If you’re a frequent follower of The Fresh Beet, then you probably know about my undying love for oatmeal. I first proclaimed my love for the stuff in 2012 as one of my very first blog posts. Since then, I’ve posted a couple handfuls of oatmeal recipes:
Including various riffs on oatmeal:
But sometimes I need a change of pace, as seen in my various riffs. So this weeks riff is toasted muesli over kefir. And it’s SO good. The warm and toasty oats sizzle when you pour them atop the cold kefir. And the sweetness of the muesli dances ever so delicately alongside kefir’s tangy flavor.
Have you ever had kefir (KEE-fer)? It’s basically milk that has been fermented (via bacteria and yeast) with kefir grains, giving it a slightly sour and tangy flavor. The fermentation process creates carbon dioxide and low levels of ethanol so it can also have a fizzy mouth feel. If you’ve never had it, I know this all must sound strange and not nearly appetizing. But mixed with fruits, honey or cereals, I think you will find that it is uniquely delicious. It also helps to know that it’s quite beneficial to your health 🙂 Check it out:
It’s a Probiotic. The beneficial microorganisms in kefir inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria, helping to maintain a healthy and disease-free GI system.
Once ingested, kefir aids in synthesizing vitamin B12 and vitamin K.
It enhances digestion.
Kefir may contain less lactose than yogurt. Good for those suffering from the perils of lactose intolerance.
Kefir contains bone healthy nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D and magnesium.
Each colony of kefir grains develops a unique microbial profile, depending on the milk in which it is grown and the ambient microbial environment where fermentation occurs. This, in turn, makes every batch of kefir unique.
Commercial kefir products however, are typically made using a limited number of species to keep a products flavor consistent with each batch. And getting a variety of microbial profiles is what’s beneficial. Luckily, making your own kefir is simple. Although I have yet to do it (I will soon, promise!), Food and Nutrition Magazine contains a great kefir article in which dietitian Monica Reinagel explains how to make it:
Simply pour any type of milk (cow, goat or sheep; non-fat, reduced-fat or whole) over the grains and leave the container on the counter for one to two days. When the milk has thickened, pass it through a mesh strainer to remove the grains. As long as they have regular access to a fresh food supply (milk), the grains remain viable indefinitely. In fact, you could end up making the kefir faster than you can consume it. Refrigeration slows their activity, and although the grains will survive on their own for a few days between use, they will eventually starve. Alternatively, you can store the strained grains in a small amount of milk (just enough to cover them) in the refrigerator for up to ten days. When you’re ready to use them again, discard the milk they’ve been stored in and start over with fresh milk.
Toasted Muesli over Kefir
The variations of this recipe are endless. You could use other spices such as cardamom and nutmeg; other dried fruits such as apricots, cherries and currants. Sometimes I top it all off with fresh fruit. Oh, and honey. Don’t forget the honey. Drizzle it on once you’ve thrown the muesli atop the kefir. It soaks into the warm oats and is just marvelous.
1 cup kefir
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 TBS cinnamon
1/2 TBS coconut oil
1/4 cup raisins
1 handful of nuts, chopped (I used almonds and brazil nuts)
1 TBS chia seeds or flax seed (optional)
Heat oil in small sauce pan and add all ingredients to pan. Stir frequently to prevent pieces from burning. Toast for about 3-5 minutes.
Place kefir into bowl and top with muesli. Drizzle a little honey on top and prepare yourself for a mess of bliss.