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Monday, March 26th, 2012

How to Make Almond Milk Kefir

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Almond Milk Kefir & Strawberry Smoothie

I have been including more live probiotic foods into my diet after listening to several interviews on the topic by Lou Corona and the health benefits have been incredible!! I love making almond milk kefir because it’s so easy, delicious, and makes me feel awesome!! I can feel the change in my body almost immediately; clearer skin, more energy, flat belly, better digestion, and just an overall “good feeling”!!

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“More and more people are recognizing Kefir health benefits. Kefir, which originated from the Turkish word “keif,” or “good feeling,” is a fermented drink that came from the Northern Caucasus Mountains. Popular in the Middle East, Russia and Eastern Europe, this drink has a slightly sour taste and creamy consistency. Kefir grains are a mixture of yeasts and bacteria. Here are the important kefir health benefits.

Rich in Vitamins and Minerals

Kefir contains a vast range of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and amino acids. It is rich particularly in vitamins A, B2, B12, D and K, as well as calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Kefir is known to have tryptophan, an essential amino acid effective in relaxing the nervous system. All the health benefits that come with these vitamins and minerals can be acquired through kefir. Since it is rich in enzymes, it is also easily digestible. The fact that you can eat kefir raw keeps enzymes intact, since these can be lost during cooking.

Healthy Immune Function

According to studies, kefir can boost immune system function. It makes the immune system more effective in fighting against bacteria and viruses that enter the body. When the immune system is strengthened, the body becomes stronger and more protected against a wide variety of illnesses.

Remedy for Medical Conditions

Kefir has been used to treat different kinds of health problems because of its antibiotic and antifungal properties. It can fight metabolic diseases, atherosclerosis, allergies, some forms of cancer, osteoporosis, hypertension, tuberculosis, candidiasis and more. It is also an effective remedy for gallstones, liver diseases, kidney stones, high cholesterol, ulcers, pancreatitis, gout and rheumatism. It boosts the body’s energy and uplifts your mood.

Aid in Digestive Function

Since kefir is rich in healthy microorganisms or probiotics, it can help maintain proper digestive function. It can improve bowel movements as well as prevent and treat irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea and constipation. It can also diminish gas formation.” (source)

Almond Milk Kefir

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup raw almonds soaked for 8 hrs or more
  • 2 liters water
  • 4 caps probiotics – I’ve found these probiotics to be the best. Other brands have not worked as well.
  • stevia to taste
  • lemon juice to taste

Start by soaking your raw almonds in water for 8 hrs or more.

Strain the water from the almonds. In a blender, place your raw almonds and 2 liters of filtered water and blend on high for several minutes.

My favorite blender is the VitaMix which is a super awesome, state of the art, amazing, must have high speed blender. They are the ONLY blender that will get you the creamy consistency that you desire.  I love, love, LOVE my VitaMix and highly recommend investing in one if you are ready to make serious changes to your diet. I have had mine for almost 5 years and use it daily! If you’re not ready to drop that kind of cash, Hamilton Beach makes some great budget friendly blenders that you can get at your local Walmart or Target.

Next pour the mixture through a nut milk bag or a paint straining bag and into a glass container. You can get 1 gallon paint straining bags for about $2 at your local Lowe’s or Home Depot. Squeeze the remaining liquid through the bag and you are left with a lovely nut milk!!  Finally, open 4 caps of probiotics into your almond milk and stir gently with a clean spoon. Cover your glass bowl with a paper towel or clean dish towel and let sit on the counter at room temperature over night or for 12 hrs+ to let the probiotics to do their thing!

After about 12 hrs, the probiotics will have proliferated and multiplied tremendously, leaving you with a super probiotic rich liquid. They “pre-digest” the almond milk so in the end your mixture will look something like this:

There will be a thick layer at the top, which contains the fat content from the almonds and the bottom layer will be pure liquid. Your finished kefir will last about a week in the the refrigerator.

You’ll want to keep about 1/2 cup of the original mixture as a reserve or starter to add to the next batch. This will produce an even more active culture – and in a shorter amount of time. You will not need to use probiotic powder if you are using a small amount from the previous batch. You can make about 4 batches with the reserve. After that, you will want to start over with a brand new batch made with fresh probiotics.

To serve, I simply pour about 8-12oz of the liquid through a metal strainer and into a cup. Add stevia and a squeeze of lemon, it’s delicious!! I like to drink my almond milk kefir first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. You can include the top “fatty” portion in your smoothies anytime like I did with this Strawberry Banana Smoothie.

Strawberry Banana Smoothie with Almond Milk Kefir

You’ll need:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup (or more) almond milk kefir, including the top “fatty” part
  • 1-2 droppers full Vanilla Stevia to taste

Simply blend all ingredients in a high speed blender and enjoy!!

I hope these recipes insipre you to make some Almond Milk Kefir of your own!! It is SO yummy and the health benefits can’t be beat!! My skin noticeably GLOWS when I consume it regularly and my belly stays nice and flat – who doesn’t love that?! I encourage you all to try this simple recipe that bursting with health benefits and let me know what you think!

Resources: I always order my stevia, almonds, and probiotics through iherb.com! They’ve got the best prices and fast shipping – they ship to over 180 countries, including APO addresses! Feel free to use my discount code WAG472 to get $5 OFF your first order or $10 off your first order of $40 or more + free shipping on orders of $20 or more!!

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