Ways of Enjoying Kefir

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles insideawareness.com

 

This spring Kefir was added to the exploration of living foods.  This has been a beneficial pursuit and an enjoyable one as we become more familiar with it and find ways to use it.  This pro-biotic is proving to be a staple in a sustainable healthy lifestyle.

Second Ferment with Fresh Fruits

One way this Author refines the flavour of Kefir and makes it easier to digest is through a fresh fruit 2nd ferment.

Milk Replacement in Recipes

Another way to enjoy the increased benefits of Kefir is by using it as a milk replacement  in recipes.  This Author has enjoyed biscuits, pancakes, cottage cheese and more.

Fruit Leather

Exploring ways to make healthier snacks this Author has been experimenting with drying it with fruit into fruit leather.

Hair Conditioner

Creating a home-style hair conditioner with Kefir has had tremendous results.  It has increased the health of the scalp and shine and softness of this Authors hair and reduced the grey by restoring the natural colour. Those with lighter colours of hair will appreciate reading that Kefir also stripes the hair of any absorbed material so those with dyed hair may want to be cautious.  As a person with lighter coloured hair one becomes familiar with the fact that this hair absorbs small particles that can turn hair a greenish colour or make the appearance of grey yellowish.

  • Softens hair 
  • Restores natural colour reducing grey
  • Cleans pollutants out of hair
  • Cleans scalp (natural dandruff conditioner), increases hair regrowth

Facial and Neck Mask

Adding Kefir to home-made facial masks has had a nice result.  There is a noticeable tightening of the pores and skin with increased softness in this experience.

  • tightens skin & pores
  • softens skin to baby soft!
Phote by Renee Lindstrom

Kefir Bathing Treatment

Bathing Experience

Those who culture Kefir will know that there will be an abundance of it once started.  Having read the Cleopatra actually used Kefir (not milk) in her baths this author decided to be adventuresome and try it together with an English Daisy infused honey.  There was a noticeable difference in how the skin was  tightened and softened that took years off.  Especially important in the process of loosing weight!

  • Skin softener – shockingly baby soft!

To read how easy it is to start your own Kefir Culture go to Fermenting Kefir Grains @ Home.

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Copyright 2014 – 2019  Living in Nature’s Love by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP,
Feldenkrais® Practitioner since 2007, Communication & Empathy Coach since 2004, Art of Placement  since 2000

Fermenting Kefir Grains @ Home

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles insideawareness.com

Another exciting opportunity for exploring fermenting foods came my way when a  neighbour accidentally ordered two Kefir starter kits and passed one on to me instead of returning it.  This was the start of a journey to get acquainted with Kefir.   The process of culturing Kefir grains is similar to the symbiotic fermentation process of Kombucha.  The Kefir grain has live yeast that eats the sugar during fermenting making it 99% lactose free.  This makes it an alternative source of calcium for lactose intolerant people.  It is nutrient-dense, with plenty of protein, B vitamins, potassium, and calcium.

The kit came with dried kefir grains that are activated with fresh milk.  Much like a scobie used to ferment tea into kombucha, the milk kefir grains culture the milk. When  ready the kefir grains are strained out of the kefir and put into fresh milk to start a new ferment.  The process is easy and it is cheaper than buying Kefir off the grocery shelf.

Save time & money by making yogurt, cream cheese, cottage cheese & kefir & whey on 1-4 litres of milk

The process to activate the Kefir grains was simple. as adding them to a cup of milk.  This cup of milk was checked regularly for any changed to the texture.  When it was noticeably thicker the grains were strained out and placed into fresh milk increasing the amount of milk by 1/2 a cup.  This process continued until the milk was increased to 4 cups of milk with activated grains. The cycle between transferring  Kefir grains into fresh milk can be 24 hours.    The grains can take up to 7 days to be fully activated.

Picture by Renee Lindstrom

Kefir Grains

When activated they are white and in florets similar to cottage cheese or cauliflower florets.  Once activated future fermentation periods is usually 24 hours in a temperature of 64 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit.  Summers heat can reduce  the time to 12 hours or in the cold of winter increase it to 36 hours.

Get traditional Kefir Grains to Culture

 

Kefir is a Yellow Food for balancing Solar Plexus Chakra

What I learned about the benefits of Kefir

I learned Kefir is a complex milk product that has high levels of vitamin B12, calcium, magnesium, vitamin K2, biotin, folate, enzymes and probiotics.  Research suggest It is a power house for probiotics and may be a better choice than yogurt.  Kefir contains a higher number of probiotic strains than yogurt and they clean and feed the beneficial bacteria in the gut like yogurt.  Unlike yogurt, Kefir probiotic strains stay and colonize in ones gut andcan go out to attack pathogens and bad bacteria in the gut.  Yogurt strains are transient and flush out.

  • Antibacterial & Anti fungal

When tested against a series of pathogens it was found to have similarities to several antibiotics in hindering microbial growth.

  • Reduce Cholesterol Levels

Kefir grains reduce cholesterol levels in milk 41 to 84% during fermentation. 

  • Healthy Gut 

Lactobacillus found in Kefir is used for its ability to regulate the body’s immune system and inhibit the growth of bacteria and parasites pathogenic in nature.

  • Balancing Blood Sugars

My neighbour began using Kefir on a Doctors recommendation to support a diagnosis of  Diabetes

  • Contains Calcium & Vitamin K  

Vitamin K activates proteins that play a role in blood clotting, calcium metabolism and heart health.  Calcium helps to build strong bones, protein builds strong muscles, and potassium is essential for heart health.

  • Allergies & Asthma

Shown to suppress inflammatory responses related to allergies and asthma.

  • Cancer & Tumors

Believed to reduce tumor growth by stimulating your immune system and has been studied for liver and breast cancer.  

  • Healthy Skin & Scalp

Applied topically anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial has calming effect on inflammations such as acne, rosacea.

  • Anti-Aging

Lactic acid reduces appearance of wrinkles, tightens pores and improves dry and dull skin.  Contain nourishing properties that soothe sun-damaged skin.

Try replacing in Yogurt with Kefir in Dandelion Facial Mask recipe 

Get traditional Kefir Grains to Culture

Ways of using Kefir

Kefir can be used in smoothies, recipes and cosmetically!  It can be flavoured with herbs and fruits and used replace milk in pancakes, baking recipes and other dishes such as home-made cottage cheese.  Rather than add cream to the curds, I have begun to use Kefir.

Read more ways to enjoy integrating a  Kefir lifestyle

There may be an adjustment period the first couple of days while your colon integrates the healthy bacteria of Kefir.  Stools may become looser and some gas may be experienced.

Get traditional Kefir Grains to Culture


For those with Auto immune disorders check with you Doctor before integrating Kefir into a regular diet staple.

Children under one should not have Kefir

Breastfed Babies receive pro-biotics through breast milk


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Copyright 2014 – 2020  Living in Nature’s Love by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP,
Feldenkrais® Practitioner since 2007, Communication & Empathy Coach since 2004, Art of Placement  since 2000

Creating Yogurt at Home is amazingly easy and inexpensive!

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles insideawareness.com

I was reminded of home-made yogurt when my neighbour served me with some of his this week.  He has made yogurt for years and he mentioned he adds dry milk  to thicken it into a Greek style.  It had a nicer taste than any commercially sold yogurt and I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

It was the inspiration to dust off the thermometer and gather up the milk and yogurt.  Two ingredients!  That all it takes to make yogurt.  Milk and a few tablespoons of yogurt to use as a culture.

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of milk
  • 4 tablespoons of yogurt

Heat four cups of milk slowly to 185 degrees and then cool to 115 degrees.  Once cool whisk in four tablespoons of yogurt evenly into the warm milk.  The yogurt acts as a culture to create a custard like solid.

Once mixed together place somewhere warm to sit for 6 to 8 hours.  This could be in a warm oven that has been turned off and oven light left on.  If left in cooler space it will take longer for the liquid to become custard like.  I have read up to 24 hours.

Kefir is the stage that is pre-custard like when the yogurt culture is active however before  it has begun to  solidify.  This means you can’t spoil a batch.  It simply means you have kefir!

Make Cream Cheese from Home-made Yogurt & end up with whey (a whole protein!)

Yogurt – Yellow Food

Yogurt is one of the milk products I enjoy and have continued with in my diet.  It is a fermented food which means it is a natural probiotic.  A good quality of yogurt can be beneficial for optimal gut health however many commercial yogurts contain sweeteners, artificial flavours and thickeners or pectin.  The ingredients that do not lead to good gut health!

Another consideration is what are the cows are being fed that produce the milk the commercial yogurt is made with?

Curious baby cows check out grass labyrinth

Are they free range cows eating grass in the meadows over the summer and home-grown hay  like the ones grazing at the Farm of our recent August retreat or are they eating a GMO diet (Genetically Modified)?  This a huge consideration in my mind and one I seriously considered when I had my own babies.

 

 

A good quality yogurt is high in protein and has the same nutrients as milk; calcium, phosphorus, potassium, riboflavin and vitamin A.  Yogurt also has a cancer-fighting conjugated linoleic acid.

When making your own yogurt you can choose a variety of milks or mild substitutes to experiment with such as *nut and rice milks.  Being curious about creating your own can be an adventure and bring some fun back into the kitchen.  Seasonal whole foods and  sweeteners can be added to your yogurt like fresh or frozen berries, fruits, nuts, honey or molasses and yes even grains!  I drizzle plant and flower infused honey I have created through Spring and Summer.  Fall into a  loving relationship with your food again or find out where to buy food that has been lovingly made!

In my opinion gut health is the building block to good health and could be one of the first considerations during any illness from colds and flues to more serious diagnosis.

*Nut milks require so many ingredients that I have chosen not to pursue this myself. I like the ease of two ingredients and eating simpler foods.

Create your own Yogurt Face Made with Dandelions Flowers 

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Copyright 2014 – 2019  Living in Nature’s Love by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP,
Feldenkrais® Practitioner since 2007, Communication & Empathy Coach since 2004, Art of Placement  since 2000