Many people love to consume kefir milk for their smoothies during summer. With incredible health benefits, the added plus is that they taste great! However, a lot of people don’t know the significance of kefir grains when it comes to our health.
What Are Kefir Grains?
Kefir grains are natural microorganisms with unique properties for various uses. They can not be synthesized using artificial techniques in labs. However, they tend to grow and multiply in milk, where their small pieces can be divided into a big cluster for growth.
This probiotic rich fermented beverage has been around for centuries. Read more on the history of kefir.
Within each cluster of kefir grains, you can find plenty of bacteria along with twenty strains of yeast. Therefore, it plays a vital role in fermenting milk compared to yogurt that generally involves two types of bacteria.
Moreover, kefir comprises the following types of bacteria.
- Lactococcus lactis
- Lactobacillus paracasei
- Lactobacillus brevis
- Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria can assist in maintaining proper digestive flora which may contribute to overall health and a sense of well-being.
These “grains” consist of proteins, lipids, and sugars; hence, they can speed up the fermentation of milk while growing in quantity. You can purchase fresh kefir grains to prepare kefir milk at home with an appropriate culture.
In addition to the milk kefir grain, there is a non-dairy source of kefir in the form of water kefir grains. Water Kefir grains can be purchased in a dry dehydrated form.
Learn how to make Water Kefir:
Learn How to Make Milk Kefir:
Matcha Kefir Energy Smoothie
Types and Uses of Kefir
Homemade Water Kefir
Water kefir is a naturally carbonated beverage composed of water kefir grains. It is also known as Japanese water crystals, tibicos, and California bees. Typically, kefir is made up of goat, sheep, or cow milk, while water kefir consists of sugar water and water kefir grains.
These two ingredients create a grain-like culture of yeast and bacteria to prepare water kefir upon fermentation for over 24 to 72 hours. As a result, this probiotic beverage is produced.
With a range of good nutrition and health benefits, it tastes delicious and refreshing on warm summer days.
With the addition of lemons and figs, you can prepare detox water at home. It can be a part of a healthy in weight loss program with regular consumption.
Also, consider doing a double fermentation to make a fizzy kefir soda pop! Learn more at how to make water kefir.
Homemade Milk Kefir
Milk Kefir is composed of a mixture of yeasts and bacteria. After milk pasteurization, various bacteria, including Lactobacillus caucasius, are added along with yeasts, such as Torula kefir and Saccharomyces kefir. Its looks like cauliflower and is fermented for approximately 20 hours.
The refreshing kefir is an excellent alternative for yogurt, milk, and buttermilk in various foods. You can add kefir milk to your salads for creamy yet nutritious dressing or your cereal every morning.
Also, you can drink kefir milk to alleviate digestion issues. Moreover, you can find special kefir grains for coconut milk at various stores to prepare fresh coconut kefir milk at home.
How to Store Kefir Grains
Kefir grains are a great source of essential nutrients for the human body. If you are thinking about kefir grain storage, you can put them in a clear glass jar, Ziploc bag, or a freezer-safe container.
Cover the grains with dry milk powder and tightly seal the container, jar, or bag and store in the freezer for up to 2 months. With proper care and attention, you can freeze kefir grains and avail their benefits at home very conveniently.
Kefir offers marvelous health benefits when consumed on a regular basis. Make sure to try your hand at making either milk kefir or water kefir or both and discover for yourself the benefits of fermented foods!