Friday, December 19, 2014

Health Journal - Winter Prep II

There are lots of things we can do for our families to help avoid sickness during cold and flu season.  Some suggest vaccines.  Others avoid big crowds.  Many make use of anti-bacterial soaps and gels.  Our family has never done any of those things, yet we are rarely sick.  So I will share the one secret that I do have about staying healthy in the winter (other than good nutrition) - kefir!

Kefir, which I pronounce "key fur" , but is actually pronounced "keh fear" in Europe,  is a probiotic drink that supplies your gut (immune system) with everything it needs to keep you healthy. We often think that taking a probiotic supplement will do the trick, but our gut has hundreds of bacteria in it and consuming a few of those will not do the job.  But homemade kefir is more than probiotics, it also supplies you with many vitamins and minerals.

I am not talking about store bought kefir here.  There is no comparison to store bought kefir and homemade; homemade is so much better for you!  Homemade kefir is made with grains that look similar to cottage cheese.  These grains are added to milk (raw or pasteurized) and left on the counter to culture for about 24 hours.  Once your milk is cultured you strain out the grains, add them to some fresh milk, and start the process again - and don't forget to drink your kefir! :) 

We have made kefir shakes, as we call them, everyday for years. We add the kefir to our blender along with bananas, other frozen fruit, vanilla, and milk.  The more kefir you add, the more tart it will be.  As you get used to the taste, you can handle more and more of it.

You can learn everything you want to know (and some things you don't want to know :)) about kefir if you google "Dom's Kefir".  He has an incredibly informative website! 

Kefir grains grow and multiply as you use them.  If you need some grains, contact me, and we can figure out how to get you some. :)

Good health is really simple!  More on simple health care to come... :)


Gram's Garden said...

Hi Mindy-
I am sensitive to cow dairy and am wondering if it is ok to use cow kefir grains with goat milk to make goat kefir. I have not seen goat starter grains anywhere. Do you have any advice?
Thanks for turning us on to kefir. We have been buying regular cow kefir at the coop and really like the benefits.

Mindy said...

Yes, we have used our grains with both cow milk and goat milk. For years we milked goats (we sold them last summer)and every fall we would dry up the goats and switch to cow's milk. Then in the spring, when the goats had milk again, we would switch back. We always used the same grains. We have also used those same grains to make water kefir and kefir soda. :)
Glad you are enjoying the kefir. Our family has enjoyed good health all winter, other than a half a day or so of sickness here and there, everyone has remained well! :) Blessing to you!