Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

 Growing up, one of the highlights of going to the health food store with my Mom was when we'd get a treat: kefir, sesame seed honey bites , and Panda black licorice.  So very good!

You can understand then why I was excited when a friend recently posted on facebook that she had some kefir grains that she wanted to share.  I've never made homemade kefir, but I knew there are many health benefits to the homemade version versus the store bought.

I've been drinking about a cup a day for a week now.  I was fermenting it in 2% milk at first and I found that using it with my daily protein smoothie really helped to curb my appetite for some time after drinking it.  Also, I noticed a decrease in my desire for sugary sweets.

For a few months now, I had actually been substituting coconut water for milk in my protein smoothies.  I figured that the protein powder, greek yogurt, and peanut butter offered enough fat and protein and that the potassium in the coconut water would be really beneficial to me, especially running as much as I am.  

After drinking the kefir for a few days, I began to wonder if I could ferment my grains in coconut water instead of milk.  I did a little research online and found that the grains need sugar to ferment so as long as the liquid they were placed in had sugar, the resulting liquid would be kefir.

With a little more research I came across this page about Tula, a young girl whose parents saw improvement in her autistic symptoms when she drank young coconut kefir.  In fact, googling "coconut kefir autism" brings up a lot of results.

During Missy's NICU stay, she battled pneumonia and many different infections.  She was on antibiotics nearly her entire time there.  Then when she left the hospital she had ear infection after ear infection.  In fact, she had ear tubes placed twice.  I've often wondered if she has an gastrointestinal  candida overgrowth

Here's what my coconut water kefir looks like.
 
Then, I separate the grains from the liquid...
and am left with coconut water kefir!!

To my quart jar I return my grains and add 2 cups of fresh coconut water.  I place plastic wrap over the top and put it in my pantry for another 24 hours.  Easy peasy!!

The hard part is convincing the kidlets to drink this.  I'm fine having 8oz in a smoothie.  I prefer it with berries and bananas.  It has a tart, sour taste with the first drink, but then I become accustomed to it and can drink the rest fine.

I took the advice of Tula's parents and decided to try just a half teaspoon for the kids.  When they asked for something to drink I put their tiny serving in their cup with about 2oz of their preferred drink without them knowing.  For Missy it was Trader Joe's Dixie Peach juice, Sissy and Buddy had theirs in 2% milk.  No one noticed!  Or said anything anyway.  In fact, when Missy requested more juice, I put 1 teaspoon of the kefir in about 3 oz of juice.  She drank it!!

Missy normally has a bowel movement once a week.  I hate to think how bad that is for her.  I'm hoping this will really help her.  Tonight, ahead of her weekly schedule, she had a BM.  Woohoo!!

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