The wonders of kefir

By Liberty Bollen

Kefir is a powerful natural probiotic created by pouring milk onto kefir grains (or cultures). This mixture is then fermented for around 24 hours, where it will turn into thin yoghurt. Cow, goat, sheep and even Camel’s milk are commonly used worldwide, but you can also use alternatives to dairy such as nut, seed and oat milks.

Fermenting queen, Sonia of Cultured Cellar, offered lively demonstrations on how to use kefir, kombucha and jun at True Food. 

Kefir Demonstrations  

A closely guarded secret

Kefir is steeped in a mysterious history. Legend has it the prophet Muhammad gave kefir grains to Orthodox Christians...other sources say it was the Tibetan Monks. What we do know for sure is that kefir originated from the northern region of the Caucasus Mountain range, where they were a closely guarded secret. That is until the early 20th century, when two inquisitive Russian physicians hired two brothers who owned a big dairy to obtain some kefir grains. Their tactic was to tempt a prince from the mountain region with a beautiful woman. She won his heart and stole his kefir secrets, but was kidnapped back by the lusty prince. Luckily the physicians rescued her and thankfully for us, kefir is now available to all who wish to find it!

Health benefits

Kefir contains a plethora of good bacteria that populate the gut, so this is THE superfood. The health benefits are overwhelming, so click here to be wowed!

I’ve been making and using kefir for many years and have never felt so healthy. It’s given me more energy, better sleep, strong immune system, improved digestion, healthier skin, hair and nails…I could go on. The fantastic book “Fermenting: Milk Kefir” by Rashelle Johnson offers loads of information and recipes. It’s my kefir bible.

I got my first kefir grains (or “The alien” as my partner likes to call it) from a dear friend, who got hers from a Canadian kefir website. I’ve passed excess grains to family, friends and interested shoppers at True Food. Kefir grains like to spread their good bacteria, so if you get some please make sure you spread the love!

The good news is that True Food sells Kefir, but if you would like some grains then please contact Sonia or ask a member of staff for more information. It’s also worth checking the shop notice board to the right of the entrance as you walk into True Food.

KEY FACT: If you are lactose intolerant it’s possible to drink milk kefir. This is because fermentation changes the chemical composition of the milk and lowers the lactose levels.

Sonia also recommends the How to make milk kefir 101 video.