Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I recently (this past weekend) started culturing Kefir. I have heard of the benefits for a while, (try googling Kefir, or look HERE) and a friend cultures her own. In fact, she has "converted" several mutual friends to drinking Kefir.

If you have never heard of Kefir, it is cultured milk. You can drink it plain (I haven't yet, though I tasted the yogurt-kefir I made, and it is fantastic), or in fruit smoothies (our choice thus far). You start with Kefir grains (which are a cellulose compound of bacteria, yeasts in a complex matrix of sugars, proteins and lipids) that looks somewhat like translucent cauliflower. You simply place the Kefir grains in a clean glass jar, pour fresh organic milk over them, and let it sit at room temperature for anywhere from 12-48 hours. I cover mine with a clean towel, so bugs don't get in, but have also sealed in a glass jar - sealing causes a fizzy, effervescent effect: makes our smoothies "sparkly". Each morning, I strain the kefir grains out, put them in a clean jar, and pour fresh milk over them, for a new batch. We then use thestrained kefir as outlines above. Any remaining kefir can be stored int he fridge, in either glas, or non-leaching plastic, free of toxic chemicals.

Handsome Buffalo was ready to try anything - he's become lactose intolerant recently, and the Kefir grains break down and partially digest the lactose (from my online reading), helping correct lactose intolerance. In fact, my wonderful friend has assured me that he will eventually be able to drink regular milk, as long as he continues kefir, to keep his gut balanced.

The kids were less enthusiastic. They both refused it at first. I simply ignored them and drank my smoothie, declaring it to be (truly) delicious. I put the remaining smoothie in the fridge for later.

That evening, I decided to drink more of the smoothie. This time, MiniMe was curious, so I gave her a very tiny bit. I did not want to waste my new treat, after all. She made a face at first, then broke into a smile, and asked for more. I filled her teacup, and she drank every bit. LittleBit became somewhat curious at this point, and, as she often does, decided she wanted to follow her sister’s footsteps. So I poured her a tiny amount, which she loved, and then some more.

MiniMe has declared kefir smoothies to be “even better than tortellini” (her until-now-favorite-food).

I am going to start looking for a source of raw milk, but for now am using organic store-bought milk (which we’ve been drinking since the kids were born).