I was first introduced to kefir by my beautiful friend De. She is my “food guru.” She is one of those amazing women who grabs life by the horns and shakes the hell out of it until it all just falls into place. She has always been beautiful but in the past 18 months she has literally transformed herself and her life through changing her (and her families) eating habits and lifestyle. She kicks some serious ass and I can’t prompt her enough (eh hem… I know you are reading this my friend) to WRITE A BLOG about it. I’d be her number one fan.
Anyway, kefir. I tried it for the first time about six months ago when I was on holiday in Perth from Indonesia. Whilst sitting in De’s kitchen with my baby Bo on my knee I drank kefir fresh from the jar as she separated the grain from the delicious cultured milk. I was surprised at its tart, smooth and fresh flavour. And I was intrigued by its health benefits. Packed full of good stuff, kefir is also easy to digest and is an excellent addition to any family diet. It took me six months to get my act together but for the past few weeks I have been growing my own kefir and Bo and I are both consuming it on a daily basis.
To grow kefir you need minimal supplies, minimal skill and minimal cash. Perfect.
All you need is a large glass jar, a strainer, smaller jars or tubs for fridge storage and most importantly your starter kefir grain.
For more information on growing your own kefir (including culturing different nut milks) I suggest this website as an excellent starting point. I am by no means an expert on the matter but I’m keen and I’m learning more all the time. My kefir grains are producing beautiful kefir that Bo and I have in our smoothies every morning and along with my homemade yoghurt I feel that we are both reaping health benefits whilst being very kind to our environment (and my hip pocket). I have recently discovered that I can also bake with it, and the results have been delicious.
If you live in Western Australia I am happy to provide you with some of my kefir grains as they grow and duplicate. As my beautiful friend did for me… I would love to keep the kefir chain going… so if so, just get in touch and I’ll get some to you when they are ready.
A couple of cups of wholemeal flour
A couple of heaped tablespoons of baking powder
About a cup of mashed pumpkin
A couple of big tablespoons of butter (you can probably leave this out or substitute it with coconut oil or the like, but I like real butter… so I use it… even if it’s not the best for me)
1/2 a cup of kefir (can also be milk or yoghurt if you don’t have access to kefir – but it really makes them something special)
Whisk the butter so it’s nice and creamy, add pumpkin, (pre-whisked) egg and kefir and combine. Then sift in flour and baking powder, with wholemeal flour you often get the husks in the sifter… I dump these into the mix too. Then stir it all up adding extra flour if it’s way too sticky.
The kefir and pumpkin do make the mixture quite wet. Don’t worry about it. Just put lots of flour on your working surface and lots of extra flour on your hands and give it a good knead. Then roll, chop and pop on the pan in little round (mine are never round) lumps.
Feeling seedy? I love adding extra seeds to things for a flavour and nutrition boost… favourites are chia, sunflower and pepitas at the moment. Yum! I mix them through and sprinkle some extra ones on top for good measure.
Stick the tray in the pre-heated oven at around 180 – 200’C for 15 – 20 minutes or until cooked.
Eat them warm… feed them to your baby… feed them to your friends. Eat them for lunch with a big leafy green salad or serve them along with a delicious roast veggie salad for dinner.
Whichever way you eat them. They are delish.