Kefir has got so many health benefits and is on top of this a delicious drink. It can be made out of milk and think here not only cow’s milk, but sheep, goat, buffalo, camel, mare… and in case you don’t like the milky variant at all you can even make it out of water if you add the special water kefir grains, sugar and juice.
Kefir is prepared by inoculating milk with kefir grains. Traditional kefir was made in skin bags that were hung near a doorway; the bag would be knocked by anyone passing through the doorway to help keep the milk and kefir grains well mixed.
Ingredients of Kefir:
- Micro-organisms: lactic acid bacteria, yeasts
- Fermentation Products: carbon dioxide, ethanol (alcohol)
- Nutrients: protein from milk, polysaccharide
- Vitamins or pro-vitamins: vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin D, vitamin K2, folic acid, nicotinic acid
- Minerals: calcium, iron, iodine
The word kefir existing in modern Russian since at least 1884 Polish and English, probably from a North Caucasian language, although some sources see a connection to Turkic köpür (foam) and has become the most commonly used name, although it is known in other regions by various names.
Kefir grains are a combination of bacteria and yeasts in a matrix of proteins, lipids, and sugars, and this symbiotic matrix forms “grains” that resemble cauliflower. For this reason, a complex and highly variable community of lactic acid bacteria and yeasts can be found in these grains.
Kefir grains contain a water-soluble polysaccharide known as kefiran, which imparts a rope-like texture and feeling in the mouth. The grains range in color from white to yellow, and may grow to the size of walnuts.