Guide to buying and growing Kefir

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Kefir is a cultured milk product which contains a multitude of friendly bacteria. It comes in grain form and looks a little bit like small cauliflower grains. Kefir has been known to help the intestine, so people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Chrons find it extremely beneficial.

I sell Kefir on ebay because I like to share the goodness it brings; even if you have no intestinal problems, it has a multitude of vitamins and yeasts which can contribute to a healthier you. Some people sell Kefir in powdered form, and although it may work, it is not the same as using fresh, live bacterial Kefir which has been bred with for years. I know people who have used their Kefir for as many as 25 years, adding to it from other people's batches to make it more interesting. The reason fresh Kefir has a higher rate of postage is because it is a live yeast and so ideally needs to be shipped in overnight delivery; that is also the reason why I don't ship overseas.

To brew the actual drink Kefir, which is very similar to Yakult type drinks (probiotic health drinks), you need to put your Kefir grains in a plastic bowl or a glass and top it with fresh milk- this can be cow, goat, soya milk or whatever else you like, but not UHT. stir the grains into the milk and let it stabnd for 24 hours, stirring every now and then. After 24 hours the milk should smell slightly stronger and a bit more sauer; try it and see what you think, it is often beneficial to leave it for another 12-24 hours; when it has a distinctive sour smell, strain the kefir through a fine sieve into another bowl to separate the grains from the liquid. The grains are now ready for the next batch of Kefir, and the liquid is ready for using. You can drink it pure, mix it with fruit for a smoothie, pour it on your cereal, use it in your baking or whatever else you like. You can also add it to your bath water for a calming effect or make a face mask with some lemon for oily skin.     

If ever you go away for a week or two, or you want to rest your kefir, just put it in a glass, cover it with milk and put in the fridge; on retrieval strain and rinse it and then resume your normal routine, but it might take a bit longer at the beginning to make kefir as the cold from the fridge might have slowed the grains down a bit.

Kefir grains grow bigger over time as they feed on the milk; you can split some grains off when you have too many and give them away to friends. You can also freeze them as a back-up in case something happens to your normal grains. To retrieve, just thaw for a few hours and then add to some milk, changing the milk every 24 hours until it resembles kefir again.

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