefir grains), I stopped to think about this gift in a cup. Kefir has such a history, has been used for keeping milk over a 1000 years. This was how the herdsmen kept their mil fresh in the mountains many years ago. WHOW — to have something so old, so wonderful and so good living in my home.
Let’s get started, located the stainless strainer, clean jars and fresh milk. I strained the kefir grains from the milk and put in a clean half-gallon jar. Your container should not be more than 3/4′s full. The kefir may bubble over if the jar is too full. This being my first experience I took all precautions not to have to clean the counter and floor. I put 2 cups of milk in the jar covered with cheesecloth. Now for a dark,cool place. I have a pantry which stays about 55 degrees year round. Placed my daughter in the pantry, secured the cheesecloth with a rubber band. She is going to grow, the milk will change and I will have this miracle healer. Sounds like a tv commercial. Here goes nothing, good luck. Remembering all the purchases from the commercials did not work, I was sure this is a goner.
The next morning, I carefully opened the pantry door, if it worked was kefir going to be running all over everything? It was okay and I was not sure if it had done anything. I decided to leave this for another 24 hours. I checked on the kefir during the day and shook the jar per the directions. The next morning to my surprise, I had a milk product that was thick, creamy, looked like yogurt and was lost in the huge jar. As I sit looking at this thing I wanted to taste but decided to smell. I thought maybe buttermilk. I strained my keifr, put the daughter in fresh milk and returned her to the pantry. Looking at this liquid, I was questioning if my friend was doing me in or if she was opening the door to better living. So I tasted it, good, slightly acidic, had a pleasant after taste and I liked it.
Today, when a recipe calls for milk, buttermilk or yogurt I use kefir. I cook and bake with the milk. Add the kefir grains and milk to the chicken feed, the water used to clean jars and utensils to water plants and the garden. I have something old, my kefir grains. The responsibility I feel is huge. I know I must do everything I can to keep my daughter alive and well. By the way, a few months back, She who came with the cup called. I have lost my kefir, do you have a daughter to share. YES, I do.
The information above was shared by Bootsie as well as a gift of Kefir grains this past week. It is her personal story on how she came to acquire kefir grains. She is correct when she says the amount on information on www is so extensive it will blow your mind. An easy way to sum up – Kefir is a grain that changes the properties of milk providing you with beneficial enzymes. The byproduct can be added into smoothies, fruits and dips and even made into a dressing. Just because it is good for you doesn’t mean it has to taste awful. I found a great website that sells kefir grains and also provides an on-line instructional video. Visit http://www.culturesforhealth.com/milk-kefir-grains.html for information on purchasing, viewing the video and receive a free e-book when you sign up for their newsletter.
I believe I will always be on the “hunt” for products that will help make my lifestyle a little healthier. I hope that the information that I have shared is beneficial to you and I hope that you have the opportunity to make a friend like I have with Bootsie Battle. She has started a blog as well titled “Happy Hallow” and can be found on our blog roll. Stop by and tell her hello.