I first heard about kefir in the form of fermented milk. It is a sour and creamy yogurt-like drink that is widely known for its health and therapeutic properties. You should try it; then again, everyone should. It is easy to prepare, has no side effects and can cure a ton of illnesses. You practically have nothing to lose, but don’t expect it to be the most delicious beverage.
Kefir is known to treat tuberculosis, leaky gut syndrome, asthma, bronchitis, skin diseases, digestive problems, candidiasis, hypertension, osteoporosis, colon cancer, diabetics and HIV/AIDS. It truly is a wonder health drink that is easy to prepare in your own kitchen; simply place kefir grains in raw milk (or any kind of milk) and allow to sit for a day or two as the grains ferment the milk.
What I didn’t know was that I can cook kefir to spice up my meals and make them nutritious. Kefir is real organic food, which is why it may be consumed in different ways and forms other than as a drink. It is not synthetic health drink that has been concocted by experiments in the laboratory. Those who know kefir best say that it nature’s most important gift to man. Some even argue that the white, fluffy manna mentioned in the Old Testament was kefir grains.
Can I cook or heat up my kefir? Yes, definitely although it will kill off helpful probiotics. Kefir grains are made up of living microorganisms — friendly fungi and bacteria whose task is to cleanse the intestines and guts from bad bacteria. Probiotics are microscopic miracle workers that do all the cleansing, healing, flushing, and so on. Sadly, they die when cooked, as would any other living organisms.
The good news is that there are other helpful nutrients in kefir grains that you will benefit from even after cooking. The white cauliflower-like kefir grains are rich in sugars, proteins, lipids, vitamins, and minerals. They also contain polysaccharide called kefiran, although I believe the word “kefir” was not named after this substance but the other way around. I learned that it was derived from a Turkish word that means “feeling good” or “a good feeling”
The important nutrients in kefir that will not go away due to heating are calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, tryptophan (an amino acid), folic acids, biotin, and Vitamins A, B2, B12, D, and K. Your nervous system benefits a lot from these, since the tryptophan calms your nerves while calcium and magnesium stabilizes your system.
Other than these contents, kefir also has antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties, which means kefir can treat several types of health problems, some of which I already mentioned above. These properties, however, are in danger of being damaged or lost when heated since they are brought about by the probiotics.
However, cooking kefir should not be your first option in how to consume your kefir for the main reason that cooking is said to kill the good bacteria. Consider cooking only after you’ve prepared your kefir milk already or when you wish to show off to your friends the many ways to consume kefir.
If you must cook your kefir, here are a few tips. Most people use kefir to make sourdough bread. You can search for a number of online sources that give out easy-to-follow steps in making sourdough kefir bread. You can practically use kefir as substitute for milk, yogurt or sour cream in any recipe that uses them. It’s also a good substitute for buttermilk. Other popular culinary options for kefir are cheesecake kefir, salad dressing, pasta and a variety of soups.
I am not a cook, but it’s really easy cooking pasta with kefir. Simply use a solution of kefir-whey and water when boiling your pasta. Don’t be surprised, though, to see your solution with froth. That is quiet normal and very similar to what will happen when you boil milk. Once boiled just right, you now have a more nutritious pasta in your bowl.
You can use your kefir-whey and water solution for other purposes such as baking, making pickles and culturing fresh vegetables. Some even use it for gargling and they say it’s very good!
A number of websites and kefir users also use kefir grains as substitute for dough when making bread. According to maria.fremlin.de, here’s how to make flat bread using kefir.
One, add kefir grains and salt to your dough. Make a nice, smooth and elastic dough.
Two, place in a bowl and a cling film as you would when making regular bread.
Three, leave it overnight in room temperature.
Four, the next day after the dough had risen, divide into lumps depending on how many you want and how large you want them to be. Place on a well-oiled tray so they won’t stick.
Five, bake for 5 minutes or more, depending on how much you want it toasted. Then serve, and be proud of yourself for baking healthy lumps of bread for your family or friends.
I would love to discover what else I can do with my kefir and to convince everyone to try it. But cooking is my last preference in preparing and consuming kefir. Downing milk kefir regularly is perfect for me. If I wish to have a little variety, I go for a kefir smoothie or water kefir soda. Then, I do some cooking.