It has been more than 2 weeks since I first started making kefir smoothies for our family. The introduction was not hard, especially with my son. But after the first week, when I gradually thickened the concentration of the kefir milk, I got a sour face because of the little- too-sour-concoction, from my dear husband. Although he would always finish the smoothies anyway, I solved the problem by adding a little more honey. I stuck with the thick kefir milk concentrate, though. It worked. There was one day I ran out of fruits, I experimented with this strawberry jam from Baguio and my son loved it. Apparently, it is only I who can drink it au naturale. And I wonder, really. It tastes just like yoghurt. If people can eat yoghurt without fuss, then drinking or eating kefir shouldn’t be a problem. 🙂
This is the second batch of kefir grains that I’m currently “taking care of.” I accidentally lost my first batch that Tita Jane of Here’s to Life gave me. 🙁 A newbie’s boo-boo. I probably mashed it with the milk curds as I was straining during my third day of “kefiring”. Here’s when the old adage comes in, “If there’s a will, there’s a way.” And I did not waste time, buying kefir internationally was too pricey and I knew I cannot wait so long until I get my next batch, anyway. I bought kefir milk from Bizu and got these tiny and lovely grains when I first strained it. I got excited, I wasn’t able to take a decent shot. I know it’s overexposed, but it’s the only photo I got of my first baby Caucasus kefir grains. 🙂
Needless to say, I fell in love with “kefiring” right from the first time I made my first kefir smoothie. This is why I will forever be grateful to Tita Jane for introducing me to the health benefits of kefir. Whoever would have thought that a lactose intolerant me would ever take in milk based stuff on a daily basis, and not just once. I drink atleast a couple of glasses per day.
Behold, my kefir grains, a couple of weeks later! 🙂 The first time I fermented the kefir milk, I used the regular tetra packed fresh milk available in the supermarket. Three days ago when I did my grocery shopping, I saw this fresh carabao’s milk (not the UHT processed type). From what I’ve read, the UHT (Ultra High Temperature) processing of the milk is what makes the milk last for so long. The regular tetra packed milk can last months, even a year. The most recent that I bought is marked with a May 2010 expiry, while the “real fresh” carabao’s milk that I bought has a tag of Sept. 23, 2009. Only a week after I bought it. I tried looking for Milk Star goat’s milk, which I wrote about last year, but I can’t find one from the supermarket. 🙁
Here’s where I ferment my kefir milk. 🙂
I love that the kefir smoothie works hand in hand with my quest to keeping my weight stable. One thing I’m sure about is that this ups the immune system, what I’m not sure of is if it has fat burner properties. It works for me in a sense that whenever I drink the smoothie, I feel half full already come meal time. 😉
Kefir is a probiotic. Probiotics are known to be the friendly micro-organisms that fight the bad bacteria in our bodies. Most good bacteria come from Lactobacillus (think Yakult) or Bididobacterium groups. Taking probiotics ups our immune system by its very nature that it defends our bodies from the bad guys a.k.a. bad bacteria. More on this at a later post. Meanwhile, allow me to go back to fermenting my next milk kefir batch. 🙂
Here’s how I make my kefir smoothie:
1. From the first grains that I have (check second photo from top), I place it in a vacuum glass jar and add in a cup of fresh milk. (the non-UHT type brings about more stringy kefir grains and curds, and from experience they grow ever so rapidly with it too)
2. Wait 24 hours for the next straining.
3. Give it a quick stir just to make it easier to strain.
4. While waiting, I get the fruits ready and place them inside the blender, with honey to taste. (no citrus fruits)
5. Strain away with the use of a plastic strainer. I often “help” by shaking the strainer and giving it a stir from time to time.
6. I plop the kefir grains into a clean vacuum glass jar. I read that others plop theirs right back to the original jar. (something I would have to look into later)
7. Pour the kefir milk (from the straining) with the rest of the ingredients that are already in the blender and blend away.