Make Your Own Probiotics – Save Money and Improve Effectiveness
Growing interest in gut health has had many of us reaching for expensive probiotic supplements – but possibly for not much longer. Dr Michael Mosely’s BBC programme ‘Trust Me I’m a Doctor’ has revealed that you get much more benefit from homemade probiotic foods you make yourself; foods like sauerkraut and kimchi and the yogurt like drink, milk kefir. Mosely’s team tested kefir and found that in their big probiotics study, the group taking kefir saw significant changes in their gut bacteria – specifically a rise in a family of bacteria called Lactobacillales, which are known to maintain gut health.
Milk Kefir is a delicious smooth and tangy drink that can be slightly fizzy giving it the name ‘champagne’ of milks. Originating in the Caucasus, and also known as the ‘Elixir of Life’ milk Kefir is rich in beneficial bacteria, phosphorus, vitamin K, biotin and folic acid – nutrients that are essential to health and well-being. Milk Kefir is also anti-inflammatory and can help your gut recover after antibiotics. Despite the fact that milk Kefir is, itself, a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeasts (or SCOBY), milk Kefir also acts as a powerful antimicrobial food – helping to limit the growth of pathogens while encouraging the proliferation of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
Available now in shops but also very easy to make at home, milk Kefir looks like plump grains of cottage cheese. Put a teaspoon of Kefir grains in a large glass of milk and leave for 24-48hrs; the Kefir grains grow and sour your milk which is then full of good bacteria and ready to drink. Topping up your Kefir every couple of days will give you a constant supply of milk Kefir and plenty of Kefir grains to give to friends. Remember the Herman friendship cake? Feed it up, enjoy it and give a little away. You can buy Kefir grains online or come on a class and we give you some to take home.
Learn about milk Kefir as well as how to make Sauerkraut, Kimchi and Kombucha in our Introduction to Fermentation Class, a practical workshop here at Tracebridge Sourdough and Fermenteria.