KEFIR | the ultimate [and easiest] how-to guide | part I

milk kefir jar

Kefir | the ultimate [and easiest] how-to guide |

Whether you’ve heard of kefir before or not, there’s just one thing you need to remember.
It’s gonna change your life.

Call it what you like kee-fer or keff-ir, drinking this supercharged fermented elixir elevates your body,  immune system & energy levels into the stratosphere. If there’s one habit I’d recommend EVERYONE to include in their daily life. This is it!
Kefir come in two general types, milk + water grains. Not to worry if you don’t do dairy, you can still enjoy the milky strain. These little kefir grains love to get their ferment on in coconut milk too.

 

kefir grain close up

 

This week we’ll start with MILK KEFIR.

What exactly is it?

Kefir Grains are a combination of bacteria and yeast which form into little jelly like structures (that look a bit like cauliflower) called grains. When placed in milk, these kefir grains metabolise various sugars in the milk (lactose in the case of dairy milk), turning the milk into a slightly acidic drink brim full of supercharged gut beneficial bacteria .

So long story short, they chow down on the milk and produce probiotics in return in the form of a drink called Kefir.

 

How to prepare:

here’s what you need~ 
kefir grains, 1/4-1 tsp to begin
milk of choice – non dairy [coconut- fresh, canned or UHT // soya- fresh, carton – non GMO + organic // cashew – homemade // etc] , dairy [cow, sheep, goat- all preferably organic or raw although normal milk will do]
glass jars
plastic strainer
plastic spoons [kefir doesn’t react so well with metal so try to use high quality BPA free plastic utensils]
lid or clean cotton/muslin + elastic bands

this is what you need to do~
1// sterilise all the equipment
with hot water
2// place the kefir in the cooled glass jar
3// pour milk of choice on top.
cover with lid or cloth fixed with an elastic band around the mouth of the jar
4// let is ferment on the counter top for 1-3 days depending on the temperature in your kitchen and how tangy you like it [ warmer = quicker fermentation ]

5// decant the fermented kefir through the sieve into a clean jar. use the plastic spoon to gently work it all through the sieve revealing your kefir grains again.
6// finally place the kefir back into a sterilised glass jar and begin the process all over again.
7// store in the fridge. SIMPLE.

 

How to eat, drink + enjoy:

There are basically endless ways to enjoy your kefir. It’s your new best friend for sure. Try these suggestions:
// drink just as it is, or with added juice, sweeteners or stevia. start off slowly as your stomach and digestive system gets used to the supercharged health effects
// mix with olive oil, spices and herbs to use a dressing for salad, tempeh, steak…
// mix with nut butter + cocoa to make a probiotic whopper chocolate spread
// add to your fav smoothie
// use as you would any other cold milk or yoghurt product

+++read the extra tips below for more details on how to ferment like a pro.

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Make sure you catch parts II and III of our Kefir series in the coming weeks!

Once you have your production/consumption show in full, effortless, swing I’ll cover off other must know info, such as:
~Water Kefir- How to ferment like a PRO.
~how to grow your kefir grains so you can bring your fermentation adventures to another level or share the grains with friends
~how to consume for optimal benefit
~how to incorporate kefir into other recipes- making fermented food a ubiquitous staple in your kitchen
~why you should have a few varieties kefir on the go at the same time
~troubleshooting 101
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Tips:

if you use a lid with the glass jar ensure that there is room for gases to escape. last thing you want is a milky kefir explosion when you open the jar to decant. if you do this you need to keep the jar in a cupboard where no insects or fruit flies can get inside and infest your grains.

don’t heat your kefir. heating will destroy all the live probiotics, which are the exact reason kefir is so fantastic in the first place. this explains why pasteurising kefir is so counterproductive. shop bought kefir, I’m looking at you! duh!

store your final decanted fermented milk drink in the fridge. keep the ongoing brew of kefir grains mixed with milk at room temperate.

using non dairy milks can sometimes be a bit hit and miss. almond or hemp milk from cartons have never produced good results for me, for instance. shop bought dairy milk alternatives tend to have a whopper load of ingredients in them from sweeteners, thickeners and emulsifiers to low quality vitamins. kefirs like to keep things simple so try to choose a milk with fewer and higher quality ingredients

keep all your equipment used during the fermenting process separate from other utensils and sterilise with hot water/vinegar before each use. kefir is a particular mix of bacteria and yeast so understandably they don’t like other bacteria invading their turf. also make sure to replace any scratched or damaged utensils with fresh new ones. fermentation hygiene is the way to go!

++++If you’re in Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia or Ireland drop me a line to request some kefir grains of your very own~  hello@fitgreenlean.com

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INSTANT LUNCH SERIES | The Quickest Keto Salad Ever |cauliflower, tuna, avocado, olive|

Keto Tuna Cauli Olive Salad

instant lunch series:

super simple cauliflower & tuna keto salad

to explode your afternoon

| cauliflower, tuna, avocado, olive |

 

This is the first recipe from our new INSTANT LUNCH series. The truth is that even as a health & food obsessed nutritionist it’s easy to kink of resent lunch. It’s just the time that it takes time and how it can stop you in your work/workout flow. Well, that is unless lunch is something mega bright, uplifting, easy to digest and on top of that, takes less than 5 mins to whip up. When it ticks those boxes I’m all for it!
So we’re agreed! Time is a luxury. Let’s make the most of it with this (almost) instant salad.

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difficulty: * easy
time: 5-10 mins to prep
suitable for: Autoimmune friendly (AIP), nut free, dairy free, sugar free, paleo, Keto, GAPS, Low Carb

the what + why:
avocado > Vit K for bone strength, increased insulin sensitivity & reduced inflammation.
cauliflower > whopper doses of the antioxidant Vit C for an immune system boost
tuna > approx 22g/100g of protein for steady blood sugar & muscle repair

ingredients:

  • 1/2 cauliflower steamed/simmered in water or microwaved for 3-4 mins^^
  • 1 tin of good quality tuna in spring water, brine or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 avocado chopped
  • handful of slice olives with some liquid from the jar

how to:

  • throw it all together & scoff

^^ I wouldn’t normally recommend microwaving any food…ever…BUT when it comes to getting on with your day and making great food choices it’s definitely ok to bend the rules sometimes. After all there are more nutrients remaining in a ‘home cooked’ microwaved veg than there in a processed crappy sandwich from the shops any day!

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Rainbow Bright Probiotic Coconut Milk

DSC_0895

nutrient infused rainbow coconut milks

to soothe + boost digestion

| turmeric, beetroot + freshly pressed coconut milk |

 

You really can’t beat the complete colour frenzy of flavoured coconut milk. Especially when you use the likes of turmeric + beetroot… As the old saying goes ‘you know you’re on to a winner when it’s a super booster ingredient that refuses to wash out of your favourite white T’ …ehem…

Immaculate threads beware…although the actual dangers of splatter painting your bright whites are pretty slim, unless, that is, you get carried away by the excitement of a milk that’s technicolor as well as being loaded with health boosters. These mega milks are anti inflammatory, increase stamina, are probiotic…and whoop, also dairy, sugar + nut free to boot.

Beetroot juice contains nitrate which reduces the amount of oxygen needed by our bodies when we’re exerting ourselves…so whether it’s today’s cardio session, tomorrow’s power vinyasa class, running for the bus or climbing lantau peak. however you move it’s proven to improve our stamina.
Plus it also makes a beautiful moreish pink milk!

Turmeric contains curcumin, a lovely compound which helps to block some of the processes in our cells which cause inflammation. An indispensable anti-inflammatory addition to your diet if you’re big on any the physical activities I’ve just mentioned, or suffer with arthritis among other auto immune conditions.
It’s a gem of a spice + makes a gorgeous vibrant golden milk!

So many reasons to give it a go. Here’s how-

| recipe |
difficulty: * easy
time: 10 mins to prep milk [optional 4-24 hours to ferment]
suitable for: Autoimmune friendly (AIP), nut free, dairy free, sugar free, paleo,

the what + why:
turmeric > anti inflammatory
beetroot > stamina
kefir > digestion boost

ingredients:

2 cups flaked or desiccated coconut [organic + unsulphured***]
4 cups hot water (not boiling, between 50-70C will do the trick)
1 tsp fresh lemon juice [about a standard lemon wedge amount]
1/8 tsp sunflower lecithin [completely optional- I get mine here [discount code: TSC558]
50 mls water kefir/kombucha [optional]

nutrient boosters:
1/8 wedge of beetroot finely grated + strained
1/4 tsp ground turmeric or 2cm piece of fresh turmeric finely grated + strained
equipment:
blender
sieve/ nut milk bag/ jelly strainer/ clean tea towel
jug

how to:
soften + soak the coconut in two cups of hot water for about 5 mins. then tip it into your blender, add the other two cups of hot water along with the lemon + lecithin if using.

blend for about 3 mins (or longer if needed) until the water become white, coconutty + creamy.

next pour the milk through your strainer of choice. I use a jelly straining bag. just like a nut milk bag only tons cheaper.

Split your milk into three equal portions. I pour mine into empty + cleaned raw cider vinegar bottles.
Leave one portion plain, add the beetroot juice concentrate to the second batch + shake. Finally add the turmeric powder or turmeric juice concentrate to the last portion + shake, shake, shake.

You can use these fab milks everywhere you’d use other milks like dairy/ almond or soya. The fresh taste + health benefits of making your own will make you ditch that shop bought milk every time!

***unsulphured coconut would be best but don’t sweat it unless you are especially sensitive to sulphites. don’t know if it’s a problem for you. here’s self check: do you end up with glowing red cheeks after some vinegars, mustards…and wine?]