Last Updated on July 23, 2022 by Ellen Christian
If you have ever asked yourself “What is kefir and how do I make it?”, read on. A few months ago when I was shopping at the food coop, I discovered something new. In with all of the yogurt and dairy products was a bottled drink called kefir. Kefir is a fermented milk drink made with kefir “grains” that has its origins in the north Caucasus Mountains in Eastern Europe. Since I have always loved yogurt, I decided to try kefir and see how I’d like it. Four months later, I am absolutely in love and enjoy a small glass each night. One of the benefits of drinking kefir is that it is loaded with probiotic organisms. Probiotics do wonderful things for your health and especially your digestive system.
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What is Kefir
Since I’m on a quest to learn to make more of the things that we eat from scratch, I started wondering if I could actually make kefir myself. After all, I make yogurt. At one point in our history, we made everything that we eat so it should be possible to make kefir as well. Right?
There are two different types of kefir. There is a water kefir and a milk kefir. Since the kefir I enjoy drinking is milk based, that is the one I am focusing on. I may try the other one in the future. Both types of kefir are started from grains but each type of grain is different. You need to make sure that you are starting with milk kefir grains.
Milk kefir grains can be used with cow’s milk, goat’s milk or coconut milk. Since I have access to raw organic cow’s milk from a local farm, that’s what I am using. You can use traditional milk from the store but PLEASE choose something organic and non-GMO. Kefir “grains” aren’t actually any type of grain at all, they are a combination of yeast and bacteria living happily together. They are totally gluten and grain free. There are also powdered kefir cultures available but I have not tried using those.
Kefir grains can be used over and over again. Once you have your grains, if you care for them properly, you will be able to make a continuous supply of kefir. This is the process I followed for cow’s milk based kefir. Once you have extra kefir, you can use it to make ice cream, cheese, smoothies, frosting and many other dairy based products.
Milk Kefir Grains1/4 Cup Live Organic Water Kefir Grains (Tibicos) Natural ProbioticsWater Kefir Starter Pack Grains Brewing Kit, Live Organic Culture GUTPUNCH 2 TBS becomes 2/3 cup, makes HALF GALLON (2 liters)
What is Kefir and How to Make it
- 2 tsp milk kefir grains
- 2 cups cow's milk
- Place the milk kefir grains in a Mason jar with two cups of cow's milk. Raw or pasteurized is fine. Put the top on.
- Leave on your counter for at least 18 hours and up to 48 hours.
- Make sure that the room is between 67F to 80F in temperature.
- After 18 hours check the consistency of the kefir. I enjoy it when it is not as thick as yogurt but not as thin as milk.
- When it is the consistency you like, drain the grains out of the milk using a piece of cheesecloth or a coffee filter.
- You can drink the kefir as is or use it as a base for a smoothie.
- Return the grains back into new milk on the counter. The approximate ratio is 1 tsp of grains per 1 cup of milk.
- The kefir grains will grow each time you use them so you'll eventually have some to share.
Have you ever tried kefir? Would you like to try making it yourself? Once you have, try serving it over this Downton Abbey Breakfast Porridge recipe.
Ellen is a busy mom of a 24-year-old son and 29-year-old daughter. She owns six blogs and is addicted to social media. She believes that it doesn’t have to be difficult to lead a healthy life. She shares simple healthy living tips to show busy women how to lead fulfilling lives. If you’d like to work together, email email@example.com to chat.