Kefir, also known as Tibetan mushroom, is traditionally known in Russia and the former Soviet republics. The milk drink, which is produced from the Tibetan mushroom, has unique refreshing, healing and flavoring properties, which are the reason why kefir is popular in our country and in many other countries around the world.
In appearance, the Tibetan mushroom resembles cauliflower or cottage cheese, and smells like yogurt. If the Tibetan mushroom is not grown properly, it can in no way ferment the milk. The mushroom is extremely pretentious - kefir grains do not tolerate other bacteria and as soon as they get dirty, they darken and die. They need a lot of constant care.
The etymology of the word kefir is rooted in the Persian words kef (foam) and shir (milk). However, the true origin of kefir (Tibetan mushroom) is from the Caucasus region. The kefir drink is very sharp, similar to our yogurt, but slightly sweeter in taste and slightly more bland in texture.
Kefir is rich in protein, lipids and sugars. Its content contains levels of tryptophan, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamins B12, B1, vitamin K, biotin. The lactic acid in the fermented beverage has the ability to improve metabolism. The Tibetan mushroom also contains carbonic acid. The polysaccharides in kefir are even thought to have anti-cancer effects.
The huge amount of tryptophan in kefir is an essential amino acid and has a tonic effect on the nervous system. The drink contains a lot of calcium and magnesium, which are important minerals for the well-being of both the nervous and skeletal systems.
Phosphorus is the second most abundant mineral in the human body, which helps absorb carbohydrates, fats and proteins. This mineral is contained in large quantities in kefir. This lactic acid drink is an excellent source of biotin, B vitamins, which helps absorb other B vitamins, such as folic acid, pantothenic acid and vitamin B12.
How to make kefir
The preparation of kefir resembles the fermentation of milk. First, wash the Tibetan mushroom very well with cold water and be careful not to damage it. The use of metal strainers or spoons is not recommended. In a wide and deep bowl, pour cold milk from the refrigerator. Using a wooden spoon, dip the mushroom in the milk. 1 tbsp. kefir grains ferment about 1.5 liters of milk. Cover the container, but not completely, and place at a temperature of 22 degrees, which is the optimal temperature for fermentation. The higher the temperature, the faster the fermentation.
An important condition is not to shake the container during fermentation - otherwise the resulting mixture will become carbonated and thin. To find out if the kefir is ready, just tilt the container slightly. If the milk separates from the walls of the container, then the kefir is ready. The thick top layer is a sign of good fermentation. The finished kefir is taken out and placed in the refrigerator for 24 hours, which is the final stage of its production.
The next step is to wash the Tibetan mushroom with cold water and put it back in milk. For carbonated kefir, the container must be tightly closed during fermentation. Leave the mixture to mature for 24 hours in the refrigerator in a tightly closed container. If you increase the amount of kefir grains compared to milk, you will increase the soda, because they emit carbon dioxide. For thick and dense kefir, similar to the native yogurt, the fermentation should take place in a jar covered only with a napkin and the kefir grains should be much less than the milk.
It is obligatory to use cold milk for making kefir, so that you don't damage the mushroom. That is why it is washed with cold water. First pour the milk, then place the mushroom in the bowl. If you do not want to strain the resulting kefir, remove the mushroom with a wooden spoon and consume the resulting mixture.
The milk should ferment in a jar or plastic box no higher than 15 cm. If the Tibetan mushroom becomes gooey, wash it well with cold water, cover it completely with milk and put it in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. You can dry it and reactivate it.
Store the Tibetan mushroom dried or in a milk solution at a temperature not higher than 4 degrees and every 7 to 10 days you should change the milk. If you want to dry the kefir grains, you must wash them thoroughly with boiled cold water and dry them. Leave them in a napkin or gauze for a few days at room temperature. Once dry, the grains turn yellowish and can now be transferred to a suitable plastic bag. Sprinkle them with powdered milk, put them in the refrigerator or in a cool place and store them in this form for a maximum of a year and a half.
Culinary use of kefir
Lovers of kefir like to drink it as it it, to enjoy its taste. Others find it too sour and prefer to combine it with honey, fruit, maple syrup or other sweeteners. Strawberries, bananas and all kinds of fruit go very well with kefir, so you can easily make a kefir shake. It can be consumed with milk.
It turned out that the lactic acid in the fermented kefir drink improves metabolism, and the carbonic acid in it reduces the irritability of the stomach lining. It relieves the symptoms of people with colitis, gastritis, diseases of the liver, kidneys and lungs.
As if with magical properties, the drink has a powerful beneficial effect on memory and enhances concentration. There is also evidence that kefir reduces body weight and helps treat diabetes and allergies. Tibetan mushroom has the ability to strengthen the immune system, normalize blood pressure, regulate cholesterol. as a whole it gives the body important and necessary vitamins.
The kefir grains drink is recommended for people suffering from depression, insomnia and even cancer. The polysaccharides in kefir have been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Kefir also has a positive effect on anemia, bronchitis, atherosclerosis, hypertension, neurosis.
Tibetan mushroom is an extremely valuable product for children, as it is rich in nutrients necessary for the child's body. In addition, kefir cleanses the body of accumulated toxins and there are rumors that it improves potency.
Even alcoholism can be cured with the Tibetan mushroom, because it completely restores metabolism and successfully treats diseases caused by alcohol abuse.
The kefir drinking scheme is 20 days followed by a 10-day break. During the break, the mushroom should be stored in the refrigerator in a milk solution and the milk should be changed weekly. Drink kefir every morning 30 minutes before breakfast or in the evening, about an hour before bedtime. Kefir has a laxative effect and especially in the beginning it is recommended to drink the fermented liquid in the evening.
Harm from kefir
Kefir is a living organism and changes its properties constantly, by spoiling quickly - in 2-3 days. When kefir is left for 1 day, it has laxative properties and three days kefir can make you constipated.
Kefir, which is left for more days is contraindicated for people with ulcers due to its high acidity, as well as for children due to the increasing percentage of alcohol during longer storage. Old kefir is also contraindicated for the mentally ill and suffering from epilepsy. Alcohol should not be consumed during treatment with the Tibetan mushroom.
If you are using kefir for the first time, it is possible that your body will react differently - to feel tension in the liver or kidneys, if they are your weak spot. This tension is normal, as in ten days of drinking kefir the body gets used to it and its condition begins to improve. The initial laxative effect may also cause some discomfort.
Beautification and diet with kefir
Kefir is used as a medicine, but also as an effective beauty product. Kefir protects against wrinkles, removes fatigue and clarifies the complexion, lightening pigment spots. Even rheumatic pains can also be relieved by smearing the affected areas several times a day with kefir. Apply with gauze dipped in kefir various wounds and bruises.
As a dietary product, kefir is often used, because it is low in calories and is easily and quickly absorbed by the body. In addition, it has a strong satiating effect and can improve digestion, peristalsis, by removing harmful substances from the body.
Kefir and buckwheat diet
Pour 1 cup of (250 ml) buckwheat (buckwheat) with 3 cups of boiling water in the evening and cover the dish. In the morning, the excess water is poured out. Divide the buckwheat into 3-4 parts. Eat 1 portion for breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack and dinner, along with kefir (1.5% fat).
For the whole day you can drink 1 liter of kefir and it can be drunk separately from the buckwheat. At the same time increase your fluid intake - 2 liters of water and green tea without sugar.
The kefir and buckwheat diet lasts 1 week and after the seventh day you will notice that your skin has become better, cleaner and fresher and you will reduce the size of your clothes.