How To Make Milk Kefir
You all know about my new found fermented food craze because I'm always talking about my love for KOMBUCHA. Of all the cultured food and drink I have been experimenting with, Kefir is by far the easiest one to create. Basically all you need is some Kefir grains, you can buy them on Amazon, and milk. I know many people experience discomfort when consuming dairy, myself included. So although I do drink Kefir, other than that, my diet is basically dairy free. I never have any problems when I drink Kefir, the reason is because it's lactose free because the bacteria has eaten most of it.
Kefir has much stronger probiotic benefits than your typical store bought yogurt, PLUS it is practically sugar free. Usually yogurt from the store is packed full of sugar, and most yogurts are pasteurized, which means that most of the enzymes and helpful bacteria have been killed off. I read that Kefir has 30-56 strains of bacteria, and store bought yogurt has less than 10.
Health Benefits of Kefir:
- Enhances digestion
- Treats yeast infections
- Promotes well-being
- Helps lactose intolerance
- Supports immune health
- Reduces asthma symptoms
- Reduces allergy symptoms
- Eliminates constipation
- Promotes deep sleep
- Acts as a natural antibiotic
What You'll Need
1 cup milk, preferably whole fat
1 teaspoon active kefir grains
1 pint-sized glass jar
Cheesecloth, paper towel, or clean napkin
Small strainer (preferably plastic, but metal is ok)
Storage container with lid
Note: Avoid contact between the kefir and metal both during and after brewing. This can affect the flavor of your kefir and weaken the grains over time.
1. Combine the milk and the grains in a jar: Pour the milk into a glass jar or cup (not metal) and stir in the kefir grains.
2. Cover the jar: Cover the jar with a plastic lid, cheesecloth, or a paper towel, and use a rubber band to hold it in place.
3. Ferment for 12 to 48 hours: Leave the jar out on your kitchen counter or pantry for a day or two. When the milk has thickened (looks like drinkable yogurt) and tastes tangy, it's ready. This will usually take about 24 hours at average room temperatures (between 68-72 degrees F); the milk will ferment faster at warmer temperatures and slower at cool temperatures.
4. Remove the kefir grains: If you'd like to use the Kefir right away then place a small strainer over the container you'll use to store the kefir. Strain the kefir into the container, catching the grains in the strainer.
5. Transfer the grains to fresh milk: To make your next batch of Kefir just stir the grains into a fresh batch of milk and allow to ferment again. This way, you can make a fresh batch of kefir every day. To take a break from making kefir, place the grains in fresh milk, cover tightly, and refrigerate.
6. Drink or refrigerate the milk kefir: The prepared milk kefir can be stored in the fridge for many months but it's best to consume it within a week for optimal probiotic benefits.
Like Kombucha, Kefir can also undergo a second fermentation that improves the nutritional value as well as the taste. This process can be done with any fruit or spice. Basically all you do is add a flavor of choice then allow to sit at room temp once again for just a few hours then place in the fridge until ready to use. I like to add some fresh or frozen strawberries with a bit of cinnamon.
There are endless ways to be creative with Kefir. My kids and I love making Kefir smoothies, and I have lots more fun ideas I will share with you here on the blog. Stay tuned...