Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Update Of My Kefir Miracle

Today's blog is going to be an update of a post I wrote when I first started to write my blog in December of 2012.  It was called the Miracle of Kefir.

If you read the first blog, I mentioned what kefir is, how wonderful it is and how it returned me to health after cancer treatment in 2006/2007.  Well, this spring something happened to the kefir grains I had.  My grains were over 6 years old, and they started to die off.  I tried to keep them going.  They still made kefir but the quality was poor and the grains quit growing.  All summer I tried to revive them.  I finally gave in and ordered new grains from a wonderful source called the kefirlady.  I was familiar with her because I followed her yahoo group for many years.  I learned from the literature she sent that I was killing my grains in two ways.  First, I was stirring with a silicone spatula.  Silicone kills the kefir.  I had never heard that before.  I also was not using enough milk in ratio to the grains.  I was starving my kefir grains by not giving them enough to eat.  I was thinking the more grains the better.  That was not true.  The kefirlady, Marilyn, raises goats and makes her milk kefir from goat milk, but her grains work perfectly fine in regular store bought milk as long as the milk isn't ultra pasteurized.  Some people were concerned that the grains would be "goaty".  Once a couple batches are made, there is no detectable goat flavor.

Finished batch of fresh kefir.

In case anyone is interested, the kefirlady also sells water kefir and kombucha.  I made water kefir in addition to milk kefir for a long time, but I found they reproduced so fast we couldn't possibly keep up.  They are different from milk kefir grains in that they grow in sugar water.  The grains use up the sugar in the water and make a fizzy drink that is slightly sweet.   It can be flavored with juices.  I often added grape juice but if left to ferment too long, it tasted a little like sweet wine.   It has good beneficial properties with probiotics just as the milk kefir does.  Kombucha is similar but the water kefir contains a greater number of good bacteria.  Good bacteria helps us to digest our food, helps with allergies and boosts our immune system.  I got this explanation of milk kefir benefits from

 "In addition to beneficial bacteria and yeast, kefir contains minerals and essential amino acids that help the body with healing and maintenance functions. The complete proteins in kefir are partially digested and therefore more easily utilized by the body. Tryptophan, one of the essential amino acids abundant in kefir, is well known for its relaxing effect on the nervous system. Because kefir also offers an abundance of calcium and magnesium, which are also important minerals for a healthy nervous system, kefir in the diet can have a particularly profound calming effect on the nerves.
Kefir’s ample supply of phosphorus, the second most abundant mineral in our bodies, helps utilize carbohydrates, fats, and proteins for cell growth, maintenance and energy.
Kefir is rich in Vitamin B12, B1, and Vitamin K. It is an excellent source of biotin, a B Vitamin which aids the body’s assimilation of other B Vitamins, such as folic acid, pantothenic acid, and B12. The numerous benefits of maintaining adequate B vitamin intake range from regulation of the kidneys, liver and nervous system to helping relieve skin disorders, boost energy and promote longevity."

Hopefully I will be able to keep my new grains for a long time, and I will have plenty to share.

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