Kefir is simply fermented milk. It is known as a probiotic and has as many as 50 strains of good bacteria. Probiotics, good bacteria, help with digestive and immune function. They also fight against tumors, harmful microbes and carcinogens.

Kefir Grains

The fermentation process begins when kefir "grains" are added to the milk. Kefir "grains" are a live, symbiotic mixture of bacteria and yeast that adds enzymes and good bacteria to milk.

The best milk to use is raw milk. Raw milk has benefits pasteurized milk doesn't have because of the processing of the milk. However, when the kefir grains are added to milk, whether it's raw, pasteurized, goat's milk or even non-dairy milk, it becomes a whole new food full of health benefits.

One of my favorite ways to enjoy kefir is in smoothies. I don't use a specific recipe. I throw in whatever I have in whatever amount I want to use. Easy, huh?

The smoothie I made this morning was not only easy but it was also very nutritious. Fruit, greens, natural sweetener and kefir make a delicious and filling breakfast I can feel good about.

Frozen strawberries, pineapple and mangos

(vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, potassium, fiber, folate (B9), manganese, copper, thiamine (B1), niacin (B3), riboflavin (B2), magnesium, antioxidants)

Handful of organic baby spinach

(vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, folate (B9), fiber, manganese, riboflavin (B2), calcium, potassium, copper, thiamin (B1), zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants)

A splash of REAL maple syrup

(zinc, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium)

Filled cup ¾ with milk kefir

(30-50 strains of good bacteria, digestive enzymes)

I blend one serving at a time since I use an individual-size blender.

This is the video I watched to learn how to make kefir. Donna Schwenk has incredible passion for fermented food and she has a great story to tell of how fermented foods healed her child. Her book, Cultured Food in a Jar, has many wonderful recipes that are great for incorporating fermented foods into your life.