|I’m sure most of you are like “huh?” You’ve never heard of kefir…..and I hadn’t either, until two of my friends told me about it. They were both using it and hailed the benefits of it. I shook it off myself, thinking, “nah, this is not for me.” I was wrong! I was sick a little last year, and I had to take antibiotics. If you know anything about antibiotics, you know that they are hard on your stomach. I had problems with them, and my friend told me that I needed to eat lots of probiotics – she was right. Once I upped my probiotics, I got better fast. Now I’m making kefir every day…….do I have your attention now?What is kefir? Basically, it’s fermented milk. That sounds pretty nasty, right? When I was told what it was, my first thought was “Ew!” Kefir tastes somewhat like buttermilk. It can be used as a substitute for buttermilk, plain yogurt, or sour cream. It’s chocked full of probiotics – it’s really, really good for you. It’s full of vitamins, minerals, and it is very easy to digest since it’s already partially broken down. It will keep yeast infections at bay…..sorry guys. Pretend you didn’t hear that. Some people who are lactose intolerant are able to drink kefir without a problem. There are TONS and TONS of health benefits. Go here to Dom’s Kefir Site to read them all. You can buy kefir at the store, usually in the health food section, or you can make your own. I am making my own, so let me show you how. It is very cheap to make once you get started.|
|These are kefir grains. They look like cauliflower and they feel really funny. I had to touch it……I just couldn’t help myself. You’ll make your kefir from this. I got mine from a friend. Her’s had grown, so she had extra to share. You’ll start with about a tablespoon and they will grow……so you can make a bunch of kefir, or share your grains with friends. There are bunches of places to buy them. You can purchase them on Etsy if you like. A really good kefir resource site is Tammy’s Recipes. Here is her linkwhere she tells you where to purchase your grains. She has an excellent site, so visit it sometime when you have a minute to spare. Make sure you buy grains and not a starter. A starter can only be used a few times, while grains can be used as long as you like.Be nice to me and I might give you my extras. Ha, ha!
|You’ll need a quart-sized jar, or larger depending on how much you’re making. Put your grains in the bottom.|
|For every tablespoon of grains that you have, you’re going to add one cup of milk. It needs to be mammal milk….if you use soy or any type like that, your grains won’t keep producing. You can use any percent. I use whole milk.|
|You’ll place a lid on top….sorta. As you can see, I’m just using the canning lid. I lay it on top. It is going to ferment, therefore there will be gas….and it could explode if the lid is tight. Speaking of lids and gas, have you seen this cool thing with Mentos and Diet Coke? We’ve done it lots of times and it’s REALLY COOL!!!! Yes, and I was forbidden from performing experiments in my high school chemistry class. Wonder why……Oh, and there is a minimal alcohol content in kefir due to the fermenting process. Don’t wig out, it’s just like sourdough bread.|
|Kefir grains must not come into contact with direct sunlight. It will kill them……MURDER! Think about kefir grains as being akin to vampires. They can be in the light, just not the direct light. So, I sit mine in this corner behind my million utensils.|
|It can take from 12-48 hours for kefir to be ready. It will depend on the temperature and humidity in your house. Mine is done for my liking in about 24 hours. It will become very thick. The longer you let it ferment, the tangier it will become. It will be the consistency of runny sour cream. Turn your jar from side to side to check on the consistency. When you smell it, it will smell soured like buttermilk.|
|To finish your kefir, you need a funnel, a jar, and a mesh strainer. I store my kefir in canning jars in the fridge. Put your funnel in the jar. Mine is large enough that I can put my strainer down in it.|
|Pour your fermented kefir into the strainer and let it strain. You might have to tap it a little bit since it’s thick…..but don’t beat it, Michael Jackson.I like my kefir thick, so sometimes it won’t go through the strainer alone – I have to coax it. I stir it around with a plastic spoon or spatula until it’s all strained. Be gentle. Because of this, I only pour out a small amount of kefir at a time and work with it in batches.
*Note: pour slowly in case your kefir is thick. It could “plop” out of the jar and make a mess all over the counter.
|Your finished kefir will fall down into the jar, leaving the grains in the strainer. You can put your grains back down into their jar, add your milk and start over again. I don’t wash my jar every time…..I wash it every few days.|
|Put a lid on your jar and store it in the fridge. It will keep for MONTHS….after all, it is fermented.We’re loving our kefir! Annie goes crazy when she sees me preparing it. Tomorrow I will cover all the different ways that you can use it. There is tons of excitement lurking around every corner here at Stacy Makes Cents.