All about: Kefir

Kefir is a cultured, fermented milk drink, originally from the mountainous region that divides Asia and Europe. It is similar to yogurt – but a drink, with a tart, sour taste and a slight ‘fizz’. This is due to carbon dioxide – the end product of the fermentation process. The length of the fermentation time will affect the taste. Kefir is a good source of calcium and is rich in probiotic bacteria.

The method of making kefir is one of the main differences between kefir and yogurt. Traditional milk kefir uses kefir grains and whole cow’s milk – although now you can find it made from goat’s/sheep’s milk and coconut milk too. Kefir grains are not actually grains at all but are small gelatinous beads that look like grains containing a variety of bacteria and yeasts. The grains are placed in a glass jar/bowl, soaked in milk, covered and left at room temperature for a minimum of 24 hours. This enables the bacteria and yeast to ferment the lactose (natural sugar in milk) into lactic acid, activating the bacteria to proliferate and grow.

After around 24 hours at room temperature, the grains are strained from the kefir and transferred to a fresh batch of milk and used again to enable them to keep reproducing – this cycle can be carried on indefinitely. The strained kefir is now ready to drink.

Milk is a good source of protein and calcium, and kefir is no different. However it has the added benefits of probiotics. Probiotics are known as ‘friendly bacteria’ that can ease IBS symptoms such as bloating and digestive distress in some people.

The fermentation process also helps to break down the lactose in milk so there is some evidence to suggest that kefir may be tolerated by those who suffer from lactose intolerance.

Want to know more about Kefir? here’s an infographic to help you:

All about…

Take our advise: start drinking Kefir 🙂

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