I have created the Kefir 101 video after reflecting on my initiation into making and consuming kefir and the questions that people ask me. You can view the video by following this link: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6866295356532402179&hl=en.
Here are a couple of useful tips that are not included in the video. First, using raw milk is preferable, as it still has enzymes and healthy live bacteria. If raw milk for human consumption is not available, Nourishing Traditions recommends non-homogenized milk. If you have concerns around consuming raw milk versus pasteurized, homogenized milk, keep in mind that people eat raw meat, raw eggs, raw fish, and raw vegetables throughout the world. It is absurd that all of these foods can be sold and consumed raw, but in many states in the U.S. it is illegal to sell raw milk. Hopefully that will change some day.
The second tip is that you only need about a teaspoon of grains to ferment a quart of milk. Be sure that your strainer’s holes are not so large that the kefir grains escape. If the grains do escape, wash your hands and then dig around in the strained kefir and pull them out.
The last tip is that kefir really does smell awful, so do not throw it away when you make it for the first time. I made that mistake the first time because I was so disgusted. Once you add a few ingredients, most notably honey, it is a nutrient dense, cold killing, bone building, body healing meal. Please see the recipe section of this blog or Nourishing Traditions to learn how to make a great kefir smoothie.
If you are not yet clear about what kefir is, here is how Donna Gates, author of the Body Ecology Diet describes it:
Kefir is a cultured and microbial-rich food that helps restore the inner ecology. It contains strains of beneficial yeast and beneficial bacteria (in a symbiotic relationship) that give kefir antibiotic properties. A natural antibiotic – and it is made from milk! The finished product is not unlike that of a drink-style yogurt, but kefir has…completely different microorganisms…
My family can attest to its healing properties. I have blogged about my family’s several colds that have lasted only one day thanks to the kefir smoothies.