I fell in love with kefir after getting a sample of it in my SPUD box over the holidays and it wasn’t until I started doing a bit of DIY research that I realized how incredible kefir really is. It’s similar to a drinkable yogurt and is a great source of nutrients, vitamins, protein and healthy fats. It’s also a bit of a probiotic powerhouse, more potent than yogurt!
If you’re not familiar with kefir grains, they’re actually cauliflower-like, rubbery clusters that contain yeast and healthy bacteria cultures. When placed in fresh milk they start to ferment and that process creates kefir.
I’ve made my own yogurt and cheese before so I wasn’t too intimidated, but I can’t stress enough how easy it is to make your own kefir. Seriously, the hardest part is waiting for it to be ready. Also, you can reuse your kefir grains indefinitely, as long as you keep them healthy…and they multiply over time, so you can give the gift of perpetual kefir grains to everyone around you!
Homemade Milk Kefir
- 1 cup milk whole fat milk
- 1 teaspoon active milk kefir grains
Combine the milk and the milk kefir grains in a medium sized mason jar and gently stir. Loosely cover the jar with plastic wrap and store at room temperature for 24 hours, stirring periodically if desired. After 24 hours stir and taste, when the milk is thick and tangy it is ready to be separated from the kefir grains. Pour the kefir through a plastic strainer or cheesecloth into a clean resealable container and refrigerate. Transfer the strained kefir grains into another mason jar and add a cup of whole fat milk to repeat the process again.
With this process you will generate a cup of kefir every 24 hours, enough to have for breakfast every morning! If this process is generating more kefir than you can use, simply place the kefir grains and milk in the refrigerator to slow the fermentation process. The freshly made kefir can be stored for up to a week in the refrigerator, but I recommend drinking it immediately…my kefir never lasts more than a day, it’s that delicious.
Over the past few weeks I’ve been experimenting with all sorts of ways to use fresh kefir, you can flavor it with vanilla or almond extract, add it to your smoothies, use it as a base for your stove top oatmeal or as a creamy top on your granola. Try it as a salad dressing or a base for dips and even as a marinade for chicken and seafood! I’ll be posting my kefir recipes in weeks to come, so stay tuned for all sorts of ways to incorporate kefir into your life!