Do you drink kefir?
I discovered kefir when I was babysitting as a young girl for a family of Finns who always stocked it in their fridge. I thought it was the most delicious stuff! I never could find it anywhere except the health food coop across town until recent years, and now it’s available in most larger grocery stores. Apparently the health benefits of kefir are more commonly known now that people are becoming hip to the many benefits of probiotics.
I started drinking it a lot and giving it to my kids after learning some of the benefits of kefir.
Did you know that kefir has twice as much good bacteria as yogurt? Probiotics are very important for intestinal health and even for preventing food allergies. Probiotics even help the immune system work properly! Everything happens in the gut. If it’s out of whack, nothing works right.
You can drink it even if you’re lactose intolerant. Even some people with dairy allergies can tolerate kefir! My youngest nephew had trouble digesting dairy products but does great with kefir. It’s a great food for babies weaning from Mom’s milk as well as older toddlers and kids.
It’s high in calcium, protein and is easily digestible. Kefir is excellent for immune system health too.
When I was pregnant, it was sometimes the only thing my stomach could tolerate. I think it went a long way towards keeping the yeast beast away too (I know, thanks for sharing…but hey, it is a common problem for pregnant women!). I never had those problems when drinking kefir.
Kefir has been shown to reduce harmful cholesterol.
There are two brands that are readily available in most large groceries nowadays: Helios, which has a more tangy flavor that is similar to homemade kefir, and Lifeway brand which tastes more like yogurt.
You can also make your own very inexpensively and easily.
In fact it’s far easier to make kefir than yogurt. Basically, you obtain kefir grains (you can buy them online inexpensively or get some from a friend), add them to fresh organic milk, and leave it at room temperature for 12-24 hours. You’ve got kefir.
I’ve heard great things about Body Ecology’s Kefir Starter Kit. It makes up to 42 gallons of Kefir. This starter kit isn’t exactly the same thing as obtaining your own kefir grains, which will live forever and can be used indefinitely.
Another source of kefir grains that can be reused indefinitely is: Cultures for Health.
Then to sweeten, add a drop of stevia or honey. Or make a smoothie with fresh or frozen fruit. It can also be used as a replacement for buttermilk in pancakes and other baked goods, or when making homemade salad dressing.
Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods is a wonderful book that explains why naturally fermented books are so good for your health.
Give it a try. It’s super easy to make, and a very cheap health food.