How to make Kefir
A fermented milk drink, Kefir is a wonderful natural probiotic that goes a long way in restoring and maintaining a healthy gut flora. Any Candida treatment plan will benefit from a course of either commercial or home made Kefir, to not only treat the Candida infection but to also keep it at bay in the future. Kefir is simple a to make at home and once you are up and running you will be able to enjoy a new fresh batch every day. Buying the right grains to make the fermented drink will mean that you can keep reusing them indefinitely, so you will be helping your gut and your wallet.
What you will need to make your own Kefir
First you will need to gather together the following equipment and ingredients:
- Seal-able glass jar
- Large wooden spoon
- Plastic sieve
- Fresh organic milk
- Kefir fermenting grains
Finding the best quality Kefir gains that you can will not only give you a high quality end product but will also allow you to reuse them many times, if you look after them. A by-process of the fermentation process will mean that you generate more gains that you can pass on to other people you know who would like to try making Kefir. You may wish to have a ‘trial run’ making Kefir at home and an easy way to start is with a starter kit that you can buy online. These are a good way to see if you like Kefir but the gains will only last for 6-8 uses. The grains that you are left with at the end of either method can be kept in the fridge, covered with a little milk, ready for the next time you wish to make a batch. Look out for ‘Kefir Clubs’ online where people will share their excess Kefir gains with you if you supply the postage costs.
Make sure that all the utensils that you are going to use are very clean every time you make a new batch, any cross contamination will make it spoil rather than ferment. It is important that you don’t use any equipment made from metals (stainless steel is acceptable but not ideal) as the Kefir culture is relatively acidic and will cause toxins to pass into the drink. Try to use plastic, wood and glass items.
Once you have worked through the following steps there is a final stage that is very important for those on a Candida diet. While the Kefir is still young, post fermentation, it still contains a large proportion of the lactose from the milk. Lactose is a form of sugar that will feed the Candida. The final step is to ‘ripen’ the Kefir by allowing it to sit at room temperature for 2 days. This will eliminate most of the lactose and has the additional benefit of increasing its B Vitamin content, which many Candida sufferers are deficient in.
Kefir recipe and process
The process is very straight forward and once you have completed your first batch you can make as much as you like – on demand.
Wash then sterilise your glass jar in a moderate oven for 20mins, set aside and allow it to cool. Next add 3 tablespoons of Kefir grain to the jar for every litre or 2 pints (1 quart) of organic milk you intend to use, pour in the milk. Use the wooden spoon to stir the mixture. Place the lid on the jar so that covers the neck but is not tight, to allow any pressure build up to be released.
Find a place to keep the jar that is out of direct sunlight and at room temperature. Over the next 12 to 24 hours leave the mixture to ferment. Controlling the fermentation time allows to you to make the type of Kefir that you enjoy the most. A shorter fermentation time will produce a thin, sweet Kefir while a longer duration will thicken it and make the taste more sour. Should you leave the Kefir to ferment longer than 24hrs, you may notice it separate so that a watery yellow whey is on the bottom and a thick, white curd forms on the top. You can still use this but it will be quite sour and not to everyone’s taste. Don’t use any Kefir past this fermentation stage.
Once you have fermented your Kefir to the desired stage, give the jar a stir and then pour the content through the plastic sieve. Reserve the grains that you collect in the sieve to reuse in next batch. They will keep well in the fridge covered with a little milk for several days. The Kefir itself can now be ripened in the glass jar. During the strict phase of the diet it is important that to eliminate all of the lactose in the Kefir, to do this keep it room temperature for a further 2 days, then it is ready to drink. Keep it in the fridge and treat it like a yogurt with regards to a use by date. Once you get familiar with the process it is very easy and quick to make and well worth the effort. Incorporating Kefir into your long term diet will go a long way in ensuring that your Candida overgrowth does not re-occur.