Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Easy Changes That Make a Big Impact on Your Health

I want to start a series on little changes you could be making to your diet that will make a big impact on your health. This will include things to either add or take out of your diet. I'm going to start with milk kefir do to the fact that it is so east to do and may take you a while to get the grains, unless you have a friend that can give you some.

Kefir is an amazing cultured milk that has 30 beneficial bacteria that aggressively attack the bad bacteria in your gut.  Yogurt also has beneficial bacteria but only a few and they are not aggressive. If you are scared by the word bacteria just know that it takes good bacteria in your gut to make it function properly. If your gut is unhealthy then more then likely you will not be feeling your best. I really didn't believe it either until I started drinking and cooking with it myself. Actually I should say that I noticed a difference when we moved and I wasn't drinking it that I felt horrible and very tried. Since I have been drinking and cooking with it again I'm starting to feel a lot better and I have more energy. It is so easy and tastes so good that it really has been the easiest thing to stick with.

Now I wouldn't recommend just drinking it plain but it is great as a smoothie base or you can use it in place of yogurt or buttermilk in recipes. I make both raw milk knifer and coconut milk kefir. They are both good it's just that the coconut milk makes a sweeter kefir. You have to make raw milk kefir every so often to keep your grains happy though and I wouldn't use the same grains to do both I found that it messed up my batch of raw milk after I did the coconut milk.

So this is how you do it:

* I recommend getting grains in the long run it's cheaper and you get more out of the grains verses the powdered stuff. I bought mine from a guy selling them on amazon it was cheaper then a natural place and they grew fast and healthy.
*After they have grown large enough to make a pint about 2 TB put them into a  clean pint jar with some raw grass fed milk then use a coffee filter and a canning ring for the lid and let it sit out for about 24 to 36 hours. sometimes I put a tablespoon of cream to thicken and sweeten it a bit.  I put mine in the cabinet above my oven, you want a warm place.
*You will know it is done because the milk will thicken to a drinkable yogurt consistency. I strain mine using a plastic colander over a bowl, then I take my grains and put then into another clean pint jar to start a new batch.
 *I take my finished kefir and put it into a clean jar and stick it into the fridge to be uses when I need it.

I highly recommend giving it a try and if you are still not clear about how easy it is here are some links that helped me.
healthyhomeeconomist - video on kefir
healthyhomeeconomist-what kefir looks like
passionatehomemaking- coconut kefir
passionatehomemaking- more info in kefir

I'm going to be posting some ways to use you kefir in the days ahead. What is your favorite way to use kefir?