My Recent Obsession: Kefir
*And why YOU should make Kefir too*
I distinctly remember my childhood frustration that “everything” tasty, was bad for me, and all-things-blah were good for me. I would validate my frustration by making mental lists of things that tasted good, but (I was told) were bad for me. It felt so unjust that something tasty could actually harm me. I wished that veggies were as yummy as sugar.
In one particular instance, when I was probably 6 years old, I desperately wanted some Cookie Crisp cereal. As any health conscientious mother would/(should?) do, my mom declined my request for the sugar laden cereal.
Little Liz internally fumed as I walked the isles with my mom and made purchase plans for “when I grew up”.
“When I’m in charge of the cart,” I thought, “I’m going to buy Cookie Crisp -- EVERY DAY”. As we continued through the store, I mentally shopped for my adult self - putting all things unhealthy into the cart and LOVING it.
Fast forward 15 some years to one of my first married birthdays. After hearing my childhood dreams for Cookie Crisp - Jonathan thought it appropriate that I have some for my real-life adult birthday. As I grasped the box with excited hands, there might as well have been cinematic music playing in the background as I lifted it from the shelf. This was the moment Little Liz had been waiting for. I was buying my dream and I felt like a child.
This was my mom-less moment. I was finally out from under the purchasing “tyranny” of someone else's' health opinions. I was in control!
I gleefully took my box of happiness home and prepared for the pinnacle celebration of a lifetime of planning. This was going to be awesome. THIS was adulthood!
To my horror: I didn’t like it.
To my disgust: my mom was right.
Growing up on homemade everything (Thanks mom), my adult tongue had no taste for ultra processed cookie sugar bombs. I felt so conflicted. This was my calculated childhood plan to consume this on the regular, and I didn’t like it.
After my big adult birthday “fix”, I put the cookies crisp in my cupboard where it eventually ended up going stale. I couldn’t believe it.
A lifetime of dreams gone stale in my cupboard. How could this be?
25 years later, I laugh to think of little Liz - so frustrated over the injustice that things that tasted good were bad for me and things that tasted ‘bad’ were good for me.
I’ve talked to many adult moms who feel the same way.
Here’s the deal though:
Maybe we struggle to make healthy choices because we’re doing it wrong!
Healthy choices don’t have to be boring and taste bad!
Healthy choices can he AMAZING
With this silly cereal story, you can probably guess my excitement when Adult Liz finds something that is not only delicious, but ridiculously good for me too!
So here I am - ready to share my most recent obsession with you: Homemade Kefir
The internet is chock-full of research about how awesome Kefir is… please check it out for yourself. The amount of research about it is overwhelming.
I pulled a few Evidence-Based Health Benefits from healthline.com just to get us started.
1. Kefir Is a Fantastic Source of Many Nutrients
2. Kefir Is a More Powerful Probiotic Than Yogurt
3. Kefir Has Potent Antibacterial Properties
4. Kefir Can Improve Bone Health and Lower the Risk of Osteoporosis
5. Kefir May Be Protective Against Cancer
6. The Probiotics in It May Help With Various Digestive Problems
7. Kefir Is Low in Lactose
8. Kefir May Improve Allergy and Asthma Symptoms
9. Kefir Is Easy to Make at Home
Many sites also cite benefits in skin health, constipation relief, boosted mood and weight loss.
Beyond all of the benefits - Kefir is actually yummy! I personally sweeten mine with fruit and our own farm’s raw honey so I feel like I’m winning all around and back. It is amazing!
So how do we get this stuff?!?! - Well, you can buy it in the grocery store for $2.78 a quart (which is over 11 dollars a gallon) ORRRR you can make it for FAR less. I make mine from our farm’s fresh milk and let me tell you - it. Is. amazing. (I haven’t tried making it with, store-bought milk so I can’t say exactly how it would turn out. :) )
More details than you probably need to know:
There are actually a couple ways to make Kefir - if you can get your hands on some Kefir “Grains” - that’s awesome! I don’t have any now, so I’m doing a different method with freeze dried grains. You can buy “real” grains from Amazon for $8.88. Not a horrible price because you can use them over and over again with every batch of kefir. HOWEVER, if you find a friend who makes Kefir, they should have some “baby” grains they can give you because the Kefir is always making more grains. SO - if you’re a local friend reading this, and you know where I can find some cheap/free grains - let me know!
Farm Fresh Kefir
Heat 1 Quart of milk to 180 Degrees
Cool to 73-77 Degrees (This takes a while - don’t hold your breath)
Pull out a ½ cup of cooled milk and put it into a bowl
Dissolve the 5g starter packet in your ½ cup of cooled milk (I bought this on Amazon)
Pour packet/milk mixture back into the rest of your milk and stir
Poor mixture into a clean container
Cover and let stand at room temp for 24 hours
Refrigerate about 8 hours to stop the fermenting process
Pick yo’ Flavor!
Pour your kefir into your blender
Blend in the fruit of your choice and a drizzle of honey