Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Kefir shake recipe

Oh how I love the benefits of Kefir and yet have a hard time with the sour taste. How can such an awesome drink taste so sour? Lol, ok yes, it is fermented dairy but still... The fact that Kefir grains have been used for ages, to the extent that shepards used to hang the drink on doors and anyone coming through would "knock" the bag to keep the milk and grains mixed, well that's so neat to know a probiotic drink has been around for ages. 

Let's look at some benefits, I am sharing from a couple sites but there are many more to get information on this interesting "grain" (called that due to the look of the cultures)...

From Wikipedia;

"The term kefir,[4] existing in modern Russian since 1884,[5] Polish and English, probably ultimately from Turkish keif (good feeling)[6] and has become the most commonly used name, although it is known in other regions by various names. Kefir grains are a combination ofbacteria and yeasts in a matrix of proteinslipids, and sugars, and this symbiotic matrix forms "grains" that resemble cauliflower. For this reason, a complex and highly variable community of lactic acid bacteria and yeasts can be found in these grains.

Kefir grains contain a water-soluble polysaccharide known as kefiran, which imparts a rope-like texture and feeling in the mouth. The grains range in color from white to yellow, and may grow to the size of walnuts.

Constituents of kefir:[7]

  • Micro-organisms: lactic acid bacteria, yeasts
  • Fermentation Products: carbon dioxide, ethanol (alcohol)
  • Nutrients: protein from milk, polysaccharide
  • Vitamins or pro-vitamins: vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin D, vitamin K2, folic acid, nicotinic acid
  • Minerals: calcium, iron, iodine
  • Water

The composition of kefir depends greatly on the type of milk that was fermented, including the concentration of vitamin B12. During the fermentation, changes in composition of nutrients and other ingredients have also been shown to occur. Lactic acid is the organic acid in highest concentrations after fermentation and is derived from approximately 25% of the original lactose in the starter milk. Research has shown, however, that lactose maldigestors are able to tolerate kefir, providing the number of live bacteria present in this beverage consumed is high enough. It is believed that the bacteria in the kefir or yogurt matrix are protected by the buffering effect of the yogurt. It has also been shown that fermented milk products have a slower transit time than milk, which may further improve lactose digestion[8]

For the preparation of the present factory-produced kefir, the so-called kefir mild, kefir grains are no longer used, but a precise composed mixture of different bacteria and yeast, allowing the flavor to be kept constant.

Traditional kefir is fermented at ambient temperatures, generally overnight. Fermentation of the lactose yields a sourcarbonated, slightlyalcoholic beverage, with a consistency similar to thin yogurt.[9] Kefir fermented by small-scale dairies early in the 20th century achieved alcohol levels between one and two percent, but kefir made commercially with modern methods of production has less than 1% alcohol, possibly due to reduced fermentation time.[10]

Variations that thrive in various other liquids exist, and they vary markedly from kefir in both appearance and microbial composition.Water kefir (or tibicos) is grown in water with sugar (sometimes with added dry fruit such as figs, and lemon juice) for a day or more at room temperature."


Kefir Health Benefits

"Kefir is the name of a drink that's made by rotting milk with kefir cereals. This fermented milk drink started in the Caucasus spot. The phrase "kefir", however, comes from two Persian phrases, "kef", which steps the foam, and "Shir", this means milk. Kefir grains are employed in the preparation of this fermented milk beverage containing a combination of bacteria or organisms and thrush, and polysaccharides, proteins and fats. These cereals resemble cauliflower-like shape, and are believed an excellent way to obtain advantageous microbes or probiotics. Microbiology Because of numerous health benefits kefir, and special, this fermented milk drink is regarded a wonder drink.

How to Create Kefir

The creation of kefir grains demands the inclusion of live kefir in dairy. While fermenting milk, kefir cereals increase, and spread brand-new vegetables. In normal, dairy from cattle, sheep and goats are utilized to create kefir. Nevertheless, dairy could be substituted by its frequent substitutes such as avocado dairy, almond dairy and soy milk to make kefir. Kefir can be fermented veggie juice, avocado water and ale wort. Usually prepared in a leather case, which is stirred from time to time to make sure that milk and kefir cereals mixed adequately. The fermentation of milk or dairy substitutes eventually create a yogurt as, intoxicating and somewhat unhealthy. The fermented fluid is segregated from kefir grains, with the guide of a strainer to get the drink kefir.

Kefir Health Benefits

[1] Kefir health benefits] are many, which may be linked largely to the large number of beneficial bacteria present in kefir grains. These micro-organisms can enjoy an essential role in increasing overall health and contentment of a person, by advertising intestinal health. Kefir can also give some vitamins and amino acids. Some of the most significant health benefits of kefir are:

Kefir has antibiotic and antifungal. It might be helpful in related situations, candidiasis (candida albicans, cardiovascular disease and HIV/AIDS.

Kefir we are able to provide beneficial microorganisms that may boost digestion, to ease some popular intestinal problems such as gas, bloating, indigestion, etc. It could guarantee regular colon motion to treat constipation. The nutrients present in it may be especially beneficial for people with lactose intolerance.

In addition to the beneficial microbes, kefir can offer several vitamins and minerals. It is an abundant supply of vitamin A, B2, B12, E and N. The most critical minerals present in kefir are calcium, phosphorus and magnesium.

Kefir could clean the colon and the address of any kind of intestinal issue. It can provide relief in inflammatory bowel illness as well.

Kefir can treat a variety of health ailments including gastritis, pancreatitis, eczema, tummy ulcers, psoriasis, rheumatism, arthritis and gout, osteoporosis, anemia, and leaking intestine malady, to title a few.

Kefir features a rousing influence on the immune system and consequently may boost your capability to combat condition.

Kefir may reduce the possibility of selected cancers, including colon melanoma, avoiding the growth of cancer cells.

kefir can also relaxed the nerves of our physique to retain a healthful nervous system. Kefir This element is because of the presence of amino acid "Tryptophan".

Kefir has anti-oxidant and anti-aging. It may neutralize free radicals that harm cells and tissues by oxidizing them. By lowering the effect of free radical destruction, kefir could slow the ageing method.

Besides these, other kefir health benefits include acne treat or control, insomnia issues, depression, asthma, bronchitis, hypertension, diabetes, chronic fatigue symptoms, allergies, colitis, diarrhea, etc.

Kefir is super easy to absorb, and may be obtained by kids. Is a full way to obtain protein, with several necessary proteins. In synopsis, kefir is a great food that may detoxify the physique, and improve the features of numerous system techniques to promote health and energy. You can also allow you to lose fat. Taking into account all of the health benefits of kefir, it could be concluded that the release of kefir to your diet is a fantastic idea to stay a wholesome living.

Kefir, the wonder food, that is known as an excellent source of probiotics. With probiotic-rich content, you immediately have a beneficial impact on our bodies. Kefir and kefir cereals have been around for generations and ages previously, and all for a good reason.

Over time, while the review and trials in kefir cereals and kefir, I've created a list of the known benefits that kefir may be ready to treat."

I use Kefir a lot, especially during the cold season to help keep my kiddos healthy and their immune systems strong. New research from UCLA has also come out that healthy gut flora can be beneficial to brain function, if you get a chance read the article on that study here  I feel so good about giving this to my family with all the benefits I have found from this small little grain. 

(I got my grains from Lifetime Kefir and they have definitely served me well, they have been split numerous times and have survived MONTHS in the fridge dormant and come back quick and ready to go for me.)

Kefir Shake

1 quart Kefir (I generally only do a 24 hr ferment)
1 quart Greek God's Greek Yogurt, I usually use the vanilla honey but any of them work (homemade works AWESOME)
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, (or to taste)
A dash of nutmeg, (or to taste)
1/4 c raw local honey, (or... Yes again... To taste)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 

Optional - fresh/frozen fruit, spinach or other greens, chia seeds, protein powder, dark chocolate or chocolate chips, and the list goes on...

Place the Kefir, vanilla, yogurt, honey and spices in a blender and mix. If you are adding frozen fruit add after the initial mix is blended so as not to make the honey hard and keep it from mixing. Drink!! I put the left over in the fridge and drink it throughout the day. 

Yup, so easy and so good... Hope you enjoy!!! :)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Fall changes

Fall is my FAVORITE time of the year, while in the Midwest it's different than down here, I still love it never the less. I always get into a mood of change along with the changing of the seasons. This summer I made plans to expand my urban farm and, although slightly earlier than I thought, changes have begun. 

My best friend has to move, not far from where she currently lives and to a dream house. Thing is that dream house doesn't include the ability to have chickens. For her and I it's sad because she was the one to take the plunge into back yard chickens and paved the way for me. It was her flock that helped me convince my husband we should go the same route. So in a bitter sweet move I have taken her flock into mine. Her husband built this absolutely awesome coop for their chicks, and I have now gotten that also with the new flock addition. OH MY GOODNESS, it is awesome. So this weekend was moving day!!  

Like with any move we hit some snags, like the fact that the new coop had 14 foot sections that couldn't be moved with just a pick up. So we moved the chickens first while working on the logistics of getting the coop moved where taking place. She had 4 to be added to my 5 so I separated my existing coop to get them all acquainted. We found out 2 of the 4 mixed fine with our flock but the barred rocks were not having new chickies just "comin in" and taking over (even though they were the new girls on the block) so keeping them seperated was the best solution. As you can see though that means my currently one laying chick had to wait to get to her nesting box so lots of shuffling around took place with making sure one flock could lay (my friend's was first being she has 4 layers to my one) and then my lil mother clucker ran in afterward very grateful to get some "box time" in. Thankfully this is temporary,and as of writing this, should be rectified today!! Whew, my girl will be happy. :) 

Princess helped HUGE the first day keeping watch over the chickens so our hawk that has been hanging around didn't come in and lessen the numbers. Of course being that meant she was outside all day so she found ways, like making this coop all "prettied up" to keep herself entertained. It was fun, the whole clan got involved and helped welcome the new flock in. 

Being we only have one layer there wasn't a minute that the new girls weren't being watched to see if they were laying so that child could grab an egg and bring it in... 

Princess of course got sole egg duty the first day, for as much work as she did she very much earned this right. 

Finally late Sunday evening it was completed... My neighbor came through huge and let us use his trailer and the sections were brought over and put together by my friend's husband. He was awesome and worked very hard to make sure it was right and just the way it needed to be before leaving. My friend put aside her need to do a lot of work at home to help us get this completed, and oh my gosh I was just blow away and blessed to have friends that would do that!! 

So weekend adventure completed!! Now the process of cleanup begins!! A great jump start to getting my backyard fall expansion started, in a BIG way!! 

From this....

To this...

Not a bad weekend!! :)