Friday, May 29, 2009

Make It Yourself - Kefir

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!

Notes:
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!

17 comments :

  1. We love kefir too! Kefir smoothies with bananas and berries are a favorite! I just love reading your blog. Thanks for the post!

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  2. Great blog! Thanks for all the great info and smoothie ideas. I'm just new to Kefir and can't wait to reap the benefits!

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  3. I made kefir for the first time this morning! I was only able to make 2 cups-- my SIL gave me some grains! can't wait to use it in smoothies! we love them! Thanx for your info!

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  4. Kefir update...The kefir grains you sent me are happy, healthy, and growing! We are enjoying it! Thanks again for taking the time to send them!

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  5. hi gina, do you have any more kefir grains? i'd be happy to pay for shipping. hoping to make some in the very near future!

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  6. Jess -
    I do still have kefir grains and I'd be glad to share! They keep growing and I hate to throw them out! If you send me an email with your mailing address, I'll send some your way!
    Gina

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  7. Hi Gina,
    I am new to your blog and I am loving it. I was wondering if you were still giving away kefir grains? If so I would love to have some. I would be more than happy to pay you for them and pay for shipping. Thank you for chronicling your journey for all of us to read and learn from. - Jeni

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  8. Great information, I would love to obtain some kefir grains. Could someone point me in the right direction. My e-mail address is Jbernaga@hotmail.com. Thanks in advance and God Bless!

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  9. Hi,
    Stumbled on your blog when searching for how to make Kefir. Thank you for your explanation. My question for you is -can I make kefir from store bought kefir. I make yogurt at home from store bought yogurt and was wondering if I could apply that here.I would be glad to get some insight. I do not have grains to make it kefir from grains.
    Thanks

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    Replies
    1. I think you need to have the actual grains, but maybe I'm wrong. You can do some more research. You can purchase grains at a place such as Cultures for Health.
      Gina

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  10. Hello Gina,

    Ok I just had to bookmark your page & yes I subscribed to your emails... Looking forward to much more information...
    I was wondering which kefir grains work best... I have found several different sources for the kefir grains such as water or milk even mushroom grains... So do I go for the milk based???
    Thank You, Marie

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    Replies
    1. I use the milk based kefir - but I know others who love water kefir! Guess you can try them all!
      Gina

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  11. Hello. I love your blog and all your recipes. I am wondering if you can recommend a place for me to order kkefier grains from? I see a lot of starters but not keifer grains. We have 6 little smoothy lovers and id love to try this. Thanks so much :) Amanda amandamahle@yahoo.com

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  12. Hey there! I'm wondering if you still have kefir grains? My two little ones and I have struggled with thrush for several months and I am now anxious to get our yeast/bacteria balance back in order. I'd love to try making some fermented foods and would love some grains to start our journey. Thanks! ashleykate202@hotmail.com

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    Replies
    1. I don't have kefir grains now but you can purchase your own at numerous online sites such as Cultures for Health.
      Hope your family returns to good health.
      Gina

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  13. Hi Gina, I just found your site from a friend, and would love to get some kefir grains if you have some? My email is beckymoreth@yahoo.com

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    Replies
    1. I'm no longer mailing kefir grains but you can purchase grains online at places like Cultures for Health.
      Gina

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I'm still learning how to be a joyful homemaker and I'd love to hear from you!

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