Thursday, May 30, 2013

Benefits of Fermented Foods 2

I am enjoying this series of fermented foods between preparing them for you as readers to see in videos and exploring the actual process of making them. Some foods I have been consuming for years as well as making, and others are completely new! Thank you again for taking this journey with me. Fermented and cultured foods are extremely healing to the body due to the deep nutritional benefits and abundant healthy bacteria.

I cannot stress enough the necessity for healthy bacteria to be predominant in the body. Eating fermented and cultured food is a super way to enhance the bacteria count. A healthy gut is equivalent to a healthy immune system. You cannot have one without the other. Did you know that there is a nervous system inside the gut called the enteric system? When we become stressed, depressed, sad, angry, happy, or scared all of those emotions are felt in our gut...our intestines. Managing stress is integral to gut health. Having a healthy body is one way to manage stress. Being diligent to eat to live and using food as medicine is half the battle. Nutritional deficiency can lead to an unbalanced chemical composition.

Our fermented food for today is kefir. It's origin goes back to the process of making kefir being discovered in the Causasus Mountains. Traditionally you'd take what are called kefir grains, which are not really grains at all, but rather a symbiotic bacteria, and you'd put the grains into animal skin bags with cow, goat, or sheep milk. The bags would be hung in a doorway and left to sit for several hours. Marco Polo actually mentioned the making of kefir during his travels according to the East. Russia was the first country to sell kefir commercially.

Well, the way kefir is made today, at least the way I am going to show you is a little bit different. We will be using kefir grains. I originally obtained mine from Marilyn the Kefir Lady. Her website is in case you would like to order them. She sends wonderful instructions along with the grains. For extra instruction watch my video below.

You will need:
1Tbsp Kefir grains
At least 4-6 cups of either raw or only pasteurized milk depending on the laws in your state
A 1/2 gallon or gallon glass jar
A micro mesh strainer
A large glass bowl
A spoon

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