What cultured milk product is easier to make then yogurt and even more nutritious?
It takes no special tools, it does not need to be heated, and can be made with any kind of milk.
It is loaded with probiotics, beneficial bacteria, calcium, vitamins (especially B) and potassium.
Have you guessed kefir? What? Never heard of kefir? I had not myself until several years ago. I've been wanting to try it and this winter a friend shared some kefir grains with me. We've been enjoying fresh kefir ever since! And I'm finally getting around to sharing about it with you!
Kefir is a cultured milk product similiar in taste to yogurt, but the texture is thinner. Because the milk does not need to be heated, kefir is much faster and simpler to make. Personally, I don't prefer to drink/eat kefir alone. To me, it is too thick to drink and too thin to eat! But we LOVE it in smoothies and have been enjoying it at least once a week this winter and I expect we'll be having it even more often this summer! I love knowing I'm feeding my children something so full of "good stuff"! I also use it in recipes in place of buttermilk, yogurt, or sour cream. I know that in baked products, much is destroyed in the heating, but it saves a trip to the store and makes some awesome tasting waffles!
Here is how to make your own kefir!
First, get some kefir grains. You can purchase kefir starter but it will only be good for a few batches. Kefir grains can be used endlessly. The grains are rubbery and look like cauliflower. Don't visulize wheat or barley grains!
Get a glass jar and measure out your grains. You want one tablespoon of grains per cup of milk. Place the grains in the jar and then add the milk.
Cover the jar loosely and allow to set in room temperature. Do not place in direct sun. I put mine on the refrigerator so that it is out of the way but still where I can see it so it is not forgotten!
After 12 to 24 hours, the milk should be thickened and "glop" when poured out of the jar. Pour the milk in a colander and stir to separate the grains. Your kefir is ready to use! Save the grains to make a new batch! Wasn't that easy!
Do not allow your kefir to contact anything metal. Use plastic or glass.
When first using kefir grains, you may have an adjustment period for your first batch or two. By the third batch, your kefir should be nice and thick. This also may occur when switching to a different type of milk.
If not using your kefir grains, store them in the refrigerator covered with milk. Do not allow them to dry out.
Your kefir grains will increase as you use them. You will then be able to make larger batches of kefir at a time! Or share with a friend!
All set to make kefir? I have quite a few extra kefir grains which I'd love to share with you! Let me know if you'd like them! I may be able to figure out a way to mail them - but no promises!