I can't figure out if it's pronounced kee-fur, kef-ear, or kay-fur....all I know it that it RAWKS!
I read about this wonderful stuff in (my new bible) Nourishing Traditions. Kefir is a great little probiotic that coats your intestines and makes a breading ground for all the good flora you need to keep you healthy. It's like nature's antibiotic! I found some of the culture at Whole Foods and mixed it up with some organic milk (I would have preferred raw milk, but I can't find it anywhere around here!) 24 hours later I had this wonderful substance that looks, smells, and tastes like plain yogurt. You can use it in anything that you would use buttermilk, yogurt, or sour cream. I decided to ease the kids into it by making some pancakes with it this morning.
I've been playing around with different grain flours and decided to use my Bob's Red Mill 10-grain mix. I combined it with free range eggs we got at a local meat market. If you ever get the chance to cook with free range eggs-DO IT! The yolks are huge, rich and decadent. These yolks were almost orange and stood up over an inch high!
I used the kefir instead of buttermilk and we had the lightest, most delicious (and nutritious) pancakes I've ever had. They literally melted in your mouth!
This afternoon I'm going to make smoothies with the kefir. My goal is to get everyone to drink a small glass of it a day or at the very least, every other day. With all the nasty bugs out there, this is a simple and proactive step I can take to keep my family healthy. Kefir is much better for you than yogurt. The flora in yogurt are transient and don't stick around long. Kefir coats your intestines and sticks around much longer. It establishes colonies of good protective flora and which boots your immunity and general well being. Even those with lactose intolerance (like my little Danny) can drink it without difficulty.
Read more about kefir here.