Here are 2 kinds that are our favorites right now, vanilla kefir and fresh orange kefir.
Strain the grains from your batch of kefir and place the newly strained kefir in jars. Let the kefir sit in the jar for 12 hours (or morning to night, 12 hours is a guide) and then place one packet of Stevia in it and about 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract to taste. Place in fridge to chill.
Fresh Orange Kefir:
With your strained kefir in a jar add a slice of fresh orange. It's very important if you are not using an organic orange to dip it in boiling water for 30 seconds and then under cool water to remove all pesticide residue.
I cut my slice from the middle of the orange and then drop it in.
Next I squeeze the juice of the 2 orange halves into the kefir. Place the lid on and let it sit for 12-18 hours. I then place one packet of Stevia in and set in fridge to chill.
The reason I flavor the orange kefir and let it sit and not the vanilla is; health benefits. Vanilla extract has little health benefit but fresh oranges are loaded!! The fermentation process takes those added vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and increases them AND makes them completely bio-available for your body!! WOW!!
Check out these snippets!
Vitamin C created in the fermentation process helps bolster the immune system and put up a fight against bacterial invasion, and omega 3 fatty acids provide additional immune system strength. The efficiency of your digestive system when eating fermented foods helps better absorb nutrients and create energy, which helps maintain your overall health on a daily basis. When the digestive enzymes and probiotics are present, your body doesn’t have to work as hard to get what it needs to function and has help eliminating toxic buildup throughout the digestive system that can contribute to illness.http://www.fireflykitchens.com/health/
Fermentation preserves the foods in their raw state, providing a nutritionally superior method of preserving foods. Vitamin content, particularly B complex vitamins, vitamin C and vitamin K2, is actually increased through fermentation. In this way sauerkraut or kimchi – both naturally fermented cabbage dishes – are nutritionally superior than raw cabbage. Additionally, food enzymes which help us to better digest our foods are increased with fermentation as are beneficial bacteria which help to bolster the immune system. http://www.nourishingdays.com/2011/02/why-fermentation-is-so-important-an-interview-with-jenny-mcgruther/
"Fermentation processes can result in increased levels of vitamins in the final product. Saccharomyces cerevisiae (one of the little live critters of fermenting) is able to concentrate large quantities of thiamin, nicotinic acid and biotin and thus form enriched products." http://www.fao.org/docrep/x0560e/x0560e06.htm
Nutritionally speaking, fermented foods are more easily digested than unfermented foods and contain billions of beneficial bacteria that colonize the digestive tract. These bacteria increase immune function and reinforce the gut against pathogenic (disease-causing) bacteria. They inhibit disease-producing organisms like E. coli andSalmonella, and increase nutrient absorption while reducing colon cancer risk. Regularly eating fermented foods can help reduce the incidence of all gastrointestinal disorders, including those caused by medications. http://www.bestnaturalfoods.com/got_fermentation.html
Fermentation of foods can be especially helpful for increasing their vitamin K content. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=112
Antioxidants: Fermented foods have been studied for their antioxidant functions, patrolling the body for free radicals and helping eliminate the potential cancer causing substances from the body. The lactobacilli in fermented foods also help create omega 3 fatty acids, which are essential for cell membrane and immune system function and play a role in helping eliminate toxins and oxidized compounds from the body. Digestive enzymes and other detoxifying compounds found in fermented foods all play a role in the antioxidant function within the body.http://www.fireflykitchens.com/health/ Great article, read the whole thing!
There are so many amazing flavors you can experiment with and find your favorites and flavor your milk kefir with the seasons best and freshest!
Add 1/2 tsp Almond extract and Stevia to taste (New FAV!)
Add fresh strawberries (or any berry) slightly crushed
A cinnamon stick
Lemon or lime
Happy second fermenting!