After I started brewing kombucha, a fermented tea, I was introduced to kefir, which is fermented milk. Kefir has great health benefits and contains a lot of probiotics needed in the gut to maintain a healthy immune system. If you have never tried any fermented foods/drinks, and you are a person who gets sick a lot, what do you have to lose?! I think you should do your own research, or trust me :)…… and give them a try.
You make kefir using kefir grains. These grains are a culture of bacteria and yeast. Since we already get raw milk from our farmer, I sent him a little email asking if I could purchase some kefir grains from him. He told me he would have to sell them because they are in such high demand….$20, no biggy.
When I picked them up, they came in a glass jar with a little bit of raw milk. I was SUPER excited to get home and put them in a fresh batch of milk. I poured out the contents of the jar into the strainer/bowl concoction to catch the kefir grains.
It kind of looks like cottage cheese. Don’t be grossed out by this…..
Try to get all the “juice,” aka milk out, then pour the kefir grains back into a jar with the raw milk. I just used the jar they came in.
You will find a lot of information on the internet about kefir. Just trust me, it is all trial and error. I have heard that you should put your kefir grains into milk that is room temperature, but I use cold milk. I have heard that you shouldn’t cover your kefir while it’s fermenting, but I cover mine. See what I mean?! I have tried both of those recommendations, but honestly my batch of kefir has turned out the same whether I use cold milk or I cover the kefir.
You leave the jar sit on your counter for hours (next to your fruit/veggie market) until it get’s thick like buttermilk or runny yogurt.
Every batch is different. I have left my kefir sit for 12 hours and I have had some kefir sit for 24, heck even close to 48 hours if your grains aren’t working very fast. It just depends on how thick you like it. Once you notice the yellowish liquid (whey protein) between the cream and kefir, it’s time to change out the milk and start your next batch. Pour the contents of the jar into the strainer/bowl concoction. You need to collect all the kefir that is in the bowl. I typically pour the kefir in the bowl into a container/jar and put it in the fridge. It can stay in the fridge without going bad for weeks!
What do you do with kefir?
You can do a few things with kefir. At first, I just drank it plain for breakfast. Who needs a milk mustache, when you can have a kefir mustache?!?!?!
Matt hated it, so then I tried flavoring it a little by adding honey, and/or fruit. I also tried adding chai tea bags to my kefir to make it chai flavored. It was aight. I have turned some really thick batches into a veggie dip by adding italian seasoning. Right now, I am putting my kefir into our smoothies (Matt approved) in the morning. More on these killer smoothies later…. Meanwhile, try some kefir!