EBOOK: A Probiotic Gem Cultured with Probiotic Jewels: Kefir Grains
The Definitive Kefir Making Handbook packed with recipes on how to make and use Kefir for optimal health.
This work is in the interest to begin and expand on the culture-art of traditional kefir making. Unveiled here are many secrets, benefits and the practical use for both milk kefir and water kefir including milk kefir-grains and sugary kefir-grains.
WHAT KEFIR IS
Kefir pronounced keh-fear is a health-promoting nutritious, sour culture-milk beverage similar to buttermilk. The word kefir comes from a Turkish word keif, which loosely translates to pleasure, good feeling, or feel good. This is because drinking kefir is renowned to increases a sense of well-being. Some 40 aromatic compounds and .05% to .1% alcohol content give kefir a pleasant aroma and unique flavour. A recent discovery found kefir contains a powerful heat and pH stable antioxidant.
Kefir and the unique natural mother-culture kefir grains essential for making kefir from fresh milk are functional food. This means they contain components that provide a potential benefit to health, well-being and disease-resistance beyond the expected benefit from their main, nutritional components.
As you read on, it should become obvious why the author regards kefir as a Probiotic Gem, and kefir grains as Probiotic Jewels. These are the more promising super foods among functional food, and good science is helping us to realize the potentials of kefir.
Dating back over 1,000 years, the origin of kefir is the northern slopes of the Caucasus Mountains, possibly northern Ossetia. The tribe-folk of this region were renowned for good health and longevity. Here, kefir was known as the drink of the Prophet, and the natural mother-culture, the grains of the Prophet Mohammed. The term grains refers to the granular appearance of the mother-culture, and not because of any associated with cereal grains, legumes or seeds.
The traditional method for kefir involved continuous fermentation of raw Cow or Goat’s milk stored in a goatskin leather bag with kefir grains. After 24 hours fermentation, the grains were separated by forcing them to a corner of the bag by hand; and then liquid- kefir was poured into a container. The bag with the grains was re-filled with fresh milk, to repeat the ongoing process. The refreshing creamy liquid-kefir was enjoyed as a nutritious beverage. Due to the crude method of straining any small portion of grains that poured out with the liquid-kefir, was also consumed.
Large volumes of liquid-kefir was also ripened or matured in sealed wooden barrels or clay crocks. Some crushed sweet root of Snow Rose [Rhododendron caucasicum], a non-toxic antioxidant-rich species found in the region, was often added. Continual or secondary fermentation produced a foaming beverage with up to 2% alcohol. This natural method for milk preservation provided a means of consuming a health-promoting, nutritious beverage over extended periods.
Kefir grains grow in milk, and to avoid overcrowding, some grains were removed from the leather bag regularly. The spare grains were eaten, air-dried for long-term storage [backup culture], or traded among the tribe-folk for other essentials.
An important relationship exists between the consumption of fresh kefir, ripened kefir with the addition of Snow Rose including ingesting kefir grains; and the longevity with little to no known disease that the tribe-folk of this region enjoyed. The author’s aim is to increase awareness of this relationship, for most folks solely consume freshly strained kefir or refrigerated kefir, omitting room temperature herb-ripened kefir, and ingesting grains. Personal experience has shown the ingestion of kefir grains and fresh kefir, along with maturing kefir with added specific herbs; has rewarded the author by overcoming disease with enhanced sense of well-being. This is likely by enjoying a wider spectrum of health-promoting components of the unique microbial/compound signatures distinctive to fresh kefir, ripe kefir and kefir grains.
Furthermore, kefir brewed with herbs may amplify medicinal plant active or phyto-active compounds of the herb, and possibly better overcome what’s known as the blood brain barrier. For example, the anti-depressant property of Saint John’s Wart, may reach the brain more effectively to correct depression. This is indeed the case with the powerful heat and pH stable antioxidant of kefir. It is well absorbed by body and brain cells. Kefir is a good preventative against mutagenic and degenerative cell damage, which cause cancer and brain diseases the latter of which includes Dementia, Alzheimer, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease etc.