This is real fresh living milk kefir culture that can be used indefinitely and will grow over time. The name ‘kefir’ means ‘good feeling’. The kefir drink that you can make with this culture is a kind of powerful yoghurt with some advantages which you can read about below.
Kefir has a very good balance of amino acids, including the essential ones that the body cannot make itself. In particular it is loaded with tryptophan, the precursor of serotonin, that helps keep us us happy and tends to be deficient in modern farmed food and also cooked food. It also contains good supplies of the B vitamins including B12. It repopulates the gut with friendly bacteria and is an antiseptic. It can help with candida. Acetylcholine in it improves sleep and is good for memory intelligence, learning, enthusiasm and and general mood. It contains lecithin which helps in the assimilation of fats. It contains ‘right rotating’ lactic acid (as opposed to ‘left rotating’ lactic acid found in other yoghurts) which revives cells. As the lactose is pre-digested by the culture, kefir can often be taken by people who are normally dairy intolerant.
Kefir can be made with milk at room temperature, no heating is involved and it has an exceptionally helpful nutritional composition. You just put the culture (it looks a bit like cottage cheese) into the raw milk in an airtight glass container for about 24 hours, strain with a plastic sieve and use the liquid that drains out for eating, drinking or recipes. Raw milk is preferable but not essential and cows’, goats’, sheeps’ milk are all suitable. The culture itself flourishes best with raw milk.</p><p>Kefir can be made into a mild soft cheese. This kefir culture has been cared for, bred and fed entirely with raw, organic milk in Somerset and Devon. It is a living thing, can live forever and can be used indefinitely. It will continue to grow (doubling in size about every 16 days) and the extra culture can given away or even eaten. The package contains an instruction sheet with a couple of recipes which you can view here.
Choosing to have your kefir culture sent in a glass jar reduces the risk of any leaching from plastic. If purchasing from outside the British Isles and transit time is likely to be long and hot we recommend considering choosing dehydrated kefir grains.
Here is a more extensive article about kefir:
Kefir the magic elixir
Kefir is an incredible magic food which comes into being through the symbiotic activities of three living groups: humans, grazing animals and beneficial micro-organisms. The name ‘kefir’ itself means ‘good feeling’, an apt name as it contains a lot of tryptophan from which serotonin, the well-being biochemical, is made.
Kefir can be thought of as a kind of powerful yoghurt but with some significant advantages. It is the most powerfully probiotic food or supplement that we know of. It actively repopulates the gut, laying down a healthy mucus layer that micro-flora can flourish in, supporting the digestive and immune system.
The culture is so powerful that, unlike yoghurt, it can successfully compete with all the micro-organisms that naturally exist in milk and also it will work at room temperature. This means that, unlike with yoghurt, the milk does not have to be heated to make it and so the nutritional components in the milk remain undamaged. This is great because it allows us to take full advantage of the nutrition in dairy milk, for example the fat soluble vitamins A (retinol), D3 and K2. Also it avoids the changes to the proteins and sugars in milk which can cause problems.
The kefir culture, which transforms animal milks into a supremely nourishing drink, is actually a mixture of numerous kinds of friendly bacteria and yeasts. Our bodies are really whole ecosystems and ideally our digestive tracts contain ten times more friendly micro-organisms than we have cells in our bodies; these support a healthy immune system and brain function. The kefir culture itself is potentially immortal – if properly looked after and fed with milk, it can live indefinitely. The liquid kefir that it makes is a preserved living food and can keep for months. We prefer to store it in a cool place but this is not necessary. If it is stored in a warm place secondary fermentation in the bottle will take place so you may want to check that too much pressure is not building up over time.
The particular nutritive properties of kefir are numerous. The culture rebalances the amino acids in animal milk making them more suitable for humans. In particular, as already mentioned, it increases the amount of tryptophan which is the raw material from which serotonin, the well-being biochemical, is made. Tryptophan tends to be lacking in modern diets as it is easily damaged by cooking. Kefir contains ample amounts of B vitamins including B12. Acetylcholine in it improves sleep and is good for memory, intelligence, learning, enthusiasm and general mood. Kefir also contains lecithin which helps in the assimilation of fats. It contains ‘right-rotating’ lactic acid (as opposed to ‘left-rotating’ lactic acid found in other yoghurts) which revives cells.
One of the great aspects of kefir is that it allows us to take advantage of the nutrition in raw milk whilst avoiding some of the potential allergenic problems of dairy products. The culture breaks down the lactose into lactic acid and the casein into beneficial peptides. Also, this particular kefir is made with Jersey milk which is predominantly A2 type and much more suitable for human consumption than the allergenic A1 type milk that is produced by modern breeds of cows. The cows that produce this organic milk are grass fed for most of the year and when possible in winter. It is also interesting to note that kefir can break down pesticides.
Added to all this, kefir has an unusual, delicious and acquired taste. When bottled, as this product is, it undergoes a secondary fermentation and becomes slightly fizzy – the ‘champagne of raw dairy’. Please open it carefully – occasionally it can bubble over the top of the bottle.
Kefir can be made into a mild soft cheese. Simply pour into a muslin bag (for example the type used for making seed and nut milks) and hang over a container to catch the whey. Leave for 24 hours and you have kefir cheese in the bag. You can use this to make raw cheesecakes.
To make kefir cream simply leave the kefir in a jar and let it separate out and scoop the cream off the top. You can use the whey that is left behind too to inoculate vegetable ferments. Sometimes the kefir is already separated out in the bottle this way. If you want to mix it up you can just shake the bottle. Be careful when you open it after doing this as it will make it more fizzy!
Kefir is delicious drunk by itself but you can also mix in superfood powders and fruit etc according to taste. One of our favourite foods to add is yacon, either as the yacon root powder or yacon syrup; they contain prebiotics, indigestible sugars and fibres which act as food for beneficial microorganisms in the gut. Dried noni is also a great addition as it facilitates the absorption of tryptophan.