Kefir grains are like kefir on crack 🙂 you will get a super boost in prbiotics and other benfits from eating the grains. better than the kefir itself I eat them all the time!
Just remember that if your just starting and can handle only 1-2 cups of kefir a day because of die offs, adding grains will make the die off worse.
another way to look at kefir grains is would you really drink something that has been soaking in something for days that you wouldnt eat?
Here is some great info on this
CAN I EAT KEFIR GRAINS?
I was wondering when you’d ask this question!
Yes, kefir grains can certainly be eaten. I think, therefore I feel, that this is an essential part of the kefir-culturing process or kefir-ritual as a whole. I was encouraged to ingest kefir grains over 24 years ago, by the person who was kind enough to share some of her kefir grains with me. She was also encouraged to ingest excess kefir grains,by the person from whom she initially obtained her grains from. Later I began researching kefir, where I came across references explaining that the Caucasians also ingested kefir grains on a regular basis.
Suggestions that state kefir grains do not contain any nutritional value … or are unsafe to ingest … is plain-flavoured bull-ox. Not only do kefir grains contain proteins, amino acids and fats, the fact that they have anti-tumour, anti-inflammatory properties, blood pressure normalizing property including high blood cholesterol reducing activity among other beneficial value, is becoming more evident [1, 2]. Ingesting kefir grains regularly, has helped to cure Gastric Ulcers in personal friends and acquaintances, which I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and treating over some years. I’ve also used the ingestion of 2 Tbs milk kefir-grains each day over a 2 week period [with rectally retained implants of kefir grains], to successfully treat Ulcerative Colitis in my case, in 1999. I have been asymptomatic ever since. Each gram of kefir grain contain billions of friendly microbes and yeasts. Who needs a probiotic supplements in pill form, when kefir grains are fresh and possibly superior!? There may also be specific encapsulate microbes within the matrix, which may not be found in a liquid kefir. Ingesting these may give unique benefits.
For Individuals Who Wish To Ingest excess Kefir Grains [recipes included]
This may be achieved every 3 to 4 days, determined mostly by how many grains one has and their growth rate [batches consisting of smaller grains increase more rapidly than larger grains. Grains increase better at a temperature of about 22ºC]. The best suggestion I have, is to measure the initial volume of kefir grains, which produce a kefir to your liking. Measure the grains by marking the outside wall of the fermenting jar with a permanent marker, the volume of kefir grains placed in the jar without any milk added. After day 3 or 4, re-measure the volume against the mark and remove a portion of grains that exceed mark. These excess grains may be ingested. Removing these excess grains will also help the kefir-process, by maintaining a reasonably constant grain-to-milk ratio. The outcome of which should help to produce a kefir with a constant consistency made to your linking, produced in each batch [a win-win situation]. Excess kefir grains can even be frozen to accumulate an amount over time, so one may do a short course whereby ingesting a good portion of grains taken with kefir, each day over a given period. This is quite beneficial for individuals suffering from IBS, where a short course of ingesting say 1/4 cup of kefir grains each day, taken with kefir for breakfast, for one week duration, is as an example.
Kefir grains may be ingested raw on their own.
Kefir grains can be dehydrated and used to prepare a probiotic savory condiment or a probiotic sweet dressing [go here for recipe details].
Think of ingesting kefir grains as taking a living probiotic power-pill, consisting of billions of viable friendly organisms including yeasts, but with the added benefits of kefiran.
Kefir grains can be used in smoothies e.g., kefir blended with the addition of kefir grains, or with coconut cream or young coconut water blended with a favourite fresh fruit, fruit juice or honey etc. See The ButterFly recipe including the Liver Blush recipe.
Fresh kefir grains may be added to fresh salads.
Kefir grains may be used as a thickening-agent e.g., thickening soups, stir-fry dishes and fruit-jams [Jelly in USA].
Emulsified kefir grains by blending the grains with water in a food processor may be used in baking, rendering a lighter baked product with an extra crispy crust [kefir-grain sourdough bread].
Egg substitute in certain recipes calling for eggs.
In ice-cream making e.g., using kefir grains in place of eggs whites or in conjunction with egg whites. Kefir grains make a good substitute for vegetable gums or gelatine often used in commercial ice-cream making, rendering ice-cream as a rich pre-probiotic [see *recipe below].
In homemade yogurt [Kefiran-Yogurt] rendering the final product with a soothing, creamy texture with added anti-inflammatory properties [see **recipe below].
In butter making, rendering a healthier butter, as a functional food, in fact. Here’s a recipe
*A recipe for “Kefir-ice-blocks”. Kids should enjoy and thrive well on these!
Ingredients / Method
1 cup sweet kefir [fermented for 16 hours].
1/2 cup of a favourite fruit juice, or 1 banana.
1/2 cup coconut milk.
12 raw almonds, cashew, macadamia, or 4 brazil nuts or any combination.
1 Tbs each raw pumpkin seed and sunflower kernels.
1-2 Tbs honey [an option is to use a sweet fruit juice or chopped dry fruits instead].
1-2 Tbs fresh kefir grains [use either milk or water kefir-grains or a mixture].
1 tsp natural vanilla essence [for a vanilla flavour] or 2 Tbs of non sweetened cocoa powder [chocolate flavour].
Blend all nuts and seeds with coconut milk in electric blender to creamy liquid consistency. Strain mixture through white clean cheese cloth to collect seed and nut milk. Blend the milk with rest of ingredients until smooth and creamy, and without any lumps. Pour into ice-cube tray or ice-block form, and freeze till set. NOTE for optimal benefits regarding microbial viability and probiotic value, use within one month.
This gelato-style chocolate ice cream can be prepared with similar ingredients above. 5kg or about 11 pounds of ice with 1kg or about 2 pounds of salt sprinkled over the ice to lower the temperature of the ice to -19ºC or -2ºF. The ice-cream ingredients are placed in a tall stainless steel pot, and the pot is spun in a tub filled with salted ice, until the ice-cream sets. It takes about 10 minutes of spinning the pot in the salted ice by hand, to prepare the most healthiest, tastiest, creamy adourable gelato-style ice-cream. I have used a portion of milk kefir grains in most common ice-cream recipes, with improved results.
It’s time that folks think more about their/our young ones, by introducing to them, a quality probiotic early on in life, so that their immune system are better primed for improved immune function latter in life. This is a worthy cause that shall place less emotional and financial strain on the community, on a grand scale and in years to come. So, where do you wish to stand in this obvious evolution pathway?
**Using Kefir Grains in Culturing Homemade Yogurt [Kefiran-Yogurt]
Ingredients / Method
4 cups fresh milk.
1-2 Tbs of fresh milk kefir-grains finely chopped or blended with 1/3 cup of fresh milk.
3 Tbs of dry milk powder [optional but if included will render the final yogurt thick with a spoonable curd].
Yogurt incubator or thermos-flask [fill flask with boiling hot water, place lid and set aside to sterilise].
2 to 4 Tbs of fresh unpasteurised commercial yogurt or a commercial yogurt starter-culture.
Finely chop kefir grains into small pieces using a sharp knife. Place chopped kefir grains in a pan with 1/3 cup of fresh water. Boil for 2 minutes while continuously stirring with a spatula. The consistency should be a creamy thick gel. Add fresh milk into another pan and dissolve dry milk powder. Continuously stir while bringing milk to boil then place pan in a bath of cold water to rapid cool [stir milk with same spoon used to stir while heating the milk]. Cool milk to 45ºC [113ºF]. Add warm kefir-grain-gel and fresh yogurt or starter-culture; mix well. Place inoculated milk in a sterile glass jar
. Jars and lids should first be sterilised by pouring boiling hot water in each jar, then place the lid on the jars. Pour out the hot water from the jar just prior adding inoculated milk to the jars. Incubate at 37ºC [113º F] for 8-12 hours. If using a thermos-flask as an incubator, pour out the hot water from flask and add the inoculated milk.
The Kefiran [gel-polysaccharide of kefir gains] should render the final yogurt with a smooth, silky mouth-feel. Kefiran-Yogurt is soothing for the Gastro-Intestinal [GI] tract and may help to relieve uncomfortable symptoms associate with Irritable Bowel problems such as Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s disease. This is because kefiran has systemic anti-inflammatory properties.
End Note. I have begun experimenting with water kefir-grains as a natural thickening agent for yogurt, and the results thus are very promising.
Here’s an interesting recipe, which I was pleased to receive via e-mail from Alan and Joice Vevers. This is for a Yorkshire curd tart or cheese cake which incorporates kefir grains [Thanks for sharing the recipe, kind folks].
NOTE Recent research performed at the University of Alfenas, Brazil, found kefir grains exhibit an anti-inflammatory property. It was found that mice with lab-induced inflammation [pre-induced granuloma], when fed kefir grains daily, resulted in 40% reduction of inflammation at day 7 [1-2]. This research came about when Prof. Schneedorf contacted me for kefir grains for use in his research. Not long before this, I had successfully treated myself with rectal implants and retention of kefir grains, including the ingestion of kefir grains to correct Ulcerative Colitis in my sigmoid colon. I went into remission within 2 weeks of commencing the self-treatment, A complete cure, though I feel.and have been asymptomatic till current date. I explained this treatment to Prof. Schneedorf at the time. He decided to include this as part of his research, with trials performed with rat. This research revealed that the lab pre-induced granuloma rats responded similar to my case in vivo. This is indeed promising for sufferers of IBS [poor mice though :o[
1. Diniz RO, Garla L.K, Schneedorf JM, Carvalho JCT. [Jan. 2003] Study of anti-inflammatory activity of Tibetan mushroom, a symbiotic culture of bacteria and fungi encapsulated into a polysaccharide matrix. Pharmacol Res.;47:49-52.
2. Schneedorf J.M., Anfiteatro D.  Fitoterapicos Anti-inflamatorios by Carvalho, J.C.T. Quefir, um probiotico produzido por microorganismos encapsulados e inflamacao. Chapter 33:443-462.
For additional details regarding ingesting kefir grains, please read this at my Kefirpage [About Kefir web page includes additional research with references].
And another reliable and respected source