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Kefir the (VERY) Healty alternative!

02/08/2017 0 Comment(s) Fermenting Food,
One of our favourite breakfast drinks is kefir.
Alcoholic drinks are made by a process of fermentation, but not all fermented drinks are alcoholic, and many have additional health benefits which could enhance the benefits of your dry month.  What’s more, they don’t take a long time to ferment so you can start reaping the health benefits in as little as 24 hours!
  • Save money
  • Sense of achievement
  • Weight loss
  • Sleeping better / snoring less
  • Increased energy levels
  • Clear your head
These include:
Even if you aren’t going dry to raise funds, there are some very real health benefits from having an alcohol-free month.
Dry July is an initiative to raise funds to improve the wellbeing of people affected by cancer.  The idea is that you pledge to give up drinking alcohol for the month and ask friends and family to sponsor you with the funds going to help people affected by cancer.
pronouncedke-FEER with the emphasis on the second syllable).  It is a fermented drink that originated in the Caucasus Mountains and made with a fermentation starter mixed with sheep, goat or cow’s milk.  It can also be made with non dairy. Some scientific research has shown kefir and its constituents to have anticarcinogenic, antiviral and antifungal properties. Although kefir has been produced and consumed in Eastern Europe for a long period of time, few clinical trials are found in the scientific literature to support the health claims attributed to kefir.
milk.  Kefir made with milk can be fermented overnight and it tastes like a liquid yoghurt drink.  The fermentation process breaks down the lactose in the milk which means that people with lactose intolerance can often tolerate kefir. 
A large number of microorganisms in kefir and the reputed benefits of eating kefir make this fermented dairy product a complex probiotic.  Traditionally it is made with kefir grains which take a little bit of special care, so the good news is that there are now commercially available kefir starters which ensure that results are uniform and avoid the need to “cultivate” the grains.  The downside is that the culture can only be used for a few batches so you need to keep buying culture, but it’s also a good way to get acquainted with kefir before you graduate to kefir grains.
 

RECIPE Homemade kefir

You need
Ball Mason Wide Mouth 
Quart jar with lid
Cheesecloth and a band to hold it on the jar (or you can use the jar band)
Kefir culture (get it here)
Dairy or 
non-dairy
milk ideally at room temperature
Method
Pour the liquid into the jar.  Add culture according to the packet instructions: treat one quart the same as you would 1 litre.  Put the lid on the jar and shake vigorously to mix the culture through the liquid.  Remove the lid, put the cheese cloth on top and secure with the jar’s metal band or a rubber band.  Leave the jar in a warm place to ferment: fermentation usually takes 12 – 16 hours.
If you are planning to use the kefir to reculture your next batch reserve ¼ of the batch. This can be stored in the fridge along with any kefir you don’t drink the next day. If you leave it to ferment too long the milk will start to separate and become lumpy (although all is not lost: you can make a tasty kefir dip like I did here!)
 
 
Other resources
Ozfarmer Australia stock a range of products to help you start trying your own fermented drinks:
Try our complete kefir kit here
Kefir starter culture here
And check out our huge range of specialist books on fermenting, gut health and so much more!
 

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