Matured Kefir with Orange and Cinnamon
Ripened Kefir with Orange and Cinnamon is an incredibly healthful tonic which is particularly good as a digestive aid and for folks with Type 2 Diabetes is ripened kefir with orange peels and cinnamon. The famous Dominic N. Anfiteatro of Dom’s Kefir site who has collected all kinds of information about kefir as well as coming up with all kinds of recipes and ways to prepare kefir as well as kefir grains is who developed the addition of orange peels and cinnamon to enhance the traditional technique of ripening (or aging) kefir making a particularly delicious microbiome-balancing drink. This recipe and information is re-posted here with permission from Dom, but I highly recommend that you visit his website and have a look at the wealth of information and resources he provides. He is also continuously updating his information.
This is a good place to start if you haven’t prepared milk kefir before. The first thing you need is milk kefir grains. These are not the same as what you can buy at a grocery store. See if you can get some from a friend or you can order them here. Dom has very helpful photos and instructions for preparing milk kefir here.
To make ripened kefir with orange peel and cinnamon bark it is quite simple:
After straining your kefir, pour the kefir liquid into a glass jar with a lid and add to it organic orange peels and cinnamon bark. Allow to ferment another 24 to 48 hours without refrigeration at 12°C to 22°C [53°F to 71°F]. The amounts you use of the kefir, orange peels and cinnamon bark are entirely up to your own taste buds.
I like to make 1 cup of strained kefir with about 1/3 of a large orange’s peels and about 1 inch of true cinnamon bark broken into a couple pieces.
When you are ready to drink it, you can strain it and put it in the fridge to chill and then sprinkle with cinnamon and drink. As Dom says:
This kefir has a wonderful foamy smooth creamy texture with a delightful mouth-feel and an full body aromatic flavour. Yes, this ripened kefir definitely satisfies the bliss-point-factor in good-deed!
More information about the amazing health benefits of kefir here.
More information from Dom on the nutritional value of this delectable aged kefir brew:
Including orange peel provides vitamin C, calcium and bioflavonoides – the white pith of orange peel is high in these elements. Through fermentation calcium and other minerals are rendered highly biologically available. Cinnamon is also good for Type 2 Diabetes, a digestive aid and as a general tonic. Although many other types of ingredients could also be used, such as licorice root, ginger, burdock root, mint, goji, camu camu, rose hips, pomegranate…
Mild ambient temperatures – between 12°C to 22°C [53°F to 71°F] is a good temperature range for ripening kefir. At day 1 to day 2 of ripening, Folacin should increase by some 117% to possibly 125% compared to the amount of folic acid found in the original fresh milk. There are other B group vitamins that increase during ripening. Other benefits of ripening include the reduction of lactose, which is desirable for the low carbohydrate diet, be it for reasons other than Diabetes. Another point to consider is the reduction of milk fat and cholesterol content of milk through the process of ripening.
Other properties of ripening, which involves the sequence or the evolution of the microflora, as the maturing kefir encourages certain strains of organisms to proliferate, or triggered into propagation, due to conditions and byproducts produced by specific strains of organisms, over time. With this, one may find a unique beneficial value of matured kefir, due to a distinctive compound and microbial signature [nutritionally inclusive] to that of freshly strained kefir.
More information from Dom on the traditional history of ripening liquid kefir:
The people of Caucasus often ripened, or brewed larger volumes of liquid kefir for some days before consuming the beverage. During maturation larger quantities of liquid-kefir was stored in sealed wooden barrels of clay crocks, where secondary fermentation preserved the beverage as the beneficial kefir ripened over some days. Ripened kefir was enjoyed over extensive periods as it matured. As portions of liquid kefir was removed from the barrel or crock for immediate consumption, more freshly strained kefir of the day, was added to replenish the vessel. A powerful anti-oxidant produced in kefir through fermentation, preserved the nutritious beverage without the need for refrigeration.
A mixture of freshly strained kefir of the day, sometimes with the addition of fresh milk including the fresh crushed root of another anti-oxidant rich ingredient, Snow Rose [Rhododendron caucasicum] was stored in wooden barrels, or clay crocks. The sealable vessel was plugged airtight. The sweet root of Snow Rose contains antioxidants, which prevents the oxidation of milk fat during the ripening process. The root of Snow Rose also contains numerous beneficial properties that are leached into the kefir during ripening. This may further extend on the antioxidants produced naturally through the process of kefir fermentation, such as citric acid, the content of which increases during the process of ripening, and which may further prevent the oxidation of milk fat.
There is also another powerful antioxidant found only in kefir, which exists as charged molecules. This antioxidant is thought among the scientific community who have studied the molecules, to be among the more promising antioxidant, especially in the prevention of degenerative diseases of the brain, such as dementia, Huntington’s disease and Alzheimer etc. It has been found that the antioxidant of kefir, is easily absorbed into the blood and reaches the brain quite effectively.
We may extend on this practice, for specific herbs may be added with liquid-kefir, and brewed together to mature. Such procedures can be taken advantage of, in order to tailor-brew a specific kefir, intended for specific conditions. As an example, to relieve flatulence and to fortify gastric function, Caraway, Fennel and Anise seed and Cinnamon bark, can be ground to a course powder, and added to fresh kefir, and then ripened at room temperature for 1 to 2 days, or longer fermented under airlock.
Another example is to ripen kefir for say 3 days either in the fridge, or at room temperature, with the addition of freshly bruised or pounded fresh turmeric root, ginger root, corn silk, dry olive and buchu leafs. This may assist in the prevention of, or as part treatment for cancer, to relieve prostate problems in men, Interstitial Cystitis in women including bladder infection and gastric dysfunction in both sexes.
The addition of fresh, dry goji berries or the natural juice added to liquid kefir, and brewed for 1 to 2 days at room temperature or in the fridge, can be of great benefit.
There is beginning to be more understanding of how brewing specific herbs, the process of which increases the effect of the therapeutic property of those herbs, while reducing to the point of eliminating many nutrient-locking or nutrient-binding agents found among the vegetative kingdom, such as phytates and oxalates.
Huge appreciation to Dom and all the amazing information he provides on this amazing healing culture!