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Kefir Blueberry Smoothie.

Part of my low carb diet. a Blueberry Kefir Smoothie

While I know that most low carb diets don’t allow any dairy except hard cheese at the beginning (and Paleo allows no dairy at all), I had so much success with losing weight on the raw milk cure that I’m continuing to incorporate it into my low carb diet.

A few days ago, I finally received my kefir grains. It was a small amount and its going to take some time before I can make a lot of it, but its enough for a smoothie.

A cup of  whole milk has 11.7 grams of carbohydrates. Turn that whole milk into keifir and the carb count drops to 9 grams. A greek yogurt made of the same cup of milk will be 6 carbohydrates.  Cultured milk products undergo fermentation and that fermentation eats up the milk sugars.

So while greek yogurt is lower in carbohydrates, I’m working with kefir at the moment.  One of the main reasons is that kefir cultures at room temperatures, while I still haven’t been able to make a decent yogurt from raw milk, without heating the milk to 180 degrees (which kills a lot of the beneficial enzymes).  Don’t get me wrong, I love my home-made yogurt, but I want a fermented product that contains all the goodness of my raw milk.  So kefir.

What is Kefir

Kefir is a cultured milk originating in the Caucasus Mountain region of Eurasia. Its one of the oldest cultured milk products around. Kefir is probiotic, meaning it replenishes your gut flora with beneficial bacteria.  It’s easy and fairly inexpensive to make at home.

Benefits of Kefir

Besides replenishing the gut flora, Kefir is also helpful for digestive issues. It is digestible to most people who are lactose intolerant (though I have found raw milk to be more easily assimilated as well). Kefir can be kept out at room temperature since it creates its own organisms which combat spoilage. (I prefer mine cold, but I like cold milk best of all as well).

Kefir has anti-cancer and anti-tumor properties.

Making Kefir

Kefir is basically a drinking style yogurt, made by combining the kefir grains with fresh milk. While it can be made from pasteurized milk of any sort, I (of course if you’ve been reading this blog) prefer making it with raw milk for all the health benefits raw milk brings as well.

To make Kefir, you need what are called kefir grains.  Since kefir grains double in size every 10 days, chances are that someone you know who is making kefir can give you some.  If not, there are places on the web to purchase them.  Kefir grains are a misnomer, they are basically gelatinous bacteria/yeast mixtures that show as white or yellow particles. The kefir grains feed on the milk sugars.

Kefir and also Kefir Deutsch: Kefirknollen - e...

Kefir Grains

Kefir is made by basically combining the grains and fresh milk, and leaving it at room temperature for 24 hours, shaking it occasionally.  The grains will grow and absorb the milk sugars.  The more kefir grains you have the more kefir you can make.

Like most things, home-made kefir is best. While you can buy kefir at a grocery store and it’s still better for you then nothing, keep in mind its made with pasteurized milk from cows that are kept in confinement dairies.  It also has fewer strains of bacteria and doesn’t contain any of the yeast.

Since kefir grains grow and multiply at an astounding rate, you will soon find yourself overwhelmed by them.  You can give them away, or eat them. (throw some in a smoothie.).  Compost them, or put them on your plants as fertilizer.  But the best thing you can do is give your extras to other people so that they too can make Kefir.

Kefir as Part of a Low Carb Diet

Especially if you have access to raw milk, I think Kefir can and should be incorporated from the start in a low carb diet.  4 ounces contains 4 1/2 carbohydrates. Enough to be added to an induction diet of 20 grams of net carbohydrates a day. Additionally raw milk contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) that helps to lose weight (I credit CLA for my 2 pound a week weight loss during my milk cure) and helps to fight cancer.

It means that if I have 4 ounces of kefir a day, that I have to forgo some vegetables.  But I still have 15.5 grams of net carbohydrates to eat vegetables with.  So I can live with that.  As my carbohydrates increase, I can add in more kefir and more vegetables.  It’s a process.

Paleo eschews milk products on the premise that paleolithic man didn’t have dairy.  They hunted and gathered. And I can respect that premise.  Especially when you look at pasteurized dairy.  But raw dairy products are a different item altogether and I think it belongs (in limited quantities and always counting carbohydrates) in a low carb diet.


Kefir Recipes

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5 Responses to “Kefir On My Low Carb Diet”

  1. Keith Campbell says:

    How’s the flavor when you make it from raw? I haven’t cared for any commercial kefir I’ve ever tried, though it’s true I’ve only tried a small handful.

    I found raw milk near us (only 20 minutes away!) for $7.50/gallon, which seems obscene to my pauper hindbrain until I remember that I’ve been paying $3.39 for a half gallon of organic milk, so it’s not even a dollar more. And it tastes fantastic; I’ve had raw milk that tasted strongly of grass, and while I like that flavor in butter, I don’t like it at all in milk. This stuff is fabulous. I have to keep reminding myself how much sugar it has. 🙂

    • Sandra Clark says:

      The flavor is very nice, its slightly sour, which it should be, I typically ferment mine for 24 hours which keeps it mild. I love it ice cold. Next time I see you I’ll bring some up for you to try. So glad you live in a state that sells raw milk and you can get it now.

      Raw milk fresh from the farmer will keep for at least a week and a half if properly refrigerated. Even if it is past that date, it can still be used in yogurt, kefir, and for things like pancakes. Raw milk sours, it doesn’t putrify, so you won’t waste milk if you don’t drink it fresh. Butter was traditionally made with soured cream as well.

      Based on my experiments with the milk cure, I’m not sure that the sugars in raw milk affect diabetes as much as pastuerized, the enzymes that are active might have something to do with that. You can see that except for a few times when I was detoxing, my blood sugars were fairly normal.

      • Keith Campbell says:

        It’s so good I can’t imagine it will go bad. I have to MAKE myself stop drinking it. But I’d actually like to try the cultured butter; I should check if they sell cream also, I didn’t look.

  2. Hi there Sandra,

    I just wanted to say thanks so much for linking to my post on 80+ recipes for kefir! And it’s awesome that you have incorporated kefir into your low carbohydrate diet!