And now for something completely different…I’ve started making my own kefir at home and I have to say, I’m hooked.
Imagine yogurt in a drinkable form and with even more nutritious goodness. Kefir (pronounced ka-FEER) is made by fermenting milk using bacteria and yeast.
In both yogurt and kefir, bacteria ferments the lactose found in milk into lactic acid, giving these products a tangy flavour. But kefir has three times the probiotic content — the “healthy” bacteria that block harmful bacteria from living in your gut — that yogurt has, so it is great for digestion. This can also boost the immune system.
Kefir is also a fantastic source of calcium, B vitamins and phosphorous. It’s a low-fat source of protein, too.
It is super easy to make, requiring only milk (or coconut milk or even water) and kefir grains or starter. You don’t have to heat it as you do yogurt. Just let is sit on the counter at room temperature for 12 to 48 hours. Mine was ready in 12. It is milder in flavour than yogurt and makes delicious smoothies.
There is a great deal of research going on these days pointing to the connections between the health of our digestion system and our health in general, and the micro biome is receiving lots of attention. One fascinating area of research is also looking at how the health or our gut affects the health of our brain and our moods.