She calls them her babies and she was generous enough to not only share but walk me through the process. I promise you it is easy peasy lemon squeezy!
|This is what the kefir looked like after about 48 hours.|
What is kefir? It is a fermented milk drink that originated in the Caucasus Mountains in Russia. It is tangier than yogurt but sweeter than buttermilk. A good kefir contains many different types of friendly bacteriea as well as some good yeasts, and it packs one of the strongest health punches of all the cultured dairy foods.
The natural carbonation makes kefir fizzy and perfect for smoothies. The simplest of of recipes - pour some of the kefir into your blender with some fresh or frozen fruit. It is pretty tart and so we add a little honey.
From what I have read it is much better to purchase the grains - they will last indefinitely if you take care of them. Actually, they keep growing and you can share the grains or even put the excess in your smoothy and eat them. But I am getting ahead of myself.
Items needed to make kefir:
kefir grains (2-3 TBS)
2 wide mouthed glass jars
plastic lids (metal is bad)????
plastic strainer (mine is metal but plastic is better for your grains)
2 cups whole milk - raw if you can get it, pasteurized works just don't use ultra-pasteurized, it won't work. You can also use coconut milk or goats milk if you prefer.
So, once you get your kefir grains put them in a clean glass jar - I used quart sized canning jars.
Add the milk, put the lid on (or cover with clean cloth) but don't tighten the lid - kefir needs air to breathe.
Tighten the lid for a moment and shake gently, then loosen again.
Put in a cupboard or somewhere out of direct sunlight. Leave for 12-48 hours.
Shake gently every so often.
The longer you leave it the more sour it will taste but the better for you it is. When it has fermented to the taste you like dump it all in a bowl through a strainer. You can gently stir it with a wooden spoon to get all the milk and whey through the holes saving the kefir. Put the strained liquid in a clean glass jar cover and either drink right now or refrigerate until you are ready to use it.
|This is the grains after I strained them.|
You will notice that each time you make some it seems like you have more grains - and you do, they grow and multiply. You can share your excess with a friend OR you can just eat it. It is full of the amazing probiotics and good yeast that is in the kefir milk. My friend just puts it in her smoothies.
Kefir is very versatile and you can use it just about anywhere you would use buttermilk. You can also make kefir cream cheese just like you make yogurt cheese - pour it through a couple coffee filters/strainer and it just takes 12 -24 hours to get cream cheese. You can then flavor it any way you want. YUM!!
Today I made a smoothie with a frozen banana, frozen spinach cube, 2 different frozen winter squash cubes, blueberries, and frozen peaches along with about 1.5 cups of kefir and a big squirt of honey. This makes a lot - 4 of us shared it. (I always put frozen veggies in my smoothies). Sometimes I add a couple TBS of coconut oil and/or the yolk of an egg (only from my chickens).
Another super easy way to enjoy it is half fruit juice and half kefir blended. Easy peasy.
I also made the most amazing apple muffins (I will be posting that recipe later this week) and used kefir for half the milk in it - next time I will use all kefir, but I wanted to be sure it couldn't be tasted.
You can also use kefir in place of conventional yeast to make pizza dough and even bread. I will be trying that out soon - maybe just maybe this will be the pizza dough we are all hoping for.
I am linking this to the Hearth and Soul Blog Hop I co-host with 3 other amazing bloggers!Check out the Hop and please join in the fun!!
I am also linking to Kelly the Kitchen Kop's Real Food Wednesday - and Simple Lives Thursday hosted by 4 great bloggers!