Sniff, sniff… GAG …what just happened?
The first time I made kefir, I gagged and threw it away.
I was given some weird looking cauliflower jellish balls known as “kefir grains” and was told they were AAAAAMAZING. “Just pour milk over them and let it sit for 24 hours.” Easy enough!
I proceeded as instructed. Twenty-four hours later, I Martha Stewart-ed my way to the kitchen and popped open the jar. I just about died from the smell alone.
WHAT had I created?! Surely I wasn’t supposed to drink that. At best, it would burn my insides out. At worst, I may die.There was no negotiating with my potent creation. Down the drain it went. Bullet dodged.
The trouble is, I didn’t realize what I was making, or how to make it correctly. Everyone flops a recipe now and then. Even if your “helpful” kid triples the salt while making cookies, you don’t swear off cookies for all time. You throw them out and try again next time.
My brush with kefir-death made me gun shy for “next time,” but then I started researching. If I tried to tell you how amazing kefir is, you’d say I was crazy.
I dare you to search “health benefits of kefir” for yourself. You won’t believe what you find. I found such overwhelming evidence for drinking kefir, it seemed too good to be true.
I found things like kefir is: 1. An easy Source of Many Nutrients. 2. Contains three times more powerful probiotics than yogurt. 3. Has potent antibacterial properties that protect against infections! 4. Can improve bone health and lower the risk of osteoporosis. 5. May be protective against cancer
6. Helps with various digestive problems. 7. Is low in lactose. 8. May improve allergy and asthma symptoms. 9. Is easy to make at home: www.healthline.com/nutrition/9-health-benefits-of-kefir.
Many others claim benefits in skin health, constipation relief, boosted mood, improved sleep and weight loss. Why in the world would I not want a glass of that?!
In the land of McDonald’s, Coke, and corn syrup, maybe we owe our bodies a glass of awesomeness every day. Maybe constantly putting garbage into our bodies makes us feel like garbage.
What if we tried something different?
…BUT WHAT IF WE DIE?!
I hear you. Hear me: you won’t.
With such overwhelming benefits, and having enjoyed some store bought kefir (perhaps you could start here, too), I figured it was worth another shot. I bought grains and launched into the fermentation learning curve.
I always say that making kefir is more art than science. You need to work with your pallet and ease into it. If fermented foods aren’t your jam, don’t try to slam it full strength. Building up a taste for it is worth every minute of effort in light of the benefits!
Fast forward many years and kefir is one of the EASIEST things I do in my kitchen. It seriously couldn’t get much easier. I know learning curves can be scary – so I’m here to help. Perhaps we can flatten your curve by borrowing mine.
Here are my tips: 1. If it’s yucky, you’re making it wrong. It’s ok to start with less fermentation and a little more natural sweetener. It’s worth it. 2. You’re literally fermenting something… so expect fermentation. Think sauerkraut, sourdough bread, kimchi… It’s going to smell sour, but it won’t kill you. I doubt anyone ever pops open sourdough starter and takes a bite. That stuff is sharp smelling. However – make some sourdough bread and wow, delicious! 3. Kefir is the “champagne” of dairy. Before you gag, it’s helpful to realize that it’s supposed to be effervescent. Expect bubbly. 4. Repeat after me: healthy food can taste awesome. 5. Visit www.gerdesfreshfarm.com/blog for a video explaining the whole process!
When I say kefir is worth it – I mean it. I could tell you about my husband’s healed acid reflux. I could tell you about my friend’s digestive issues that are gone. Or my friend’s skin that is “mysteriously” cleared since drinking kefir. Or about how my kids beg for kefir because they love it and need it? Or the incredible regularity of digestion that I’ve experienced. Or the way that it feels to have happy guts…
But it might just be too good to be true… you have to try it for yourself.
Meet your farmer – Liz Gerdes. She & her husband are local dairy farmers and friends to anyone who needs one. She helps moms feel amazing about what they feed their families with farm fresh milk! Visit gerdesfreshfarm.com or follow her on Facebook @gerdesfreshfarm for more info.