Raw-Milk Kefir

Written by Shelby Moore Category: Local Products Issue: January 2018

photo by Angelina Aragon
photo by Angelina Aragon
Rick Anglin is an advocate of gut bacteria – specifically, the beneficial strains that have been residing in the human digestive track for eons, but that we’re just now starting to acknowledge for their gastrointestinal benefits.

Anglin owns Fond du Lac Farms, a small, family-run dairy in Casa Grande that specializes in raw milk – i.e. milk that hasn’t been pasteurized, which means it’s teeming with bacteria (which sounds gross, but bear with us). In recent months, he debuted a fermented milk product called kefir, which has the consistency and slightly tangy flavor of drinkable yogurt.

Anglin and his family milk a less common North American cattle breed called the Brown Swiss. Unlike the black-and-white Holstein breed that produces high yields for the commercial market, Brown Swiss are the color of coffee ice cream, and make a product with a slightly higher fat percentage, which means the milk is a touch sweeter and ideal for making cheese. As a result, the kefir is creamy, mild and gut-friendly – according to Anglin, it boasts close to twice as many beneficial bacteria strains as supermarket-bought kefir.

The bacteria, called a flora, are among the first lines of defense your body has against pathogens that compete for nutrients in your stomach. Anglin says that his kefir can restore and repopulate new flora in your stomach, which you may be missing due to consuming processed foods.

Added value: The taste is lovely, whether you’re drinking it with breakfast or upping your smoothie game. Find Fond du Lac kefir ($4.99 per quart) at Sprouts Farmers Markets.