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14- Apple kefir Breakfast

Kefir and the Patriarch, Prophet, & Czar

by

The Many Legends of Kefir

One of my favorite things about kefir is the many stories, legends, and history behind it.  It has been around for thousands of years and the stories are many, as are the mystics behind this food. It would make a great documentary! One of the first stories I heard dates back to the time of Abraham. It is there in ancient scrolls found in Turkey that the patriarch Abraham credits his long life to this fermented milk. It has been said that the manna that fell from the sky to feed the children of Israel was actually kefir grains; and another legend, told in Turkey, is that kefir was given to Noah from an angel to sustain him. Marco Polo also mentioned kefir in the chronicles of his travels in the East.

Caucasian Mountains
Caucasus Mountains

The most documented story about kefir took place in  the Caucasus Mountains, between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. Legend has it that the prophet Muhammad claims that the grains were a gift from Allah. He then gave kefir grains to the people and taught them how to make kefir. The “Grains of the Prophet” were guarded carefully since it was believed that they would lose their strength if the grains were given away to the wrong people, allowing the secret of how to use them to become common knowledge.

Kefir Grains
Kefir Grains

Throughout the centuries, people occasionally heard strange tales of this unusual beverage which was believed to have “magical” properties.  The people in the Caucasus Mountains have been drinking kefir for over a thousand years, and they are known for routinely living to well over 100 years old. Not many people outside the Caucasus region used kefir, and it was mostly forgotten about for hundreds of years until news spread of its use for the treatment of tuberculosis. Russian doctors believed that kefir was beneficial for health and the first scientific studies of kefir were published at the end of the nineteenth century. Unfortunately, the kefir grains required to make milk kefir were extremely difficult to obtain.

Nikolaj Blandov
Nikolaj Blandov

In 1908, a committee of Russian doctors, determined to get some grains, came up with a plan. They contacted  Nikolaj Blandov, who ran the Moscow Dairy and had connections in the Caucasus Mountains where they made some of their cheese products.

They sent a beautiful employee named Irina Sakharova to the court of a local prince to see if she could entice him to give her some grains. The prince was quite taken with her but had no intentions of giving her kefir grains, so instead he kidnapped her for himself. However, Tsar Nicholas II was not happy when he discovered the facts of what the prince had done, and ruled that the prince was to give Irina ten pounds of kefir grains to repay her for the insults she had endured.

The precious kefir grains were taken back to the Moscow Dairy and the first bottles of kefir ever manufactured commercially were offered for sale in Moscow in September 1908.

By the 1930s, kefir was made and sold on a larger scale and the rest is history. In 1973 the Minister of the Food Industry of the Soviet Union sent a letter to 85 year old Irina Sakharova thanking her for bringing kefir to the Russian people.

Kefir grains are so unique that scientist can’t duplicate them. Even though they know exactly what’s in kefir grains, they can’t make the real thing. Scientists have all the ability and technology in the world to alter molecules and make drugs. But they can’t create kefir grains no matter how hard they try. Which adds even more mystery and intrigue to their origin.

kefir-grains-in-milk.jpgKefir seems to have been around since time began, and has written its own story on my heart and the lives of my family and friends. I’d like to believe that kefir came to me just like it has to the many people throughout time. And just like the prophets, patriarchs, and pioneers I will carry on kefir’s legacy. The stories are quite astounding and they still continue to grow, but none have meant more to me than my own story. Kefir came to me when I needed it most and my books and website are the results of this miraculous food. Maybe it is time for you to meet my friend kefir?
Click here to learn how to make kefir.

Apple Kefir Breakfast
Print Recipe
Apple Kefir Breakfast
Print Recipe
CulturedFoodLife.com
This is one of the many ways I enjoy kefir. One of my favorite combinations is maple syrup and kefir. This is really delicious and makes the house smell heavenly.~Donna
Ingredients
Apples
  • 2 apples(Golden Delicious or Rome Beauty), medium size
  • 2Tbsp butter
  • 1tsp Sucanat
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 2Tbsp WalnutsChopped
  • 1/4Cup Water
Kefir Topping
  • 2Cups Kefir
  • 2tsp cinnamon
  • 4Tbsp maple syrup(or four packages of stevia for a lower sugar option)
  • golden raisins(For serving, optional)
  • WalnutsChopped, (For serving, optional)
Servings:
Units:
Instructions
Apples
  1. Wash and core the apples almost to the bottom. (Don't core all the way to the bottom.)
    Wash and core the apples almost to the bottom. (Don't core all the way to the bottom.)
  2. Using an apple peeler, peel a thin strip all the way around the apple.
    Using an apple peeler, peel a thin strip all the way around the apple.
  3. Place apples in a baking dish.
    Place apples in a baking dish.
  4. Combine the butter, Sucanat, cinnamon, and walnuts.
    Combine the butter, Sucanat, cinnamon, and walnuts.
  5. Fill the cavity of each apple with the mixture, dividing it evenly among the two apples.
    Fill the cavity of each apple with the mixture, dividing it evenly among the two apples.
  6. Pour the water into the bottom of the baking dish.
    Pour the water into the bottom of the baking dish.
  7. Bake at 375°F for 30 minutes. Then let cool while you make the kefir topping.
    Bake at 375°F for 30 minutes. Then let cool while you make the kefir topping.
Kefir Topping
  1. Mix plain kefir with the cinnamon and maple syrup (or Stevia) and blend in blender.
    Mix plain kefir with the cinnamon and maple syrup (or Stevia) and blend in blender.
  2. When apples are still warm, (NOT HOT! You don't want to kill the good bacteria) pour kefir topping over top of apples and serve.
    When apples are still warm, (NOT HOT! You don't want to kill the good bacteria) pour kefir topping over top of apples and serve.
  3. Sprinkle some golden raisins and extra walnuts on top. (optional)
    Sprinkle some golden raisins and extra walnuts on top. (optional)
CulturedFoodLife.com
15 Responses to "Kefir and the Patriarch, Prophet, & Czar"
  1. Hey I’ve been wondering for a while now, when kefir separates, do the awesome probiotics stay mostly in the whey, or the curd? I’m trying to come up with creative ways for my girls to consume kefir because my 4 year old has grown tired of the smoothies we make every day. So just wondering if I would give her the most probiotic value by using the whey in other things, or making cheese and dip etc. with the curd. Thank you for your reliable support!!

  2. I started copying off your emails, then I bought kefir in the health food store and “tested” its use. I’ve been drinking kefir since I read your emails and I have gotten rid of psoriasis sores on my arm. Some results on “leaky gut” problem.
    I need to do more as I’d like all the results I’ve read about, but am inept in the kitchen ( See Campbell-McBride’s book “GAPS Gut and Psychology Syndrome”) I will be buying your book on Amazon this next pay day.

  3. A question about the apples and a comment on Kefir.
    1. Why do you peel a thin strip around the apple?

    2. Kefir – the texture of yogurt
    A couple of months ago, I posted a question about culturing Kefir in the summer. I have successfully been using the Kefir I bought from you for almost a year. This summer, the kefir was doing the opposite of the normal results. In the hot weather, my kefir was soft, silky, and glossy like yogurt, while in the winter my kefir turned into small curds, like dried mulberries. After several experiments I solved the mystery. I realized that I had altered the traditional method of making kefir. I was using a method similar to letting the kefir “rest”.

    I was doing a lot of traveling this summer, so I often had to leave the kefir in the fridge.
    This is what I did:
    I let the kefir grains sit in cold, fresh milk on my counter for 24 hours and then added more milk, put the entire container (without straining the kefir) in the refrigerator for 2-4 days, depending on how long I was gone. When I got home, I strained the kefir, put it in cold, fresh milk let it sit on the counter for 24 hours. After 24 hours, I again put the whole container in the fridge with more milk and off I went. I did this 4 or 5 times. This is when my kefir started looking like yogurt.

    This did not hurt the grains. After a couple of months, I went back to the traditional method, letting the grains sit on the counter with fresh milk every 24 hours. After 5 cultures the grains returned to the small form that looks like dried mulberries.

    I am going to set aside extra grains to culture the kefir using this method. It tastes great and I like the smoothness. It’s tasty in cereal, or for smoothies, or even for kefir popsicles. I still feel the benefits of Kefir in the frozen popsicles, in fact, I often feel better.

    Thanks for all your wonderful information and great products.

  4. Thank you Donna for all the information you share, kéfir has changed my life for good. Thank God I found your web page about 5 months ago looking for a natural cure for candida. Not only candida has gone, also depression, emotional addictions and stomach problems. I feel sólo healthy and happy!! Gracias amiga desde Mérida, Yucatan. Bless You!

  5. Hi, let me say right away I really like the kefir I’ve been making since February. However, the grains in your picture don’t look anything like my grains… mine are so small you can hardly see them. I am doing something incorrectly?? The milk still thickens and I do believe I am really making kefir but I can’t say the grains have ‘grown”. Just wondering if you have an suggestions. Thank you!

    Sue

  6. A year ago I was so “toxin sensitive” I could not go shopping or even to church. I had to take a large,expensive variety of vitamins to keep up my strength for just daily chores and had to monitor myself to not have two “busy”days in a row. I had begun culturing vegetables from your instructions and making kefir and KOMBUCHA also. For at least six months now I have not been taking vitamins,I have a kefir smoothie most mornings,KOMBUCHA tea for afternoon refreshment,and cultured veggies alongside our meals. I still have to be careful to not be in some stores for too long but I bounce back quickly now and do not have to monitor my “busy” days!

  7. Donna,
    I’m really enjoying your site. I must try some of your recipes soon. I have watched many you tube videos and some of those on your site so that I would feel comfortable making my first jar of kefir. I did a 2nd
    ferment with orange peel and pomegranate seeds. Delicious. I would never have known about this
    great product if I hadn’t run into your story. Thanks so much and thanks for helping with the computer
    a few days ago. I purchased your book on Amazon but need time to really check it out. Thanks so much.
    Pat

15 Responses to "Kefir and the Patriarch, Prophet, & Czar"
  1. Hey I’ve been wondering for a while now, when kefir separates, do the awesome probiotics stay mostly in the whey, or the curd? I’m trying to come up with creative ways for my girls to consume kefir because my 4 year old has grown tired of the smoothies we make every day. So just wondering if I would give her the most probiotic value by using the whey in other things, or making cheese and dip etc. with the curd. Thank you for your reliable support!!

  2. I started copying off your emails, then I bought kefir in the health food store and “tested” its use. I’ve been drinking kefir since I read your emails and I have gotten rid of psoriasis sores on my arm. Some results on “leaky gut” problem.
    I need to do more as I’d like all the results I’ve read about, but am inept in the kitchen ( See Campbell-McBride’s book “GAPS Gut and Psychology Syndrome”) I will be buying your book on Amazon this next pay day.

  3. A question about the apples and a comment on Kefir.
    1. Why do you peel a thin strip around the apple?

    2. Kefir – the texture of yogurt
    A couple of months ago, I posted a question about culturing Kefir in the summer. I have successfully been using the Kefir I bought from you for almost a year. This summer, the kefir was doing the opposite of the normal results. In the hot weather, my kefir was soft, silky, and glossy like yogurt, while in the winter my kefir turned into small curds, like dried mulberries. After several experiments I solved the mystery. I realized that I had altered the traditional method of making kefir. I was using a method similar to letting the kefir “rest”.

    I was doing a lot of traveling this summer, so I often had to leave the kefir in the fridge.
    This is what I did:
    I let the kefir grains sit in cold, fresh milk on my counter for 24 hours and then added more milk, put the entire container (without straining the kefir) in the refrigerator for 2-4 days, depending on how long I was gone. When I got home, I strained the kefir, put it in cold, fresh milk let it sit on the counter for 24 hours. After 24 hours, I again put the whole container in the fridge with more milk and off I went. I did this 4 or 5 times. This is when my kefir started looking like yogurt.

    This did not hurt the grains. After a couple of months, I went back to the traditional method, letting the grains sit on the counter with fresh milk every 24 hours. After 5 cultures the grains returned to the small form that looks like dried mulberries.

    I am going to set aside extra grains to culture the kefir using this method. It tastes great and I like the smoothness. It’s tasty in cereal, or for smoothies, or even for kefir popsicles. I still feel the benefits of Kefir in the frozen popsicles, in fact, I often feel better.

    Thanks for all your wonderful information and great products.

  4. Thank you Donna for all the information you share, kéfir has changed my life for good. Thank God I found your web page about 5 months ago looking for a natural cure for candida. Not only candida has gone, also depression, emotional addictions and stomach problems. I feel sólo healthy and happy!! Gracias amiga desde Mérida, Yucatan. Bless You!

  5. Hi, let me say right away I really like the kefir I’ve been making since February. However, the grains in your picture don’t look anything like my grains… mine are so small you can hardly see them. I am doing something incorrectly?? The milk still thickens and I do believe I am really making kefir but I can’t say the grains have ‘grown”. Just wondering if you have an suggestions. Thank you!

    Sue

  6. A year ago I was so “toxin sensitive” I could not go shopping or even to church. I had to take a large,expensive variety of vitamins to keep up my strength for just daily chores and had to monitor myself to not have two “busy”days in a row. I had begun culturing vegetables from your instructions and making kefir and KOMBUCHA also. For at least six months now I have not been taking vitamins,I have a kefir smoothie most mornings,KOMBUCHA tea for afternoon refreshment,and cultured veggies alongside our meals. I still have to be careful to not be in some stores for too long but I bounce back quickly now and do not have to monitor my “busy” days!

  7. Donna,
    I’m really enjoying your site. I must try some of your recipes soon. I have watched many you tube videos and some of those on your site so that I would feel comfortable making my first jar of kefir. I did a 2nd
    ferment with orange peel and pomegranate seeds. Delicious. I would never have known about this
    great product if I hadn’t run into your story. Thanks so much and thanks for helping with the computer
    a few days ago. I purchased your book on Amazon but need time to really check it out. Thanks so much.
    Pat

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