Crazy for Kefir

Kefir

When I was cooking for new mamas, I was always on a mission to give them the most nutrition with the least amount of digestive effort. As you’ll see in The First Forty Days, Soups and stews are postpartum dream foods. Warm, soft and soothing, they are easy to digest and big on regenerative nutrients like fiber, protein, and iron. Nutrient-packed drinks like smoothies and kefir are also a new mother’s ally, brimming with vitamins, minerals, protein and more. And I love that you can consume them with one hand, so when you’re rocking or feeding a newborn, you can be taking care of yourself, too!

Inspired by the creamy delight that is my recent batch of macadamia, coconut, cashew milk and my friend Hannah Crum, LA’s reigning kombucha and kefir queen (and fermented foods, too), I set out to make an updated homemade kefir. Kefir is a dazzling thing; it’s almost hard to believe that so much nutritive goodness can exist in single food product. Similar in consistency and tartness to yogurt, kefir is overflowing with good bacteria (it’s an amazing probiotic), live enzymes, amino acids and also has antibiotic and anti fungal properties, which help to fight infection. If that’s not enough, it also cleanses the endocrine system, flushes out the liver, and tones the colon. If digestion is challenge for  you — it is for most new mothers, with elimination systems moving slowly slowly back into action — kefir can help! The magic tonic lines the digestive tract with protective mucus and combats parasites, which can help to reduce gas and bloating.

Kefir is made with “grains” that are, according to Hannah, “a polysaccharide matrix containing a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.” I used two cups of my macadamia, coconut, cashew milk and one tbsp of Hannah’s kefir grains.I stashed the brew away in a dark cupboard and two days later had fresh nut milk kefir!

To learn more about fresh kefir grains in Hannah’s new book: The Big Book of Kombucha, can be found on her website: www.kombuchakamp.com

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