Kefir is traditionally made by adding kefir ‘grains’ (naturally-occurring cultures of yeast and bacteria) to cow’s or goat’s milk. The microorganisms ferment the sugars in the milk, turning it into kefir. The grains are then removed and can be used again. It can actually be made from any milk, although dairy-free versions will not have the same nutrient profile. Nourish Kefir produce a grains starter kit so you can make your own at home.
One of the great things about kefir is that it is usually well tolerated by lactose intolerant people because the microorganisms consume most of the lactose (sugar) in the milk during the fermentation process.
There are a number of health benefits to drinking kefir, and it is safe for children, pregnant and breast-feeding women and the elderly too.
Many people have an imbalance of gut bacteria, resulting from antibiotic treatment, stress or a diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates. The beneficial bacteria in kefir establish themselves in the gut, supporting a healthy gut environment, which is needed for long-term overall wellbeing.
In doing so, these friendly kefir microorganisms may help with bloating, IBS, chronic diarrhoea and candida overgrowth, and reduce gut inflammation seen in conditions like colitis. If you are an allergy sufferer you might also consider introducing kefir to your daily diet as it may reduce allergic responses. Some studies have also shown kefir has anti-tumour properties, potentially reducing the risk of certain cancers such as colorectal and stomach.
Kefir is also a good source of bone- and teeth-building nutrients calcium, magnesium, vitamin K2 and phosphorus. These nutrients work together to support and maintain healthy and strong bones, needed to prevent osteoporosis later in life. Vitamin K intake is also associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
You can enjoy kefir in a number of ways – just drink it straight from the bottle, or if you prefer, jazz it up with other fresh ingredients or incorporate it into other recipes. Some of our Fig & Bloom favourites are:
- blending with fresh fruit for a nourishing and filling drink
- adding to a tuna or prawn mayonnaise mix
- mixing into a freshly made guacamole
- stirring through cold soups
- topping with fresh fruit on pancakes
- using as a sour cream replacement topping in chilli
Just try to avoid cooking with it as the heat will destroy the beneficial bacteria.
OUR SELECTION OF DAIRY-FREE KEFIR
Pure Coconut Kefir 3 Pack - Mango & passionfruit Kefir 3 Pack
Pure Coconut Kefir - Mango & Passionfruit Kefir - - Raw Coconut Kefir Yoghurt
By Stephanie (Nutritional Therapist) and Dorothy (Recipe Developer and Holistic Chef)
Fig & Bloom
Bespoke Nutrition in the Kitchen
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