Milk Kefir (also correctly known simply as ‘Kefir‘) is an ancient method of preserving or culturing animals milk that goes back millennia and is considered by many to be the most potent, natural source of probiotic bacteria in any food. This rich source of beneficial bacteria can boost the digestive and immune system so it possesses many powerful health benefits. The ingredients are simply milk (ie. cow, sheep, goat) and kefir 'grains' which look rather like small florets of cauliflower and not a plant grain in any way.
Milk Kefir is in no way related to Water Kefir – the only similarities being that they are small rubbery textured cultures that ferment with lactic acid forming bacteria and multiply in the right conditions. The two grains or cultures should not be substituted with one another – Milk Kefir grains should only be used in ruminant animal milk and Water Kefir grains should only be used to ferment sugar water. Many people expound the use of Kefir grains to ferment coconut milk and while effective to a degree, long term use can weaken and damage the Kefir grains.
Milk Kefir grains function best between 18º – 28ºC, and a have larger spectrum of probiotics than Tibicos/Water Kefir.
A typical batch of milk kefir can contain bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. brevis, L. casei, L. delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus, L. delbrueckii subsp. delbrueckii, L. delbrueckii subsp. lactis, L. helveticus, L. keﬁranofaciens subsp. keﬁranofaciens, L. keﬁri, L. paracasei subsp. paracasei, L. plantarum, L. rhamnosus, L. sake, Lactococcus. lactis subsp. cremoris, L. lactis subsp. lactis, L. lactis, Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. cremoris, L. mesenteroides subsp. dextranicum, L. mesenteroides subsp. mesenteroides, Pseudomonas fluorescens, P. putida, Streptococcus thermophilus, and yeasts such as Candida humilis, Kazachstania unispora, K. exigua, Kluyveromyces siamensis, K. lactis, K. marxianus, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, S. martiniae, S. unisporus.
It also has significant levels of vitamin A, vitamin B-complex, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, protein, vitamin K2, biotin, folate and enzymes, although the nutritional value is significantly less when using pasteurized milks.
The main health benefits from consuming Milk Kefir are derived from the way in which the rich and wide spectrum of probiotic bacteria in the kefir strengthen and fortify your digestive system. Better and more effective digestion of your food means better absorption and availability of nutrients to your body's vital systems.
It is often said that up to 80% of your immune system relies on your digestive system so a healthy digestive system also means a healthy immune system.
This milky powerhouse has many health benefits and has been used to prevent and treat immune, digestive, gastrointestinal and neurological disorders.
Kefir drinkers consume this in many ways – on its own, with breakfast cereals/fruits, in smoothies, or even turn it into ice cream and cheese. It is also low in lactose so is considered friendly to the lactose intolerant.
- Wide spectrum probiotic
- Digestive aid
- Made with SCOBY grains (Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast)
- Brews in 24hrs
- Ancient food source
- Suitable for lactose intolerant
- Not suitable for casein intolerant
- Tart yoghurt taste, effervescent texture
- Lactic acid fermentation
Now, to learn how easy it is to make Kefir, click here.