Here is how I know a recipe that I have created is something people will like. This particular recipe scenario went like this. I sampled my recipe for breakfast and then while I was eating it, I started plotting when I would eat it again, like lunch. So then at lunch I start listing in my head all the nutrients and all over health benefits of eating this food many times. This of course goes on while I am eating the chosen recipe. Than after dinner I decide that it would make a fabulous dessert only to discover that someone has eaten the rest of it. Slightly irritated, I realize that yes my recipe is a success. Everybody is eating it and I can’t stop eating it. Yes, it is truly a love affair for me between the joy of eating something good for me, while enjoying the deliciousness of the food.
This recipe fits these criteria. Hope you like it.
But first I must tell you; The Legend of Kefir
There are so many stories of kefir that you can pick and choose which one suits you. It has been around for thousands of years. The stories are many and the mystics behind this food would make a great documentary. The one main point is that is seems to date back to the time of Abraham. It is there in ancient scrolls found in Turkey, that Abraham credits his long life to this fermented milk. There are more stories told in Turkey and in Russia. The first is that kefir grains were the manna that fell from the sky to feed the children of Israel. Another story I heard that is told quite often in Turkey is that they were given to Noah from an angel to sustain him. Marco Polo also mentioned kefir in the chronicles of his travels in the East.
This is the most documented story about kefir. In the Caucasian Mountains, between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea there is a legend that Mohammad who claims that the grains were a gift from Allah, 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 and the secret of how to use them became common knowledge.
Other people occasionally heard strange tales of this unusual beverage which was believed to have ‘magical’ properties.
Not many people outside the Caucasus used kefir and it was mostly forgotten about for centuries 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 for kefir were published at the end of the nineteenth century.
However, kefir was extremely difficult to obtain and grains were the only way to make this drink and very hard to come by.
In 1908 a committee of Russian Doctors determined to get some grains, came up with a plan. They contacted two brothers called Blandov that ran the Moscow Dairy and had connections in the Caucasians mountains, were 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 the Tsar 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.
In Russia in the 1930 the first commercial kefir was made and sold and the rest is history. In 1973 the Minister of the Food Industry of the Soviet Union sent a letter to Irina Sakharova thanking her for bringing kefir to the Russian people.
So this food that seems to have been around since time began has written it own story on the lives of my family and friends. The stories are quite astounding and they still continue to grow. Maybe it is time that you meet my friend kefir. Here is how to make kefir.
Here is another way to enjoy kefir on a cold winter morning.
- 2 apples (Golden Delicious or Rome Beauty), medium size
- 2 Tbsps butter
- 1 tbsp sucanat
- 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
- ¼ cup of water
- KEFIR TOPPING
- 2 cup plain kefir
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 4 tbsp maple syrup ( or four packages of stevia for a lower sugar option)
- Mix plain kefir with the cinnamon and maple syrup and blend in blender. You can also use stevia in place of the maple syrup if wanting to cut down on sugar. When apple is warm not hot, (you don’t want to kill the good bacteria) pour kefir topping over top of apple and serve. You can add some golden raisins and extra walnuts if you like.
- Wash and core the apples almost to the bottom. Don’t core all the way to the bottom. Take a apple peeler and peel a thin strip all away around the apple. Place them in a baking dish. Combine the butter, cinnamon/sugar mixture and walnuts. Fill the cavity of each apple with the mixture, dividing it evenly among the two apples. Pour the water into the bottom of the baking dish.
- Bake at 375°F for 30 minutes. Then let cool and make the kefir topping.
- KEFIR TOPPING
- Mix plain kefir with the cinnamon and maple syrup and blend in blender. You can also use stevia in place of the maple syrup if wanting to cut down on sugar. When apple is warm not hot, ( you don’t want to kill the good bacteria) pour kefir topping over top of apple and serve. You can add some golden raisins and extra walnuts if you like. This is really delicious and the house smells heavenly.