Category Archives: Kefir – Water & Dairy Kefir Grains

Tips and tricks for dairy and water kefir grains. Keep your kefir grain nice and healthy!

Kefir Grains – Live vs. Dried – Which Kefir is the Best Buy For You ?

Kefir Grains – Live vs. Dried – Which One is the Best Buy For You ?

  Today someone searching to buy kefir grains on the web will find many sites selling ‘living’ kefir or dried/dehydrated kefir grains.  For someone new to food culturing there are many questions…, What is the best source to buy kefir?  What type of grains do I need?  Where to get the best grains?

There are two types of kefir that one can buy, Milk kefir grains, which are a naturally occurring organism originating in the Caucasus or water kefir grains from Meso-America.  Of the two, the live fresh active grains are the best buy for your money and time.  However, both types offer benefits unique each to itself.

The fresh kefir grains re-balance quickly and begin producing drinkable pro-biotic kefir within just a few days of arriving after shipment.  This is an excellent option if you live within the USA and are able to attend to them immediately.
If you are either
a) not located within the U.S. or
b) not able to attend to the fresh grains immediately upon arrival, then dried kefir grains are the best option for you.
These will take longer to activate – about a week or so to ‘wake up’ and adjust the balance to where they are producing a drinkable kefir beverage.  This is a great option if the grains will be in transit internationally, since they are in a dormant stage and will not degrade or less likely to be damaged over the fresh grains.  This also gives you the option to stick the dried grains in your cupboard or refrigerator if you receive them, but, are not ready to use them (or want to hang onto them as a backup source or a gift to give). Water kefir grains are known to sometimes be difficult to revive from a dried state (or just takes a long time) in some cases.  Usually it’s hard to put the blame on any one thing, they just tend to be more fragile and pickier than milk kefir grains.

Below are a list of companies and websites that sell different kefir grain starters.  Below is information from the company’s website pages on kefir:

dairy_culture_02
purchase live fresh kefir grains over dried or dehydrated

Organic-Cultures.Com

From their website…“These kefir grains are real grains maintained on organic milk.  Unlike the pre-packaged kefir starters, such as Cultures for Health, Helios, or Body Ecology, that you may find on other sites or selling in retail stores, these are the real living grains of the kefir culture.  Our kefir grains are ready for use out of the packet, no failed productions or waiting several rounds for the kefir grains (milk or water types) to become ‘active’ again.  You will not find our strains of kefir grains in any store!  These grains will last a lifetime with proper care.  Our Kefir Cultures are Always Live & Fresh…Never Dried & Dehydrated.”

Benefits:   Five different kefir types to choose from, plus many other food cultures.  Fresh, active culture starters, organic grown, kefir is ready to use from the package and a first batch of kefir is ready within 24 to 48 hours.  A 100% replacement guarantee, if the cultures are not viable.
Drawbacks:  Not able to ship to international destinations (but for Canada) due to fresh raw nature of culture starters.

 

bodyE_kefir_2Body Ecology

From their website…”Contains 6 packets that can be used an average of 7 times each.  Six tablespoons of previous batch will ferment 1 quart of liquid.”

Benefits:   Convenience and great for short time usage,
Drawbacks:   Isolated lab grown cultures, repurchase required, limited usage.  Invest in real kefir grains for long term usage.

 

dried_kefir_starter_01 Yogourmet

From their website…”Yogourmet kefir starter is prepared from selected strains of dairy cultures and yeast as well as kefir grains, so that each batch you make produces excellent quality kefir.  Yogourmet kefir starter does not require the use of a yogurt maker, since the milk is incubated at room temperature for about 24 hours.  Each box contains 3 envelopes of 2 X 5 grams and each envelope makes 2 liters of kefir”.

Benefits:
  Convenience and great for short time usage,
Drawbacks:  Isolated lab grown cultures, repurchase required, limited usage.  Invest in real kefir grains for long term use.

Helios_kefir_01Lifeway Helios Kefir & Other Ready to Drink Kefirs

From their website…”Putting a bottle of Lifeway Kefir in your hand just makes so much sense.  It allows you to be proactive about your health, filling your digestive system with friendly bacteria.  Lifeway Kefir is also loaded with nutritious ingredients.”
Benefits:  Convenience in a ready to go drink and great for short time usage or when traveling,
Drawbacks:  High price, isolated lab grown cultures, extra packaging, and limited pro-biotic content.

 

dried_kefir_grains_01Cultures For Health

From their website…”Our milk kefir grains are shipped in a dehydrated state in a barrier-sealed packet.  Upon receipt, the dairy grains can be rehydrated in fresh milk (this process usually takes 5 to 7 days) and then used to make kefir by adding the grains to fresh milk, stirring, covering, and leaving at room temperature until the desired consistency is reached.”
Benefits:  Cultures are cheap to buy, due to mass production.  Great for shipping to countries outside the USA.
Drawbacks:
 No moneyback or return policy.  Small packet of lab produced and dried starter culture, leaving little room for error. Must rehydrate the grains before use, wasting milk and time.  Dehydrated grains may not reactivat depending on the shelflife.

Each type of starter has it’s own benefits depending on what and how the cultures are to be shipped or transported.  This is a final note on food cultures…”Buying or obtaining the freshest kefir or other starter cultures, one can, will assist in producing the best cultured and viable product.  I suggest fresh culture over dried/dehydrated if possible.”, Nirinjan Singh, Director – Organic-cultures.com

Why consume Probiotics like Kefir and Kombucha?

Probiotics are microflora that live all around us.  Common types of microflora are bacteria, yeast and molds.  Some of these like, dairy kefir and water kefir grains, are beneficial to the human body we call these probiotics.  These probiotic microscopic organisms (microflora) help the body build long-lasting immunity to a host of illnesses and diseases, including allergies, irritable bowels, viruses, bacterial infections, and yes, cancer!  No vaccination or prescription medicine in the world could ever come close to this safe and beneficial way of balancing the body’s billions of microbes. Probiotics not only help create this balance but also helps maintain it for years and years, hence the name probiotic, which means “for life.”

This all natural way of supplementing your defense system is vital in today’s frightening, non-nutritional jungle of toxic food and medicine.  Many people, especially in the United States, are surrounded by bad influences, through our food, environment, and lifestyle.

Probiotic Cultures, Like Kefir Grains Helps Prevent Damage Before it Occurs…

Probiotic cultures not only prevent damage from being done to our cells, they strengthen our immune system and beat down cancer cells before they ever have a chance of multiplying.  Probiotics weaken mutagenic activity, so your good cells keep winning the battles, and most importantly, the DNA war.  Adding probiotic to your body isn’t hard, just eat!  Culturing your own or buying ‘living’ raw foods is the best and cheapest way to get probiotic into your body.

The majorities of microbes in the intestine are not harmful, but rather play an important role in normal growth and development, but when the pH balance is off , especially in the intestines, major problems begin doing “structural” damage to our system, and reinforcement is often needed, above and beyond a healthy diet.  Also, probiotics can be used to counter the over-consumption of antibiotics so typical in the average American diet, which is often chocked full of non-organic meats and dairy products that come from animals shot up with varying forms of antibiotics.  Antibiotics and trace chemicals are also prominent in municipal drinking water, because it’s “too expensive” for cities to filter them out.

Eliminate Fear and Learn about
Your Inner Ecosystem

Just as Earth and Mother Nature have a delicate balance which needs to be maintained, our bodies have their own “inner ecosystem,” which is like having a rainforest in your digestive track. When your ecosystem is balanced, your intestines are teeming with beneficial bacteria and micro flora to keep your immune system strong.

However, in the USA, we are told that bacteria and yeast means sickness or disease and are marketed anti-bacterial products for cleaning and washing the hands.  The fact is just the opposite in that we would die without a healthy intestinal flora.

Consuming traditional probiotics, like yogurt, ones native to the human digestive tract encourages the production of antibodies, which in turn protects the system from allergies, infections (viral, fungal and bacterial), IBS, and sometimes cancer. In fact, probiotics build defense against disease by enabling your body to build a natural defense, unlike vaccinations. Vaccines are now often crossbred viruses, bacterial strands, mixed up with aluminum and formaldehyde, which shock the system into a panic type of reaction, which is a form of “wild guess” methodology for establishing only short term immunity at best.

Populating your “gut” with beneficial micro flora may help to improve your skin, maintain a healthy weight, and provide energy and overall well-being. Many people who have never heard of probiotics or don’t understand their function may be “turned off” to the concept if educated improperly at first.

Benefits of a Healthy Gut

The second someone reads a typical probiotic label or description reading something like, “Over 6 billion bacteria in each tablet,” it seems overwhelming, and some consumers might set the product back on the shelf, but at that point, they are selling themselves short of a healthy gut.

Start incorporating healthy beneficial bacteria and yeast into you diet and see the difference.  We have many traditional food starter cultures to choose from.  We have many dairy type cultures including kefir grains and vegan cultures, too!  Not into milk based food, try our water grains or make your own ginger brew.  You can see more about each culture type on our main web site or go to our secure store and order at anytime.

http://www.organic-cultures.com

http://store.organic-cultures.com

Happy Culturing,
Nirinjan Singh, Director