Make Gut-Loving Coconut Kefir At Home


 
MiyabyBettinaBogarTorontoPhotographer-66.jpg

 It's been 3 years now since I decided to go dairy-free (with the exception of Ghee - i'll talk more about this product another day!). By dairy-free, I am referring to milk based products - milk, cream, cheese, butter, yogurt, ice cream, etc...

   I do not buy dairy for myself and I do not consume it at home. When traveling to certain destinations however, I find myself consuming it because it can be REALLY tricky to eat dairy-free when you don't have your own kitchen.    

   This summer I did a ton of traveling! My body wasn't in the best shape afterwards and boy oh boy the amount of phlegm that I had (TMI?!), thank you dairy!

   My decision to cut out dairy came from the realization that my body was just not processing it well. Like many of you out there, lactose (main sugar in milk) & casein (a protein in milk) do not agree with me. If you are like me, your body may not produce enough of the enzyme lactase, which helps you digest the lactose. 

   After 2 years of having a ton of gut issues, I knew that I had to clean up my diet much more to start healing these problems. I cut out dairy, gluten, caffeine (ahhh!) and most sugar for a while. After a few short weeks, I started to see and feel an improvement in my body, gut, skin and mental health. 

IMG_2648.JPG

Maybe you aren’t lactose intolerant? Or maybe you feel that dairy does not bother you in any way?

Here's a few reasons why cutting down on your dairy consumption or going dairy-free is going to benefit your health and the environment, especially all the cute fur babies that you love!

  • It will decrease or eliminate gut related issues associated with the consumption of dairy; inflammation, cramping, gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation (even if you buy lactose-free products, you may still encounter these issues and inflammation may still be present).
  • Decrease symptoms of inflammatory based conditions (eg. IBS, Colitis/ Crohns, ear infections).
  • More glowing, pimple-free skin! The health and clarity of your skin is so strongly correlated with the health of your gut, that once you get your gut loving you back, your skin is WAY more likely to glow! 
  • Less phlegm...yup that pesky stuff that builds up and gives you a real gnarly, chest cough!
  • It can send a message to the dairy industry that you are NOT okay with how dairy cows are raised, fed and treated.
     

   Dairy cows used for the mass production of dairy in North America in particular, are not treated well at all. Some of them never see the outside or light and are given steroids, antibiotics and synthetic hormones to increase the production of milk. We do not know the full effects that these hormones may have on humans in the long term.

    In Canada and in many other countries, growth hormones are illegal to administer and cows on antibiotics are not used for milk production until clear of antibiotics. However, this does not apply to any of the imports coming into Canada. Many animals are suffering from diseases and are being tortured all to keep up with the North American demand for dairy based products.
There are many farms out there that DO treat their animals well and still use more traditional practices.

Check out this article for further information.


When I began to reduce my dairy intake I missed yogurt so very deeply! Greek yogurt was ALWAYS a fave of mine.

So when I came across homemade Coconut Kefir Yogurt, I was hooked!

   What makes this yogurt SO special, is that its actually amazing for your gut and is not inflammatory! Coconut kefir yogurt is a fermented product, which means that as it sits it begins to ferment as the bacteria feeds on sugar and starch. From this, you get good live bacteria called probiotics. Some other amazing fermented foods include kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh and booch aka kombucha.

   By eating fermented foods you can experience better digestion, reduced inflammation, more healthy and glowing skin, stronger immune function and an overall feeling of “I can take on the world!”.

Oh so you WANT some coconut yogurt?

Well here’s a short video I did awhile back on how to make it right at home!

You will need:

1 can of FULL FAT organic coconut cream (no half ass fattiness, you WANT it all!)
Live bacteria probiotic – I use one capsule that has 25 billion viable cells
A mixing bowl
Whisk
Mason jar + lid