Kefir is becoming very popular, some of you may have heard of it and wondered what on Earth is it?! Kefir is a cultured, fermented drink loaded with several strains of probiotics, which colonise our Gut also vitamin B12, Calcium, Magnesium, Vitamin K, Folate, Biotin, enzymes and some amino acids.
Kefir has many health benefits:
1. Boosts Immune System (antibacterial properties).
2. Helps Digestion and Gut health (e.g. combats IBS, bloating, indigestion, constipation).
3. Build Bone strength and lowers the risk of Osteoporosis.
4. Heals Skin (e.g. acne, psoriasis, eczema, rash or burns).
5. Improves Lactose Intolerance symptoms, Allergy and Asthma.
6. Potentially fights Cancer.
7. Supports Mental Health (e.g. combats anxiety, depression, sleep issues).
8. Aids weight loss.
Just to make it clear, Kefir is a drink but Kefir grains are the "starter kit" that is use to make the drink. Those grains are cultures of yeast and lactic acid bacteria, which multiply and ferment the sugars in the milk or coconut water, turning it into Kefir.
You can buy Kefir grains in health food stores (e.g. Nature's Gold - Greystones, Open Sesame - Ennis & Gort, Evergreen - Galway & Oranmore, Tattie Hoaker - Roscommon). The process is very simple:
Put 1-2 tablespoons of Kefir grains into a jar.
Add around 2 cups of milk, preferably organic or raw milk. Milk from grass-feed cows is healthiest. As an alternative use coconut milk, rice milk or coconut water. Leave one inch of room at the top of the jar.
Put the cheesecloth, paper towel or a clean napkin and secure it with a rubber band. Store the jar at room temperature for 24 - 36 hours. That's it.
Once is start to look clumpy, it is ready. Strain out the Kefir grains and transfer them to fresh milk or water. The liquid you have left is your Kefir drink and can be drunk immediately or refrigerated for up to 5 days.
So, remember Kefir is easy to make, inexpensive, high in nutrients and beneficial bacteria. Can be use to make delicious smoothes, ice-cream or yogurts.
But if you don't have time, patience or you to lazy there is few Irish companies making great, natural Kefir products: "King of Kefir" - water kefir in 3 different flavours, "Kefi"- ice cream in 5 delicious flavours, "Blakes Feel Good Kefir" - fermented dairy milk drink.
Try them all, enjoy!