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Note: For those of you who would like to learn more about kefir, we suggest you visit Body Ecology's Web site devoted to kefir located at: www.kefir.net
Kefir is a cultured, enzyme-rich food filled with friendly micro-organisms that help balance your "inner ecosystem." More nutritious and therapeutic than yogurt, it supplies complete protein, essential minerals, and valuable B vitamins.
The beneficial yeast and friendly bacteria in the kefir culture consume most of the lactose (or milk sugar). Eat kefir on an empty stomach first thing in the morning before (or for) breakfast and you'll be delighted to find it can be easily digested -- as numerous people who have been lactose intolerant for years have discovered.
Nonetheless, some people still have trouble digesting the milk kefir, especially during the early stages of the Diet. For this reason, Donna highly recommends making kefir from Young Green Coconuts.
If you are having trouble making kefir during the winter months use an insulated container.
Time and temperature are two important factors that determine how thick and tasty your kefir will be. In the warmer months kefir may be ready to drink in 18 hours. If you let it sit out too long at room temperature, it will become thick and eventually start turning into cheese and whey. If your kefir is "lumpy" and too sour, you are definitely leaving it out too long. It should be creamy and "drinkable"...a little thicker than milk. At this point, shake it well and place the kefir into your refrigerator. It will thicken a little more since it is continuing to culture, but at a much slower pace. Making kefir is an art, not an exact science. With each batch you make, adjust the time until you get it just the way you like it. Each area of the country and each kitchen seem to be a little different. Donna finds that her kefir always cultures faster for her in California than in Atlanta.
Body Ecology's starter culture is just that... a starter. After you start your first batch of kefir (in milk or the liquid from the young coconut), you can use a small amount of that first batch to make your second batch. How much to use is included in the instructions found in each package of starter. If you transfer too much kefir from one batch to the next, you'll create a product that cultures too fast and tastes too sour. You can make about 7 such "transfers" from one batch to the next. After that, the yeast start to get crowded out by the more aggressive lactobacillus.
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