Before attending this workshop with Living Arts School instructor Catherine Lassen, kefir and all its magical health benefits were completely alien to me. “Kefir literally means ‘good feeling’––which is exactly what you get when consuming kefir,” Catherine explained.
The first Kefir grains are said to have been a gift from Allah, delivered by his prophet Mohammed. The grains were treasured by the people who possessed them, passed down from generation to generation, and were definitely not shared with strangers. I was intrigued to learn that kefir is a traditional and widely consumed beverage among Russian children.Kefir provides a wealth
of health benefits. It may be easily digested, as it provides beneficial bacteria for the digestive system. “Kefir may also eliminate unhealthy food cravings,” Catherine explained. The seemingly magic grains also have the ability to replenish the body with good bacteria after taking antibiotics by creating a colony that remains in the digestive system. “Kefir can even help with high blood pressure and acne,” Catherine explained.
There are many ways to use kefir, other than as a drink. To make kefir, first purchase a box of the “grains.” This single box should last you a lifetime if they are taken care of consistently.
Because kefir is alive, it must be “fed” and taken care of. Ideally, raw cow’s milk will be used to”feed” your kefir grains. It is also possible to make non-dairy kefir; simply substitute dairy milk for coconut milk or almond milk. It is, however, recommended to Kefir may also be added to breads for added health benefits––and taste! After tasting Catherine’s kefir sourdough pizza crust, I vowed to add this magic grain to my diet.Here’s Catherine’s recipe for kefir ice cream––that you can make too! You will need: 2 cups kefir 1 cup kefir cream (or can substitute non-kefired heavy cream) 2 eggs 2 tsp vanilla extract ¾ cup organic sugar Beat eggs well, then beat in sugar. Blend in the kefir cream and vanilla. If you have an ice cream maker, chill this mixture and then follow the directions for your machine. If you have a good blender, freeze the mixture in ice cube trays, let thaw for 10 minutes, then blend. Delish!