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How to Make Homemade Kefir (Homemade Kefir Recipe)
Homemade kefir is my second most favorite dairy product after my beloved Bulgarian yogurt!
They are both very similar in production process and benefits but they can offer quite a different taste and a set of probiotics (beneficial colon bacteria) which strengthen our immune system and sooth all kinds of gastro-intestinal issues.
Kefir is a healthy natural dairy drink full of probiotics and beneficial nutrients. It originates from the Caucasus mountain region and it is well known and used by the Tibetan and Mongolian tribes. Now this precious healthy product has gained a lot of popularity and spread all around the world.
Kefir and its production look very similar to the normal yogurt – it is usually made of milk (goat, cow, sheep) and a kefir starter (probiotic bacteria that coagulate the dairy proteins). When you mix the main two components, leave them to ferment at room temperature, and stir/shake them occasionally, you will get a nice sour, slightly carbonated and alcoholic probiotic drink. Do not worry, though, the alcoholic amount is very low – less than 1%.
Kefir health benefits
Kefir is extremely good for you! In a world where most of us are quietly suffering from bacterial dysbiosis (lack of beneficial colon bacteria in the guts), probiotic foods must be a part of everyone’s healthy diet plan!
If you prepare your kefir with natural bio milk and high quality starter, you will get a dairy product packed with vital nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and probiotics that will boost your organism. After all, remember that kefir is used by people living in very harsh regions and this dairy drink supports their bodies and build their immunity. The typical kefir contains:
- More than 10 types of beneficial microorganisms and bacteria;
- Tryptophan amino acid;
- Dairy protein (casein) and polysaccharides;
- Biotin (helps with the absorption of the group B vitamins);
- Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, D, K2, folic acid;
- Minerals such as Calcium, Iron, and Iodine.
Kefir is a balanced and healthy food you can safely include in your diet. It will have many benefits for your body and mind. It is suitable for people of all ages who want to boost their immunity and supply their organisms with lots of essential substances. Kefir is proven to have various beneficial effects:
- It is easily digested and gently cleanses the bowels. If you were wondering “Does kefir make you poop?”, my short answer is “Yes!”. But don’t expect a severe laxative effect right away. It comes slowly and gently as you supply more and more probiotics to your guts, and eat more fiber-rich foods, of course!
- Soothes the nervous system and helps people relieve anxiety, depression, insomnia, hyperactivity, etc.
- Kefir for IBS – kefir supports the digestive system by regulating the bowel movement, soothing the bloating and flatulence, IBS, colitis, and other stomach issues;
- Supplies lots of digestible Calcium, boosts the bone development in children and prevents from osteoporosis in adults;
- Kefir for yeast infection – the probiotics in kefir replenish the beneficial colon bacteria and fight various bacterial infections (like the widespread and stubborn Candida);
- Regulates the blood pressure;
- Supports the heart and the overall cardiovascular system;
- Regulates the digestion;
- Kefir for weight loss – you can use kefir to lose weight for it contains very few carbohydrates and plenty of protein! Just like Bulgarian yogurt and cottage cheese, kefir is a wonderful addition to your healthy diet plan!
- Balances the stomach acidity (excellent for people with acid reflux), and more…
Can kefir make you sick?
We have talked about the awesome kefir health benefits, but is it all sunshine and unicorns?
Generally, kefir is considered safe but you should be extra cautious about two main issues:
- In case of lactose intolerance or dairy intolerance, you can try the vegan kefir recipe, for example homemade kefir with almond milk, coconut milk, or other vegan dairy substitutes.
- If you are wondering “How much kefir should I drink?”, read this carefully. In case of a severe dysbiosis (lack of colon probiotics, for example after an antibiotic treatment), you can experience some negative side effects from the homemade quality kefir. This is the reaction of the body adapting to the new gut flora. It may cause some flatulence or even diarrhea. In this case, start with small amounts in the evening until the body gets used to the beneficial probiotics. In case you have any health issues (especially regarding the kidneys or the liver), consult with your physician. Once the digestion adjusts to the micro flora, the side effects will subside.
Is kefir keto?
I consider homemade kefir to be completely suitable for the keto diet!
But let’s see the nutritional stats from my favorite FREE online calculator Cronometer:
As you can see kefir contains merely 4 grams of net carbs per one 100-gram serving which is great for everyone following the HFLC diet.
But again, if you are still anxious about the amount of lactose, you can switch to the dairy-free version or water kefir!
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Is kefir gluten free?
It should be! As mentioned previously, this wonderful probiotic beverage contains merely two ingredients – milk and a starter.
BUT! I cannot guarantee that store-bought kefir will be gluten-free because some producers may use starches to thicken and improve the consistency of the beverage. I know for sure this happens with yogurt, so you can never be too careful reading the labels. And of course, this is the main reason why for me the comparison between homemade kefir vs store bought is always in favor of the homemade product – you will have full control over the ingredients!
How long does homemade kefir last and can kefir go bad?
Just like any other natural homemade product without any preservatives or artificial additives, this probiotic food should be good for a couple of days in the fridge. The sooner you consume it, the better!
But it is always a good idea to check for any unpleasant weird smells or suspicious elements like dark sport or mold.
How to make homemade kefir?
In the recipe card below you can see how kefir is made – it is a very easy and straightforward process which does not require much effort or special equipment! Well, if you have a yogurt maker or a food thermometer, they will come quite handy in the process!
Note that this DIY kefir procedure applies for making both homemade kefir without grains with a starter (my favorite one is form Bacullus Bulgaricus) and with kefir grains instead of the starter.
How to make kefir water?
Easy! Follow the instructions below and simply substitute the milk with warm clean water! I use a special charcoal pitcher to make my own filtered water and save tons of money and avoid using plastic bottles!
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Stay tuned for more healthy gluten-free and low carb recipes and health articles!
Until next time!
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