In June, Pat – a fellow Membership/Marketing Team member from my Dragonfly Cohousing days – gave me some kefir grains to get some kefir going in our 8-member household. The fermented milk drink is remarkably easy to make over and over again once you have the starter bacteria-yeast symbiotic matrix (the grains which look and feel like white gummy bears). Here’s how:

  1. Put the grains in a jar
  2. Fill the jar with milk
  3. Cover the jar with a cheesecloth (to keep flies and fingers out)
  4. Leave it on the counter for 18-24 hours
  5. When you see some separation at the bottom of the jar, pour the drink through a strainer to collect the grains and refrigerate the result
  6. Repeat

Since that time (except for all summer that we’ve been on vacation) I have been enjoying a cup of kefir (kəˈfi(ə)r) in my Amber-made granola every morning. It’s actually a very tasty, tangy beverage with powerful health benefits. I’m at my mother’s house right now and while browsing one of her magazines I found this:

This fermented milk beverage (originally developed in the Caucasus Mountain region of Eurasia) tastes like liquidy yogurt but contains a more diverse range of bugs—typically at least 10 species (compared with yogurt’s usual two to four). It’s made using kefir “grains,” a starter culture that often includes a type of yeast that may protect against gastrointestinal distress, as well as a bacteria thought to ease constipation and another that can help alleviate inflammatory gut disorders. If you’re lactose intolerant, you might find kefir easier to digest than milk because its probiotics consume much of the problematic sugar before you drink it. (Health Magazine, Sept 2015)

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