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It's Kefir Time

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Post  llama momma on 1/12/2015, 5:11 pm

Well since I can't garden in the winter than I need to play around with new things in the kitchen. Got some dairy kefir grains and have learned that kefir made at home is far superior to anything bought in the store and at half the price. Commercially made kefir must be pasteurized so it kills most of the good bacteria (the good-for-your-gut bacteria is why people drink it in the first place!) and good yeast made in the process is not allowed to be sold. As I understand things I think its the yeast that gives off enough CO2 to blow off the lids.  Anyway I've started making and drinking this stuff since learning how our immune system is strongly related to having a good micro flora of high quality bacteria and good yeasts in the digestive system.  There is tons of info online. If anyone wants to talk kefir- I'm interested!
Here is what genuine dairy kefir grains look like. 
It's Kefir Time Unname11
The kefir I've made so far is unbelievably delicious.  I've yet to explore all the options for using this stuff but it ranges from drinking to eating it, make cheese with it, ice cream, pancakes, kefir-kraut, about 80 different ways to use it.  The grains multiply so theoretically what I have could outlive me.  I'm rather entertained and fascinated with this stuff.
Razz
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Post  CapeCoddess on 1/13/2015, 10:35 am

Looks like you have milk kefir.  I've been playing with water kefir for over a year now.  I LOVE it.  I've been bringing finished kefir in to work this winter.  Now my coworkers are interested in making it since they see how, as the colds & flus run rampant through the office, I remain unaffected or only have very slight symptoms for a day.

I tried making sour dough with it when we had that thread on the forum.  It  kept blowing up out of the bowl but made great pizza crust.  I'm mostly off grains at the moment so that particular experiment is on hold.  

The sauerkraut I made was done in 3 days. It didn't have the usual salty flavor but was fine at first.  I don't eat it fast so it started tasting funny after 10 days or so & ended up in the compost pile.  I guess smaller batches is the answer there.

Meanwhile, I've found that the I love mixing Traders Spiced Apple Cider & Traders Concord Grape Juice, as well as the juice that comes from the Traders Cherry jar, in with my finished kefir and leaving it sit for a day or 2.  Gets so fizzy and dry...like wine or champagne. What a Face  I also read that if I leaving it a bit longer it will get boozy.  I don't drink so I don't so that, but love drinking my finished kefirs out of wine glasses.  
bottoms up

My kefir go to website is:
http://www.yemoos.com/
It's absolutely loaded with info.

Happy brewing!
CC

PS The other winter thing I do is sprouting, but that's in another thread.   Fave is broccoli & radish mixed.
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Post  llama momma on 1/15/2015, 9:59 am

CC
The site you mentioned was very interesting and I read all of it.  Are you familiar with Dom's site out of Australia?  His site is the most detailed I've seen so far and he is comical at times too.  http://users.sa.chariot.net.au/~dna/Makekefir.html

Very glad to hear you are staying healthy because I've read the claims online re: virus protection from the people selling grains Rolling Eyes.     I'd rather hear an actual success story reported by a user like you.  After entertaining myself with dairy grains I want to try water grains.  There is so much to explore.  Ginger is mentioned too.  I could play all day long.

Yes, I'm using milk grains. It's from an organic dairy creamery here in Ohio. I am so surprised how fast the grains multiply.  I measured carefully and it grew by 12% in 6 days.  My geriatric cat with her diagnosed sensitive stomach issues I've read could benefit from up to a 1/2 teaspoon of kefir/day.  It would be pretty exciting if it  improves her digestive issues.  I've read all kinds of fancy claims about kefir so I am certainly wary but still, if it lowers my blood pressure over time then I will shout it from the roof tops and toss out the meds.  I'm making myself a guinea pig over the next 6 months or so and see what happens.

Due to blood pressure, I'm very interested in trying kefir kraut specifically for the non- salted results. When I use commercial sauerkraut I rinse it off to decrease the salt  then wonder how much of the probiotics are going down the drain too.

Haven't explored sprouting but I'd like to. Content for now to play with kefir recipes, sourdough starter/recipes, and spring veggie seed purchases/ bed planning.  And the new pressure canner purchased late last summer, one of my toys from farmers market sales still resides in the box  Shocked .
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Post  llama momma on 5/23/2015, 3:07 pm

CapeCoddess
I've had some really nice results with drinking dairy grain based kefir the past few months.  My cholesterol LDL (supposedly the lousy kind) dropped 30 points after 3 months of drinking this stuff.  And more recently my doctor has ok'd reducing by half, one of 2 prescribed blood pressure pills. This occurred over a period of just 5 months.
I haven't changed any lifestyle issues like weight or nutrition (other than the addition of kefir), so I'm tipping my garden hat to this potent probiotic.  Pleasantly pleased of course and still kinda scratching my head too!
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Post  CapeCoddess on 5/23/2015, 3:23 pm

@llama momma wrote:CapeCoddess
I've had some really nice results with drinking dairy grain based kefir the past few months.  My cholesterol LDL (supposedly the lousy kind) dropped 30 points after 3 months of drinking this stuff.  And more recently my doctor has ok'd reducing by half, one of 2 prescribed blood pressure pills. This occurred over a period of just 5 months.
I haven't changed any lifestyle issues like weight or nutrition (other than the addition of kefir), so I'm tipping my garden hat to this potent probiotic.  Pleasantly pleased of course and still kinda scratching my head too!
golly gee whiz
OMG! That is absolutely wonderful and amazing news, lm! Maybe someday you'll give water kefir a try. I've been making some amazing wine flavored cherry, ginger and grape ' wines'. The girls at the office love them and I noticed that we had a much healthier winter since they've been drinking the kefir.

Between that and our organic SFG veggies, we got it going on, girlfriend!
yahoo
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Post  llama momma on 5/23/2015, 3:54 pm

Back at you! You got that right girlfriend!  sfg smile   happy dance alrighta


I haven't gotten around to water kefir yet, let you know if I do and how it turns out.  Your recipes sound delicious. 
I'm really happy with creamsicle flavor, pumpkin, and a dynamite cinnamon vanilla flavored concoction.


Last edited by llama momma on 5/23/2015, 3:58 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : add last 2 lines)
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Post  CapeCoddess on 5/23/2015, 4:31 pm

Mmm...creamsicle. Have you tried it with any other milks besides dairy? Like almond or quinoa milks? I'm lactose intolerant and I would love to make creamsicle kefir.
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Post  llama momma on 5/23/2015, 4:39 pm

Have not tried other milks.  I've been using local grass fed, low pasteurized, non homogenized, organic whole dairy milk.
It's reportedly tolerated by lactose intolerant folks since fermentation turns it into lactase.  But you know, I can't guarantee it.
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Post  Turan on 5/23/2015, 11:11 pm

Interesting discussion here.

I was given milk kefir grains and a sourdough starter this winter. For awhile there I was eating both the raw starter and drinking the kefir. I also made bread, mostly rye bread. It seems to me that the most immediate of symptoms of being celiac have eased with this. I did give up on the kefir, just too much going on to keep up with it. I think I needed to find a better way to strain the grains out.

I wonder what the cultures are in kefir.

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Post  llama momma on 5/23/2015, 11:37 pm

Hi Turan,

Below you'll find a link as one example of what has been found.  Since making kefir at home is a wild growth so to speak, you can't guarantee one batch would be the same at my house compared to yours.  Anyway here is one report of the variety of bacteria and yeasts that were found- but note that other links will show some differences too-
http://www.culturesforhealth.com/milk-kefir-grains-composition-bacteria-yeast
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Post  Turan on 5/23/2015, 11:55 pm

Thanks. I see they have one for water kefir as well.

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Post  sanderson on 6/26/2017, 4:28 am

It's summer so I thought I would bump this thread.

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Post  hammock gal on 6/26/2017, 8:58 am

I make my own yogurt, but I've always bought the commercial kefir at the supermarket. Now you guys are making me think I need to explore kefir making. I drink golden milk, and I'm wondering if any of you make it using kefir instead of milk?

I just googled it, and it appears that I'm not the first to come up with the idea of "golden kefir". Very Happy  http://theheartysoul.com/golden-milk-turmeric/
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Post  CapeCoddess on 6/26/2017, 11:50 am

I just made yogurt this weekend! Very Happy  

I make only water kefir due to lactose intolerance.   Even yogurt causes problems but not like straight milk would.  But that's why I haven't bothered to try milk kefir...yet.

Not a fan of tumeric even tho I have it every day in my morning smoothie. Can't imagine putting it in milk or milk kefir. Do you put it in your yogurt?

CC
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Post  hammock gal on 6/26/2017, 12:15 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:I just made yogurt this weekend! Very Happy  

I make only water kefir due to lactose intolerance.   Even yogurt causes problems but not like straight milk would.  But that's why I haven't bothered to try milk kefir...yet.

Not a fan of tumeric even tho I have it every day in my morning smoothie.  Can't imagine putting it in milk or milk kefir.  Do you put it in your yogurt?

CC

I'm not wild about the taste of turmeric either, but I make turmeric paste that has other ingredients in it, which make it more palatable. The paste gets mixed into a small glass  of warm millk, and I've gotten to the point where I look forward to drinking it. This is called "golden milk", if you google it, you'll find lots of info. You can take the paste on it's own, if lactose intolerant, or mix it into anything else, I suppose. The black pepper is necessary because it dramatically increases the absorption of the goodies from the turmeric. Same with the olive oil. The honey and cinnamon I add to mask the bitterness of the turmeric. Here is the recipe I use. I take about a teaspoon a day.

Turmeric Paste
1/3 cup turmeric (or 2T + 2t)
2/3 cup distilled water (or 1/3 cup)
1 T black pepper (or 1 1/2t)
1 T olive oil (or 1 1/2t)
3 T honey or (1 1/2T)
1t cinnamon (or 1/2t)

Amounts in parentheses are for a smaller batch.
Gently heat water and add turmeric and keep stirring until all the water is incorporated. Add olive oil, pepper and honey. Stir til well blended. Place in glass jar and refrigerate.


Last edited by hammock gal on 6/26/2017, 12:17 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Clarification)
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