By Tiphanie Tueni, Naturopath - Paris 16th, Passy - La Muette
In addition to being an ideal thirst-quenching summer fizzy drink, kefir inoculates the gut with beneficial bacteria. Within a few months of daily use, one can really feel an improvement in gut health and all the benefits that result from that: clearer skin, better immune function, better bowl health and the list goes on !
What is kefir?
There are two types of kefir: fruit kefir which is water-based, and milk kefir which is made using cow, sheep or goat's milk. Fruit kefir grains are made up of clusters of microorganisms that allow the fermentation of sugar water. They contain a wide variety of probiotics, some of which are effective against pathogenic bacteria such as e.coli.
The kefir: a bit of history
Kefir was discovered by a Brazilian doctor, Adolfo Lutz, at the end of the 19th century. Russian Doctor Élie Metchnikoff (1845-1916), a Russian bacteriologist who won a Nobel Prize of Medicine in 1908 devoted his research to kefir. He discovered that kefir prevents the putrefaction of food passing through the gut while reseeding the intestinal flora with beneficial bacteria.
Kefir comes in abundance - the grains multiply rapidly - so tradition dictates that they be given away free of charge.
RECIPE to make fruit kefir
o Fruit kefir seeds
o 1 litre of spring or mineral water (mineralized at about 170 mg/L)
o 3 tablespoons of organic cane sugar
o 1 organic lemon
o 1 ORGANIC dried fig
o A large glass container
o A glass bottle that closes tightly
o A wooden spoon
o A non-metallic strainer (kefir grains are incompatible with metal)
o A gas
o A rubber band
o A glass conservation jar (for the conservation of kefir grains)
o Fill the glass container with one litre of water and dissolve 3 spoons of sugar.
o Filter the kefir grains through a strainer and rinse them lightly under tap water.
o Plunge them into sugar water
o Add the fig (the fig must plunge to the bottom)
o Add a slice of lemon from which the seeds have been removed.
o Cover the whole thing with gas and elastic band.
o Store away from odorous products (e.g. household products) and in the dark.
o When the fig has risen to the surface of the water, the kefir is ready to be eaten; the kefir can be left to ferment the sugar further in order to obtain a slightly more pronounced taste of lacto-fermentation (like pickles)
o Remove fig and lemon
o Filter the kefir drink into the glass bottle and store in the refrigerator.
o To preserve the grains: fill a glass jar with mineral or spring water and dissolve a tablespoon of organic sugar in it; after rinsing the kefir grains lightly under tap water, put them back in the jar of sugar water and place them in the refrigerator. They can be stored for up to a month. Ideally change their water every 10 days.
Above: the fig has risen to the surface (to the left of the lemon): the kefir is ready to be filtered and eaten.
Once bottled, kefir can be kept for several days in the refrigerator.
Kefir comes in abundance - the grains multiply rapidly - so tradition dictates that they be given away free of charge!