Cultured or fermented dairy products derived from cow’s milk, goat’s milk, and sheep’s milk are a complete healthy source of protein and some of the finest proteins we can consume. They play a role in many traditional cuisines. Europeans have been consuming milk as yogurt, cheese, clabber, or curds and whey way before the age of industrialization. (Remember the old nursery rhyme Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet eating her curds and whey). In Russia a popular drink is Kefir which is fermented cow, goat or sheep milk. It is a lot like yogurt, but thinner in consistency. It is produced when you combine milk with kefir grains and let them ferment. Kefir grains are little lumps of proteins, fats, and polysaccharides – no relation to the grain family at all. In Europe today sour or fermented cream called crème fraiche is a popular ingredient in soups and sauces.
BENEFITS of CULTURED DAIRY:
Cultured dairy like yogurt or kefir is full of friendly bacteria that predigest any fat, sugar, and protein and create beneficial compounds within the dairy. Because of this, cultured dairy is tolerated better by people with lactose intolerance. The presence of lactase in fermented milk products helps break down lactose in the digestive tract. The milk protein casein is also broken down and decomposed. Many people who can not drink milk can drink (raw) kefir without problems.
Fermenting milk results in many beneficial changes. The microorganisms in fermented milk actually manufacture nutrients. Culturing restores numerous enzymes that help the body absorb calcium and other minerals. Vitamin B and C content of milk increases during fermentation.
Regular Consumption of Cultured Dairy/Kefir
- Lowers cholesterol
- Protects against bone loss
- Provide beneficial bacteria and lactic acid to the digestive tract
- Beneficial bacteria guard against illness and aid in the digestion of food.
- Protect us against infectious disease
- Helps with gastrointestinal problems
- Has been used to treat allergies and metabolic disorders
- Contains important minerals like calcium and magnesium
- Contains the essential amino acid tryptophan which can be beneficial for people with ADHD, depression, and sleep disorders
Raw full fat milk from pastured animals is the best source for making cultured dairy. Pasteurized milk is a dead food and most all beneficial enzymes and bacteria are ruined in the process of heating the milk. Sadly some of the most popular brands of kefir in natural food stores come from conventionally raised cows, even “organic kefir” comes from grain-fed cattle and only in low fat versions.
My favorite way to include fermented dairy into my diet is through raw milk kefir, buttermilk, and Amasai from Beyond Organic. Kefir tastes sour and tangy and I like to mix it in a smoothie with frozen organic berries a little stevia and then drink. If you would like to try to make your own kefir or yogurt here is a link to help you. http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/five-minutes-to-cultured-dairy
AMASAI is a cultured whey drink from 100% green fed cows. It is low-temperature processed, cultured with over thirty probiotics and supplies 8 grams of protein per cup and is inspired by a traditional recipe from Africa’s Maasai tribe. I like Amasai as is. Its delicious, tangy, and filling. I have also used it to mix up protein smoothies post workouts and my kids LOVE smoothies with Amasai and frozen fruit.
Amasai provides a unique profile of true whole milk nutrients created through ancient dairy breeding, organic green grazing, and old world culturing and production methods. If you would like to learn more about this greenfed cultured dairy product please check out this website http://susieR.mybeyondorganic.com/Products_BeveragesAmasai.aspx.
So what do you think? Are you ready to give cultured dairy a try? Do it for your health !!!