Last week I had talked with a customer at work about fermentation, good bacteria and how probiotic pills often don’t contain what they should because they typically get overheated (through transport and otherwise) and the bacteria die.
Then we got to talking about kefir.
Kefir is something you can often find in grocery stores in the dairy section. It is teeming with good bacteria and probiotics essential for proper gut health. Like most dairy sold in this country though, pasteurization is required (raw dairy laws vary state to state) and so basically, any benefits that could potentially have been reaped from the probiotics become null.
But don’t despair! You can make your own kefir! Kefir grains can be purchased online and you culture your own kefir in the comforts of your own kitchen with minimal effort. While the grains ideally want whole fat animal milk, you can also do it with nondairy options as well such as coconut milk. The Kitchn has a great article about kefir and you can read more about it here.
It’s really quite simple though- just take a small amount of kefir grains and some milk (the ratio is about 1 tsp of kefir to 1 cup of milk) and put them in a glass or bowl, cover with a cheesecloth and let it sit out for 24-48 hours until it is tangy enough for your liking. Then, strain out your kefir, cover and put in the fridge!
Healthy kefir grains can be used indefinitely but if you want to take a break, just place the grains and milk into the fridge until you are ready to culture more.
The moral of this story is that the customer came back a few days later and brought me some of her kefir grains and so I’ve been having lots of fun playing with culturing, and, of course, recipes!
With this recipe I like the slight tangy-ness that the kefir brings to the smoothie without making it taste sour. If you don’t want to make your own, you can of course buy plain kefir from the grocery store or use some sort of plain yogurt.
Apple Pie a la Mode Kefir Smoothie
1.5 Cups Chopped Apple (sweeter, softer variety such as Golden Delicious)
1 TBSP Maple Syrup
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/8 tsp Ginger
3/4 Cup Kefir
1 Cup Milk or Non-Dairy Milk
Toss all the ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth and enjoy those healthy, good-for-your-gut bacteria!