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Milk Kefir Unleashed


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(1)Milk Kefir Unleashed An Instructional Guide With Tips, Tricks & Recipes By: Thomas Egbert of Fusion Teas. www.fusionteas.com www.facebook.com/NorthTexasKefirKlub © 2013 by Thomas Egbert All rights reserved. No portion of this guide may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical—including fax, photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system—without the written permission of the author. With that being said I would just like to ask in a more personal context that you please respect my work and the information I am giving you. Please only use this for yourself and your immediate family. I am grateful and pleased that I am able to provide you with this information and I appreciate your cooperation. Disclaimer This electronic book is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice and treatment from your personal physicians. Readers are advised to consult their own doctors or other qualified health professionals regarding the treatment of medical conditions. The author shall not be held liable or responsible for any misunderstanding or misuse of the information contained in this guide or for any loss, damage, or injury caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by any treatment, action, or application of any food or food source discussed in this electronic book. The information is from the authors research and experience and should not be taken as fact. The statements in this book have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.. Milk Kefir Unleashed | Fusion Teas 1.

(2) Table of Contents: About the Author………………………………………………………….pg.3 Introduction………………………………………………………………..pg.3 -What is Kefir? -Where did it come from? -What can it do? (Potential health benefits) Instructions: An in depth guide……...………………………………......pg.7 Tips, Tricks, & FAQ's……………………………..……………………….pg.11 Recipes:……………………………………………………………………..pg.17 Conclusion: So now what?..........................................................................pg.29. Milk Kefir Unleashed | Fusion Teas 2.

(3) About the Author: So you are probably asking yourself what does this guy know about Kefir? Doesn't he run a tea business? And the answer to that is yes but having the tea business played an important role in my discovery of Kefir. Our mission statement at Fusion Teas is this: To share our passion of tea and herbal tea and do our part in promoting a healthier society through tea. Naturally I have always been a health minded person and I came across kombucha, which is a fermented probiotic tea beverage much like kefir. I had always read what a healthy digestive system was supposed to be but never actually had one. I didn't have a digestive disease like crohns or ibs but knew that my digestive system was far from optimal. I began researching about what kombucha was and how it was made. I read and learned about the health benefits. I even spoke to a few customers about their experience with it and how it helped them and their health. It seemed perfect, I owned a tea business; I could easily and cost effectively make it. Then, while researching it, I stumbled across kefir and immediately was fascinated. I compared the two. I read everything I could find and what I found was that milk kefir was by far the most beneficial fermented probiotic beverage you could consume. I had always liked dairy products like yogurt, sour cream, cheese, etc. so I couldn't wait to give it a try. I most likely purchased my grains the same way you have and the rest is history. I tell you all of this so that you can relate. I do not have a doctorate or a fancy education. I am just a small business owner with experience. All of the tips, tricks and pointers I give in this eBook are from my own trial and error and experience. Kefir isn't hard to do, so do not feel discourage. It's actually one of the simplest culturing processes in fermenting foods, especially in the dairy category. There are just a few nuances that will help you along the way and set you up for success.. Introduction: What are Kefir Grains? So what are Kefir Grains anyway? Well the short answer is they are made up of good bacteria and yeast. To understand what kefir is we must first understand the grains used to make kefir from the milk. According to Real Food Fermentation by Alex Lewin, ‘Kefir grains are combinations of yeasts and bacteria living on a substrate made up of a variety of dairy components.’ These live kefir grains look a little bit like cauliflower but can also come in many different shapes. Despite the name, Kefir grains are not actually a grain like wheat or rice. They have a somewhat rubbery gelatinous texture. Kefir grains cannot be made or manufactured. No other milk culture forms grains so it is very unique.. Milk Kefir Unleashed | Fusion Teas 3.

(4) Where did they originate? Kefir originated in the Caucasus Mountains more than 2000 years ago and were considered a gift from God. Traditionally, Kefir was made by mixing Kefir grains with fresh, raw, cow or goat milk which was then left in goatskin leather bags to ferment. It was customary to leave the bag outside the door and let anyone entering, kick or shake the bag. This assisted the culture process. Since then, kefir has been passed down from generation to generation.. What is Milk Kefir? To understand how milk is transformed into Kefir it is beneficial to understand the culturing (or fermenting) process. When fermenting anything you are adding bacteria and or yeast to a substance. In many milk products the bacteria added is a form of lactic acid. The bacteria then consumes the sugar in the substance and in turn the bacteria grows and reproduces. Yeast is a microscopic fungus that reproduce by budding, and are capable of converting sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide. The fermentation process increases the shelf-life of the product, while enhancing the taste and improving the digestibility. Now that we understand how fermenting is done we can specifically talk about what is happening when culturing milk into Kefir. As stated earlier, kefir grains are made up of good bacteria and yeast living in a symbiotic relationship held together in a rubbery gelatinous texture. When these are added to animal milk the bacteria and yeast begin to consume the lactose (milk sugar). You need to remember that kefir grains are active and alive. The lactose acts as food to them. As they consume the lactose they begin to grow and reproduce. This process begins to break down the milk so it is easier to digest. As the yeast assists the bacteria it releases carbon dioxide giving the milk an effervescent characteristic. This process should take anywhere from 12-24 hours. The ending result is a refreshing near lactose free milk kefir with an abundance of beneficial bacteria. The milk thickens somewhat during the process as the lactose is consumed. It should be creamy, like a drinkable yogurt and the higher the fat content of the milk the creamier it will be. After straining the kefir grains out to start the process over again with fresh milk the Kefir can be consumed plain right away or chilled in the fridge or added to any number of items in cooking or making a smoothie.. Milk Kefir Unleashed | Fusion Teas 4.

(5) What are the Health Benefits? Chances are the reason you are here is that someone told you about kefir and some of the wonderful health benefits associated with it. You may have even saw some in your local grocery store and wondered about what it was. Well, it is true, Kefir has many reputed health benefits. In my opinion homemade kefir is one of the healthiest things we can add to our diet. It truly is a miracle at what it can do and how it can potentially change your life. At the core of our health is our digestive system. If we do not have an optimum digestive system we are more prone to a whole host of sickness and disease. 80% of our immune system resides in the wall of the intestines. Gut flora plays a key role in absorbing vital nutrients as well. Today’s food is becoming more and more nutrient deficient. So we turn to vitamins for the nutrients we lack but if your gut is working overtime and under attack with stress we can lose or bypass all the nutrients we want to absorb. You might as well cut out the middle man and flush your vitamins down the toilet. Kefir can be the strongest natural remedy against any allergy, particularly food sensitivities. Most food sensitivities are caused because the body has a hard time or does not know how to digest a certain food. Kefir aids in breaking down food so it is much easier to digest and doesn’t cause the body to freak out. It is a natural antibiotic without side effects. Bad bacteria simply cannot exist in the type of environment kefir creates. If you ever do need to take antibiotics, kefir helps your body get back into balance. Many that take antibiotics never actually get back the vital gut flora which can cause a candida over growth. Kefir can help control acid reflux and heartburn. It can also help control or even lower LDL cholesterol. By aiding in digesting food and sugars it helps to create harmony in the body and lessen inflammation in the blood stream, thus helping the cholesterol to flow freely and not attach itself to the artery lining. Kefir reduces sugar cravings. The bacteria consumes sugar and balances the candida in your gut. Candida feasts on sugar and if there is no sugar to feast on the over growth of candida ceases to exist and can therefore reduce the cravings of sugar and carbs. Consumption of 1-2 cups of kefir daily can correct high blood pressure usually within 3 months. It has been shown that friendly bacteria can actually produce B vitamins in the gut which can lead to higher energy. Calcium and other essential nutrients found in milk are fully absorbed and provide better bio-availability. Any disease of the gut or colon can be benefited by drinking kefir on a regular basis. Here is a list of other health benefits kefir can assist in. Milk Kefir Unleashed | Fusion Teas 5.

(6) • • • • • • • •. •. Eliminate cravings for unhealthy foods Promotes faster healing from wounds, illness, etc. Benefits people who have sleep disorders, depression and ADHD Contains essential amino acids which helps body maintenance and healing The proteins found in kefir makes it easily digestible, and therefore easily utilized by the body Tryptophan is abundant in kefir and promotes relaxing effects on the nervous system Kefir also contains a large amount of phosphorus which helps the body utilize carbs, fats and proteins Rich in vitamins B12, B1 and vitamin K, kefir is also a good source of biotin (a B vitamin that aids the body’s absorption of other B vitamins like folic acid, B12 and pantothenic acid The B vitamins leads to benefits such as kidney regulation, liver and nervous system function and also helps to relieve skin disorders, boost energy and promote longevity. Kefir treats liver disease, gallbladder, kidney stones, irritable bowel syndrome, gastritis, pancreatitis, ulcers, colon cancer, candida, hypertension, psoriasis, eczema, inflammatory diseases, heart disease, lung infections, acne, parodontosis, diarrhea, constipation, sleeping disorders, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, yeast infection, arthritis, colitis, gout, rheumatism, stomach disorders, stomach cramps, chronic intestine infections, liver infections, asthma, bronchitis, sclerosis, anemia, hepatitis, and leaky gut syndrome. Kefir dissolves gall bladder stones, cleans the gastrointestinal tract, stops growth of cancer cells, reduces the size of tumors, reverses calcination of blood vessels, cleans blood vessels, boosts energy, normalizes metabolism, nourishes hair, lowers blood sugar, lowers blood lipid (fat) levels, promotes healthy bowel movement, has anti-stress properties, eliminates vaginal odors, cures wrinkles, cures migraines, detoxifies the body, prevents metastasis, and cures bad morning breath. Sounds like it’s too good to true right? Well, here is my simple explanation to all these proposed health benefits. Our bodies are an amazing masterpiece. It has been designed to heal itself and in the right environment it has the ability to protect itself from everything. The problem in today’s world is we are over working our bodies. We are constantly throwing free radicals and toxins that create oxidative stress at it. The most over worked area in our body is our digestive system. Like I said in the beginning, “good health begins in the gut.” If we can lessen the load on the digestive system and stop stressing it out so much our bodies can then begin to work and heal other areas in the body. Makes perfect sense right? So when someone claims that kefir has helped them heal quicker from wounds or cleared up their skin it no longer seems too absurd. Helping one area in the body can indirectly help another in the body. So drink up and spread the word! Milk Kefir Unleashed | Fusion Teas 6.

(7) Instructions: So how do I make it? Many of you have experience with Kefir and culturing but some of you may not. These instructions are for everyone, whether it is your first time or consider yourself an expert. Who knows, you may learn a tip or two. Making Kefir and caring for the grains is not hard but there are a few things you need to make sure you do or do not do in the best interest of the grains. I will not only go over the steps but also the why. Knowing the why will help you understand and make sense of it all, which may prevent you from overlooking the step or precaution. Keep in mind, these instructions and tips are from my years of experience. I do not proclaim to be all knowing. I just want you to start off on the right foot. Culturing milk with kefir grains and keeping the grains happy is not hard. All the grains need is lactose (milk sugar) and they will live and multiply forever. What I find people have difficulty with is fine tuning the process to meet their expectations or liking. I am going to offer two sets of instructions. The first will be simple and straight forward. Mainly the rules that must be adhered to. The second set of instructions will be more in depth with reasoning. These instructions will hopefully teach you how to make great tasting kefir with a smooth creamy consistency. Here are some important precautions. • • • • • • •. ALWAYS USE ONLY CLEAN AND CLEAR PLASTIC OR GLASS CONTAINERS, CLEAN PLASTIC OR WOODEN SPOONS AND CLEAN PLASTIC STRAINERS! ALWAYS KEEP ALL THE UTENSILS CLEAN & DRY THEM WELL. NEVER LET THE GRAINS COME IN CONTACT WITH CHLORINATED WATER! NEVER SUBJECT THE GRAINS TO COLD BELLOW FREZZING UNLESS PROPERLY STORING THEM. NEVER SUBJECT THE GRAINS TO HEAT ABOVE 100 DEGREES! NEVER LET THE GRAINS GET IN CONTACT WITH METAL UNLESS IT IS STAINLESS STEAL! NEVER LET THE GRAINS IN DIRECT SUNLIGHT! >>>>> NOT FOLLOWING THE ABOVE MAY HARM THE GRAINS! <<<<<. Now for the simple instructions. When you receive your batch simply put them in a jar and cover them with about a cup of milk. Let them soak in the milk for about 12-24 hours, shaking or stirring at the half way point. Then strain the kefir grains out, discard the milk, and give them a fresh cup of milk. This time let them sit for 24 hours, again stirring or shaking the jar at the half way point. At the end of the 24 hours check to see if the milk has been cultured. This batch may be OK to Milk Kefir Unleashed | Fusion Teas 7.

(8) consume but may or may not be to your liking just yet. Just use common sense before consuming. As the grains grow and get stronger, you will need to add more milk or take some grains away. Depending on their strength and season you are in will determine the ratio of grains to milk. Start with one cup of milk and adjust from there. As long as you feed them lactose they will be happy campers.. Comprehensive Kefir Instructions There are a few tools that are necessary for you to give the best environment to the grains and to produce great tasting kefir. You may already have these in your kitchen. If not your local grocery store or market may have them. It is up to you if you would like to modify the list as long as you are abiding by the above precautions. This is what I use and what most others use.. What you will need 1. A Good Strainer: I like to use a fine plastic or nylon mesh strainer. Stainless steel will work but other metals should be avoided. Other metals can mess with the balance of the bacteria and yeast. I prefer a fine plastic or nylon mesh over a stainless steel one because sometimes you need to break up the curds and push them through the strainer with a plastic or wooden spoon. Doing this with a stainless steel strainer can be a little rough on the kefir grains. Milk Kefir Unleashed | Fusion Teas 8.

(9) 2. A Glass Mason Jar: This way you can see through the glass and have a visual on what is going on inside. A plastic vessel is also permitted as long as you can see through it. It’s just easier to see when the culturing is complete. 3. A Breathable Top: Many people like to use a coffee filter and a rubber band. When fermenting anything, gas is released and it needs to escape. If it does not have anywhere to escape it can pop, however with milk kefir it is not likely. I like to use a plastic mason jar lid. I just do not tighten the lid. You can purchase plastic mason lids at your local store or of course online. I never use the lids that come with the jar. They are some kind of metal and can rust. 4. Regular Pasteurized Whole Milk: This is specifically for the reviving period. You may use other milks later down the road but for the first couple of batches I have found that pasteurized whole milk works best and maximizes the kefir grains strength. This is not a hard rule but a best practice for reviving the grains. If all you have is raw milk that is OK. This is simply a recommendation to start. 5. A Large Bowl With Easy Pouring. It’s always easier when you have an easy transfer method. This helps to avoid messy spills. Remember we want to create an easy routine that you can implement. The easier it is the more likely you will continue to do it.. Detailed Steps With Visual Aids! 1.. When you receive your package carefully cut the pouch open and pour the entire contents into the mason jar.. Milk Kefir Unleashed | Fusion Teas 9.

(10) 2.. Pour enough of the regular pasteurized whole milk to cover them. No more than a cup worth. Whole milk is what they are accustomed to. It has plenty of lactose (milk sugar) which is what they will consume to gain their strength. Raw milk is not recommended, but isn’t forbidden, during this time. Raw milk already has friendly bacteria and can compete with the grains for the lactose while reactivating. Plus, the first few batches may not turn out the best so we do not want to waste the good expensive raw milk during this time. After the grains have regained their strength then you may use any other milk that contains lactose you like.. 3.. Let the grains sit in the cup of milk for 12-24hrs. If you can, stir the milk once or twice during this period. This helps to redistribute the lactose. If you do not have the ability to stir during this time it is OK, it just may take a little longer to activate. Pictured on the right you can see that I have the lid on but that it isn’t tightened. There is no worry about the top blowing off but it is good to get into the habit and let the gas escape.. 4.. When step 3 is finished strain the kefir from the grains and start the process over. It typically takes 1-3 days of doing this to get a good consistency with the kefir and to get the grains back to normal strength. The picture to the right is what the grains looked like while straining them after the first 24 hours. As you can see kefir curds are starting to form around them. This is a very good thing and you know your grains are on their way to gaining there strength back.. 5.. When the grains have gained their strength back (usually within a week’s time) you will be able to make 2 – 6 cups of kefir a day depending on your ferment time and preference. Culturing kefir is a matter of balance. Depending on the strength and activity of the grains, and temperature, a ratio between 1/8 and 1/50 or more can be used. Meaning 1 part grains to 8-50 parts milk. I know that is a big range, so play around with it. Regardless of the amount of kefir grains you purchased the same applies. I would start with one cup. As you reactivate them and as they grow and gain strength adjust from there. If you ordered more than 1TBS just keep in mind you may have to adjust the milk quicker. If your kefir is separating with the curds on top and the clear whey on the bottom before the 24hr mark then you need to add more milk. If all of the milk has not cultured by the 24hr mark then you need use less milk. Milk Kefir Unleashed | Fusion Teas 10.

(11) Tips, Tricks & FAQ’s I use whole milk. You may use others like 2% but I recommend whole milk. Whole milk will give you a much creamier consistency and is loaded with nutrients for you and the grains. You don’t need to worry about the higher fat content. Kefir is already broken down and very easy to digest. When the grains start to get stronger, curds will start to form very quickly and this is perfectly natural. Before straining your kefir you can give it a vigorous stir. This will help to break up the curds. When straining the kefir you can also work your spoon around the nylon strainer giving the fresh kefir a homogenizing effect. After straining you can place it in the fridge to further thicken it up. The following are a list of questions I have received in the past. This list seems to grow on a daily basis but I will include the most common questions and answer them to the best of my ability. Hopefully I will answer some of your own questions.. Taking a break: There are many reasons you may want to take a break or maybe you are going out of town. The easiest way to take a short break is to put the grains in a fair amount of milk and store them in the refrigerator. When the temperature drops the grains begin to slow down. The result is they consume the lactose at a much slower rate. I would only store them in the fridge for about a week and make sure you give them plenty of milk. I have also been able to store them in spring water in the fridge for a month or so. You would want to rinse and clean them off then soak them in spring water. A mason jar works great. Screw the plastic lid on and keep them in the fridge until you are ready to use them again. Another way to store them is to dry and freeze them. Not my recommendation but it is possible. You need to rinse them and dry them on a towel. Then you can put them in a freezer bag and add some powdered milk to them. From what I have read they can be stored in the fridge for a year or more. Also when reviving them this can take a while. I would much rather just order some more than to go through the hassle but to each his own.. Using Other Milks: There are a few guidelines as in best practices. There is only one hard rule, the Kefir Grains need lactose to survive as long as you give them lactose they will be happy. Milk Kefir Grains survive on lactose (milk sugar). They can consume other sugars but they need lactose to survive. If you would like to use coconut milk or almond milk you can as long as you transfer them back to cows or goats milk every few batches. The best coconut milk to get is in the can. Most coconut milks in the carton are too processed. I would also stay away from Soy Milk Kefir Unleashed | Fusion Teas 11.

(12) Milk. As far as cow’s milk you may use any kind you like. I would stay away from non-fat. It certainly won’t hurt the grains but the consistency or thickness will not be great. I would also stay away from Organic milk unless you can find one that is not Ultra-Pasteurized. I like to refer to Ultra-Pasteurized milk as Ultra-Dead. Most grocery stores do not sell Organic milk as quickly so they prefer to Ultra-Pasteurize it so it will last longer on the shelf. Raw milk is certainly one of the best to use. It has naturally good bacteria in it already so if you have access to raw milk and you can afford it, it’s a very good choice. Tip: When transitioning to other milks it may take a couple batches for the grains to get acclimated to their new environment. So patience is the key.. How can I tell if my grains are dead? The key indicator is this. During step 3 of the reactivation and the 24hr culturing process is complete, when you strain the kefir from the grains there should be thicker milk or curds that is sticking to them. This is a good sign. On the other hand when you go to strain the milk off and the milk just runs through and your grains are completely clean then this is cause for concern. If this is still happening after the third batch then you can be sure that they have gone to kefir heaven. Here are some photos to illustrate.. “Alive Grains” “Dead Grains” I have personally revived grains that have spent over three weeks in the postal system. Patience is important. All you need to see is this clue that something is going on with them. Another way to tell if your grains are doing anything is to see if the milk has changed at all at Milk Kefir Unleashed | Fusion Teas 12.

(13) the end of the 24hr culturing process. If there is any change to the milk visually then they are working. If you were to put a jar of milk on the counter for 2 days straight the milk would not visually be any different. It may smell a little but other than that it will have the same look and consistency. I have personally done this experiment to see a comparison.. My kefir is not very thick. What can I do? As I have said, kefir is a matter of balance. What is usually the problem is your ratio. What naturally happens during the culturing process is the curds start to form on the top and the whey begins to make its way to the bottom. What you do not want to happen is complete separation before the 24hr mark. The picture to the right is an example of this separation, or milk that has been over cultured. Think of curds and whey somewhat like oil and water. They just can't be mixed back together once the separation has occurred and the kefir will be chunky, grainy and appear to be thin. It is also hard to strain the curds off of the grains. So if you are getting separation before the 24hr mark you either need to add more milk or take some grains away. If your milk is not completely cultured before the 24hr mark you need to use less milk. Tip: Before you begin to strain the kefir off the grains give it a vigorous stir. This will help to break up the curds and will be easier to strain. Using a good fine plastic or nylon mesh strainer also helps to break up the curds as you work your spoon around. This creates a homogenizing effect. Chilling your kefir will also help to thicken it up. Keep in mind though it will never be as thick as yogurt. More like a drinkable yogurt. If your kefir does separate just shake it up. This is a natural thing. Shaking it up before consuming or making a smoothie is all you need to do. Using whole milk is best to achieve creamy kefir. You can potentially culture a quart of milk with just a teaspoon of grains. If you are getting complete separation before 24hrs try doubling the milk. Try culturing the milk for two days, you may get the results that you desire. Just make sure however long you culture your milk that it does not separate before you decide to strain or you will not get the thick consistency you desire.. Milk Kefir Unleashed | Fusion Teas 13.

(14) How long will my kefir be good for? In my personal experience I have kept my kefir up to two weeks in the fridge. I have only done it for two weeks, but I have read from multiple sources that it can last for much longer. It simply cannot go bad. Harmful bacteria cannot exist in that type of environment. Use your own discretion.. Yeast and Sourness: Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to culturing. That is the beauty of it. You can make it exactly how you desire. When using a small amount of grains to milk the kefir will be tart and have a clean sourness. When you use a large amount of grains to milk your ferment will be shorter and may be milder, but the yeast will be stronger as well. Most people like to have a balance between the two. Friendly bacteria need more time to multiply. So I recommend fermenting the full 24 hrs. However, this is entirely up to you. The only thing I want to stress is to avoid repeated over culturing. Don’t stress if it happens every once in a while but you will see a change with repeated offense. When over culturing, the kefir becomes more acidic and this isn’t optimal for the grains and certain microbes can be harmed. When this happens the yeast can become too strong and produce an undesirable kefir. Many do not like the presents of the yeast but it’s part of what makes up kefir grains. What you can do is chill the finished kefir in the fridge for an additional day. The yeast will dissipate and the kefir will be more pleasant. Even though making kefir is a very simple process, there is also an art to it. Be patient, enjoy the process, and have fun learning how to make the type of kefir you enjoy.. All of a sudden my kefir isn't turning out as it has in the past. What can I do? Sometimes the curds that stick to the grains and or the whey can become too acidic and disrupt the culturing process. A simple wash may be in order. Take a clean bowl and pour in some fresh filtered water. Never use tap water! Then dump your grains in the bowl and swish them around to clean them. You may even need to gently rub them with your fingers to get any leftover milk crust that can sometimes build up on them. Strain the water off and start the culturing process again. It's that simple. This does not need to be done frequently though. In fact I would only do this as a last resort. It is beneficial for the grains not be washed every time so that some residual kefir is transferred to the new batch of milk. This helps to jump start the new batch and helps with the production of kefiran.. Milk Kefir Unleashed | Fusion Teas 14.

(15) What is a second fermentation? After straining off your grains from the initial fermentation you can simply leave your cultured kefir on the counter for an additional day or two. The friendly bacteria will continue to grow and complete separation will occur with the whey on the bottom and the curds on top. Many people like to eat the curds right off the top with a spoon. It’s completely up to you. The longer you let it ferment the more bacteria it will contain and the less lactose will be present.. Shapes and sizes: Kefir grains come in many different shapes and sizes. The most common are small cauliflower looking gelatinous balls but as they grow they can become all sorts of shapes and sizes. They can be stringy or flat even. As the seasons change and the temperature changes so do the grains. I have seen flat kefir grains over a foot in length. So don’t be alarmed. It is all natural.. Slime, Slime and More Slime: Slimy kefir grains is a very good thing. The slime is actually called kefiran. It is the friendly bacteria thriving. However if they do not appear to be very slimy it is very easy to correct the balance. Double the amount of milk you are using and let it ferment a little longer. This will allow the friendly bacteria to build up. Using raw milk will also help as it already has the friendly bacteria already in it. The longer you ferment the more alcohol will be present as well. Don’t be alarmed, kefir only has at about 2% or less. What is important though is the kefir grains need the alcohol to produce more kefiran, and the best temperature to produce more kefiran is 76 degrees.. The bubbly: When fermenting anything you are producing CO2 which needs to be released. That is the reason it is advisable to not tighten a lid when fermenting the milk. For the initial ferment that is definitely what I recommend, but after straining and placing in the fridge I like to tighten the lid. As the kefir continues to ferment, the CO2 that cannot be released creates a slightly effervescent effect that I and many others enjoy.. Milk Kefir Unleashed | Fusion Teas 15.

(16) How much should I take or consume? Everyone's body and situation is different but I recommend in the beginning to drink it every day. In the morning and at night if possible, for a week, or two weeks if you can. One to two cups is fine. This will help the cleaning process and help the good bacteria to begin to colonize in your system. Then, 2 to 3 times a week should be sufficient. But consuming it every day is optimal.. Can I drink too much? Generally no, but again our bodies are all different so it may be different for one person than another. One of our rules that we live by is "Everything in moderation". What can I do with my extra grains? I suggest eating them or throwing them in your smoothie. They are very beneficial for you. You can also give them to your pets or friends and family.. How fast do they grow? The perfect environment for them is room temperature or about 70-77 degrees and in whole milk. This will maximize their growth and the amount will double every 10 days or so. There are many variables that can play into their growth so don’t be alarmed if they take longer.. Floating Grains: It is very natural for the grains to float. Remember they are giving off CO2 and many times air pockets form around them before releasing the gas. Some stay at the bottom as well. It just all depends. Just think of the ones that are floating as over achievers. . Milk Kefir Unleashed | Fusion Teas 16.

(17) Simple Kefir Recipes Thickened Kefir Cream. Ingredients:  Milk Kefir  White cotton, linen, or silk cloth with a tight weave. Pour the Milk Kefir into the tight weave towel. Avoid a cheesecloth. They are not woven tight enough. Hang above a bowl or jar and allow the whey to drain off for 2-4 hours depending on the thickness desired (generally the consistency of yogurt or sour cream).. Kefir Cheese Ingredients:.  Milk Kefir  White cotton, linen, or silk cloth with a tight weave  Fresh or Dried Herbs (optional). Pour the Milk Kefir into the cheesecloth or tight weave towel. Hang above a bowl or jar and allow the whey to drain off. Soft Spreadable Cheese: Drain for 6-12 hours depending on the consistency desired. Herbed Kefir Cheese: Combine the herbs and soft cheese. Serve as a cream cheese spread on crackers, bread, etc. Kefir Cream Cheese: Drain for 12+ hours depending on the consistency desired. Hard Cheese: Drain for 12+ hours then wrap the cheese in the cheese cloth and place in a colander. Weight the cheese down to press out more whey. Use a plate with canned food as weights. Start with minimal weight increasing the amount of weight every few hours until the cheese stops dripping.. Milk Kefir Unleashed | Fusion Teas 17.

(18) Kefir Whey Using the above method collect the whey from the bottom of the bowl or jar. You can drain for up to 24 hours. The longer the draining period the more whey it will produce and the thicker the kefir will become. Use the resulting kefir in place of yogurt, spreadable cheese or cream cheese in recipes depending on the finished consistency. Kefir Whey can also be used for soaking grains or when culturing vegetables (e.g. sauerkraut, pickles, etc.) or making lacto-fermented condiments and salad dressings.. Kefir Sour Cream Make Kefir Cream with Heavy Whipping Cream. Great probiotic substitute for Crème Fraiche or conventional Sour Cream.. Kefir Butter Ingredients:  Kefir Cream Remove the cream from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature. If using a Kitchen Aid Mixer, place the bowl in the freezer for 10-15 minutes prior to making butter. Place the cream in the bowl and turn the mixer on as high as you can without splattering the cream. Watch the mixture carefully. Within a minute or two, the cream will have thickened a bit and you should be able to increase the mixer speed. Continue to watch the cream carefully as a cold bowl and room-temperature cream should set to butter quickly. Once this happens, it’s very easy to spray the remaining liquid (traditional buttermilk) all over the kitchen so be sure to turn the mixer down when needed. Once chunks of butter form, slow the mixture down to allow the chunks to come together. If making butter by hand, simply pour the pint of cream into a quart size jar with a lid. Shake the cream vigorously until small balls of butter form. Then slow down the shaking so the balls of butter can clump together. Remove the butter to a small bowl (or just your hands). Wash the butter with filtered water, pressing out any remaining buttermilk with a spoon. When the water runs clear, the butter should be free of buttermilk. This portion of the process is very important as leaving buttermilk in the butter will cause the butter to spoil quickly. Salt the butter if desired. You can also add herbs if desired. Add the butter to a plastic container or wax paper. Store in the fridge or on the counter (butter will spoil at room temp within a few days so use it quickly).. Milk Kefir Unleashed | Fusion Teas 18.

(19) Sweet Kefir Milk Ingredients:.  1 cup Milk Kefir  Sweetener of your choice (Sugar, Raw Honey or Agave, Maple Syrup) I like Maple Syrup the best.. Blend together.. Coconut Milk Kefir Ingredients:  Coconut Milk  Milk Kefir Grains Add the Milk Kefir Grains to the coconut milk and allow the milk to culture for 12-36 hours until the desired consistency and taste is achieved. Remove the kefir grains and place the kefir grains in fresh milk. Milk Kefir Grains can be used repeatedly in coconut milk but should be returned to cow or goat milk occasionally to revitalize them.. Chocolate or Vanilla Kefir Ingredients:  1 cup Kefir  ¼ tsp Vanilla Extract or 1 tbsp. Chocolate Syrup  If using Vanilla Extract sweetener may be desired Blend together and serve cold.. Creamy Fruit Juice Kefir Ingredients:    . 1 tablespoon Grape Juice Concentrate or ¼ cup Grape Juice 1 cup Kefir Dash of Vanilla Extract (optional) Sweetener if desired. Blend together serve cold.. Milk Kefir Unleashed | Fusion Teas 19.

(20) Chai Kefir Ingredients:  ¼ cup Liquid Chai  ¾ cup Kefir  Sweetener if desired Blend together and serve over ice.. Banana Kefir Smoothie Ingredients:    . 1 cup Kefir 1 Banana 1 tsp Vanilla Sweetener (Honey or Agave Works Best). Add ingredients to a blender and process until smooth. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Makes one serving.. Apple Compote Kefir Smoothie Ingredients:     . 3/4 Cup apple compote 2 cups Kefir Dash of Vanilla Extract Dash of Nutmeg ¼ Whole Grain Oats. Take oats and soak in milk to soften. Add all ingredients to a blender and process until smooth. Serve chilled.. Milk Kefir Unleashed | Fusion Teas 20.

(21) Kefir Fruit Smoothie Ingredients:    . 1 cup Kefir ½ cup Frozen Fruit (berries work well) ½ Banana Frozen Kefir Cubes if desired. Kefir cubes work well if your fruit is not frozen. Otherwise you may omit. Add all ingredients to a blender and process until smooth. Serve chilled. Makes one serving.. Ingredients:     . Super Fruit Smoothie. ½ cup Frozen Cranberries 2 tbsp. Frozen Blueberries 1-2 tsp. Lemon Juice (fresh is best) ¼ cup Cranberry Juice ½ cup Kefir. Add fruit, juice and vanilla to a blender and process until smooth. Blend in kefir and serve chilled or at room temperature. Makes one serving.. PB & B Breakfast Smoothie Ingredients:     . 1 Cup Kefir ½ Banana 2 tbsp peanut butter Dash of Vanilla Sweetener (preferably honey or maple syrup). Add all ingredients to a blender and process until smooth. Serve chilled. Makes one serving.. Milk Kefir Unleashed | Fusion Teas 21.

(22) Tropical Smoothie Ingredients:     . 1 Frozen Banana 1 Cup Fresh Pineapple 2 tbsps. Coconut Milk ¾ Cup Kefir Sweetener (preferably honey). Add all ingredients to a blender and process until smooth. Best served chilled. Makes 2 servings.. Kefir Ranch Dip Ingredients:       . ½ cup Strained Kefir (consistency of sour cream or slightly thicker) ½ cup Mayonnaise 1 teaspoon Dill 2 teaspoons Parsley ¼ teaspoon Garlic Salt ¼ teaspoon Onion Salt ¼ teaspoon Pepper, freshly ground. Mix together the strained kefir and mayonnaise. Combine with the other ingredients and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for several hours prior to serving to allow the flavors to meld.. Creamy Kefir Horseradish Ingredients:     . 1 cup Strained Kefir (consistency of sour cream) 8 oz. Cream Cheese, or Kefir Cream Cheese 3 tablespoons Salsa (non-chunky variety) 2 tablespoons Prepared Horseradish ½ teaspoon Garlic Salt. Mix together the strained kefir and cream cheese. Combine with the other ingredients and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for several hours prior to serving to allow the flavors to meld.. Milk Kefir Unleashed | Fusion Teas 22.

(23) Kefir Banana Bread Ingredients:        . 2 cups Organic Sugar 2 Eggs ½ cup Butter 2 cups Whole Wheat Flour 3 ½ cups soft ripe Bananas, mashed 1 ½ cups Kefir 1 ½ tsp. Baking Soda ½ cups Walnuts or Pecans, chopped (optional). 12-24 hours prior to making bread, mix the flour and kefir together. Cover and allow the flour to soak. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, butter, flower, bananas and nuts. Add the kefir and flour mixture and mix just until blended. Add the baking soda and mix just until blended. Pour into a greased bread pan (generally there will be enough batter for 1 large bread pan, 2 medium bread pans or 3 small bread pans). Bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean (exact time will vary depending on size of pan and number of pans baking at once).. Kefir Biscuits Ingredients:      . 2 cups Flour ¼ tsp Baking Soda 1 tbsp Baking Powder 1 tsp salt 6 tbsp Butter (very cold) ¾ cup Kefir (approximate). 12-24 hours prior to making biscuits, mix the flour and kefir together. Cover and allow the flour to soak. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cut the butter into chunks then work it into the flour/kefir mixture along with the baking soda, baking powder and salt. Do not over mix. If the mixture is too dry, add a bit more kefir. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board. Gently pat the dough to ½ inch thick (this will yield lighter biscuits than using a rolling pin). Use a round cutter to cut out the biscuits. Place biscuits on a cookie sheet. If you want biscuits with soft edges (and a higher rise), place the rounds touching each other. If you want biscuits with crusty sides, place the rounds about 1 inch apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Makes 10 biscuits.. Milk Kefir Unleashed | Fusion Teas 23.

(24) Sourdough Kefir Pizza or Bread Ingredients:     . 5 cups all-purpose flour 1 Tablespoon sugar or honey 2 teaspoons salt (or 2 teaspoons sea salt) 2 Tablespoons olive oil 1 3/4 to 2 cups Kefir. The Dough: Makes 2-3 13-inch pizzas or two loafs of bread Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon. Make a well in the center and add all the liquid ingredients. Combine all of the dry and wet ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon (or if using a stand mixer process in the stir setting for 5 minutes). The dough should be wetter and stickier than your typical bread dough. It should be dry enough that it holds together and pulls away from the side of the bowl when you mix it. Sourdough pizza Divide the dough into 3 pieces for thinner crust or 2 for a thicker crust. Grease two or three pizza pans or baking sheets. On a lightly floured surface, roll each dough portion into a 13 inch circle. Transfer to pans. Cover completely with plastic wrap. Leave in a warm draft free place undisturbed for 24 to 48 hours. Leaving it for 48+ hours makes a more sour pizza. After 24-48 hours, very carefully remove the plastic wrap. Bake at 275 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, spread pizza sauce unto hot crust. Top with cheese and toppings of choice. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes more or till bubbly. Sourdough Bread Lightly grease and floured 2 loaf pans. Divide the dough into 2 pieces. Place the dough in the prepared pans. Cover completely with plastic wrap. Leave in a warm draft free place undisturbed for 24 to 48 hours. Leaving it for 48+ hours makes a more sour bread. After 24-48 hours, very carefully remove the plastic wrap. Bake at 275 degrees for 30 minutes. Cover with loosely with foil and bake for 20 more minutes at 375 degrees or until top is golden brown. Immediately remove bread from pans. Cool on wire racks.. Milk Kefir Unleashed | Fusion Teas 24.

(25) Coconut Milk Kefir Ice Cream Ingredients:  3 cups Coconut Milk Kefir  3-6+ tbsp. Raw Honey  1-3 tsp. Vanilla Extract Blend the coconut Milk Kefir, raw honey and vanilla extract well. Place in an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Start with a conservative amount of honey and increase the amount to taste. Remember that once the ice cream is frozen, it will be a bit less sweet than the original mixture.. Kefir Vanilla or Fruit Ice Cream Ingredients:     . 1 cup milk, well chilled (or half and half, or heavy cream for a more smooth texture) ¾ cup sugar or ½ cup agave 2 cups kefir cream cheese, well chilled 1-2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, to taste Fruit of your preference, cantaloupe or mango work surprisingly well. In a medium bowl, use a hand mixer or a whisk to combine the milk and sugar until dissolved. Stir in the kefir cream cheese and vanilla on low speed for 1-2 minutes, until smooth. Pour mixture in ice cream machine, follow ice cream machine directions. Or place in the freezer for about two hours and enjoy. If you are making fruit ice cream, place all the ingredients in a blender first. Blend until smooth. Pour mixture in ice cream machine, follow ice cream machine directions. Or place in the freezer for about two hours and enjoy.. Milk Kefir Unleashed | Fusion Teas 25.

(26) Blueberry Kefir Muffins Ingredients:         . 2 cups Sifted Flour: White Flour, Whole Wheat Pastry Flour or combination 1/2 cup Organic Sugar 1 teaspoon Salt 1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda 2 1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder 1/4 cup Melted Butter or Coconut Oil 1 Egg, beaten 1 cup Kefir 1 cup Blueberries (frozen or fresh). 12 hours prior to baking, combine the flour and kefir. Cover the bowl and allow the flour to soak. When ready to bake muffins, preheat the oven to 425°. Add the other ingredients except the blueberries and stir to combine. Do not over mix. Gently fold in the blueberries. Fill muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake 20-25 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.. Kefir Pancakes Ingredients:          . 2/3 cup Whole Wheat Flour ¼ cup Oat Bran 1 tbsp Cornmeal 1 tbsp Brown Sugar 1 ½ tsp Baking Powder ¼ tsp Baking Soda ¼ tsp Salt 1 cup Kefir 2 large eggs, separated 2 tbsp Oil. 12-24 hours prior to making pancakes, mix the flour and kefir together. Cover and allow the flour to soak. When you are ready to make the pancakes, mix the egg yolks and oil together. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Mix the oat bran, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and baking soda into the flour and kefir mixture. Stir in the egg yolk and oil mixture. Fold in the egg whites. Lightly coat a skillet with butter or coconut oil and set over medium heat. When the skillet is hot, cook the pancakes using about ¼ cup batter for each. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side until golden brown. Serve with butter, fruit and/or real organic maple syrup. Makes 12 pancakes.. Milk Kefir Unleashed | Fusion Teas 26.

(27) Kefir Chocolate Chip Cookies Ingredients:         . 2 cups Organic Sugar 1 cup Coconut Oil, Palm Shortening or Butter 2 Eggs 1 ½ cups Kefir 2 tsp Vanilla Extract 4 cups Flour 1 tsp Salt 1 tsp Baking Soda 1+ cup Chocolate Chips or Chunks. 12-24 hours prior to making cookies, mix the flour and kefir together. Cover and allow the flour to soak. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream together the Coconut Oil/Shortening/Butter with the sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Add the flour and kefir mixture. Add the salt and baking soda. Mix just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips/chunks. Drop dough onto a greased cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes.. Kefir Brownie Cake Ingredients:.         . 2½ cups. whole wheat flour 2 tsp. baking soda - Mix flour and baking soda together in small bowl. 1 cup. vegetable oil 2 cups. room temp. liquid kefir ½ cup. unsweetened cocoa 2¼ cups. raw sugar 3 eggs 1 tsp. vanilla 1 cup. chopped walnuts. In large bowl mix well the oil, kefir, cocoa, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Add flour mixture just to combine–don't over mix. Batter will be thin. Add walnuts. Divide into two pans. Bake 35 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched with fingertip. When cold turn out of pans. Frost with chocolate kefir frosting.. Milk Kefir Unleashed | Fusion Teas 27.

(28) Chocolate-Kefir Frosting Ingredients:     . ¼ C. soft kefir cream cheese 3 tablespoons cocoa powder 3 tablespoons liquid kefir 1 C. powdered raw sugar* ½ teaspoon vanilla. *To make powdered raw sugar, place raw sugar in blender and turn on high until white and powdery. (If freezing cake, make frosting and ice cake same day you serve.) Combine cream cheese, cocoa powder, kefir and powdered sugar. Beat until smooth. Add vanilla. When cake is cooled, place 1 layer on serving plate and spread with frosting. Top with remaining layer and spread frosting on top and sides of cake.. Cold Avocado and Kefir Soup Ingredients:      . Avocado - 1 small Red onion - 1 tablespoon chopped (1/4 small onion) Lemon juice - 1 to 2 tablespoons Cilantro - 2 tablespoons chopped Kefir - 200 ml (or more) Red pepper flakes - 1/2 teaspoons.  Salt, pepper Combine all the ingredients in a food processor. - Process until smooth. - Add more kefir if the soup is too thick. - Add more lemon juice if kefir is not acidic enough.. Milk Kefir Unleashed | Fusion Teas 28.

(29) Conclusion: So now what? Hopefully if you weren’t already excited you are now. Kefir is all self-motivated. No one can force this upon you and it is very rare someone can convince someone else about making your own kefir or not. Make sure you set yourself up for success. Get a routine down, one that is easy to follow. Invest in your health and your families health, and don’t worry you can always take a break and store them in the fridge. Just don’t forget about them. Soon your family members will think you’re a little crazy but I look at it as a good thing. Come up with your own recipes and play around with it. If you still have questions. Re-read this eBook.  But no seriously, I may do this for additional income but I also love the fact that I am helping people gain better health and a better quality of life so if you do have questions or just need some clarification you have my card and you can call or email me anytime. Cheers!. Milk Kefir Unleashed | Fusion Teas 29.



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