Fermented foods are rapidly garnering rock star status for a number of reasons, and kefir is one that everyone should know about. This “drinkable yogurt” offers all the goodness in dairy – complete protein, calcium, vitamin D, B-vitamins, zinc and potassium along with a huge dose (up to 200 billion plus per serving – that’s like taking a whole bottle of probiotic supplements!) of a much broader variety of beneficial microorganisms (aka probiotics) relative to yogurt. What’s even better, for those like me who are lactose intolerant or suffer from digestive stress from regular dairy, this awesome food is available 99% lactose-free.
I now strive to include organic plain kefir in my diet morning and night and know my gut microbiome is loving me for doing so. I add half of a microwave melted banana and some berries or cut up apple with cinnamon to sweeten it a bit. We even make our own!
Keep scrolling to see how.
Everything you need:
1) Kefir grains
3) Glass jar with lid
4) BPA-free mesh strainer
6) Wooden spoon
Keep scrolling to see where to get your grains and how to use these beautiful live creatures…
1) Put Kefir grains into your jar. You will need about 1-3 tablespoons of grains for every 1 quart of milk
2) Pour milk over grains, leaving a little space at the top of the jar. Close lid, but not too tightly, those guys need a tiny bit of oxygen.
3) Leave the jar on a counter at room temperature until it’s slightly thickened and has a sour-tangy smell and flavor (about 24 hours).
4) Once the kefir is cultured to your liking, strain it into a bowl or another glass jar using the mesh strainer to remove the grains.
5) Store your fresh kefir in a closed jar in the refrigerator, or you may leave it out for another 24 hours to further ferment your healthy drinkable yogurt.
6) Place the grains back into the glass jar and repeat the process if you so desire.
*If you do not want to make more kefir right away, place the grains in a jar in the fridge with a little milk to cover them until you’re ready to make another batch.
Keep scrolling for answers to commonly asked questions…
You may be wondering…
Where to get the grains?
Kefir grains can be easily purchased online (they’re even on Amazon), in your local health food stores, or you can ask around to see if anyone has grains they can share. If you’re starting with “suspended” live grains (dehydrated grains), you will have to revive them by soaking them in milk for 2 to 3 days, changing the milk every 24 hours.
The best way to find ready-to-go hydrated grains is to ask around for them. Kefir grains expand and grow after some time so those who make kefir at home usually have extra grains to share.
What kind of milk should you use?
Whole milk is the most traditional option for making kefir. If you use a milk other than whole milk, the kefir yogurt will be thinner. It may also take longer to ferment. You can always experiment and see which thickness you prefer. I use whole, organic milk (with added Omega-3!) from the grocery store and it works wonderfully.
More questions? This
is a great site for first-timers.
Take It to the Next Level
After the first 24-hour fermentation period, you can actually flavor your kefir by adding fruit (and fun health-boosters like cinnamon) and then leaving the mixture on the counter for another 24 hours. Blueberries or blackberries are my favorites, especially since I know they’re disease-fighting, anti-aging
Talk about a Gourmet, Healthy Breakfast
Eating a delicious parfait is a great way to start the day. Build your own breakfast by layering your kefir with a healthy cereal
, fruit, and super-food extras like hemp
or chia seeds. If the kefir flavor is too strong you can always add a dollop of honey.
On the Go
Breakfast parfaits are awesome because you can make them the night before and take them with you in the morning. Just prepare the layers and stick it in the fridge OR you can pour the kefir on top of your mixture in the morning if you prefer to maintain a crunchier parfait (the cereal will become soft if left in kefir overnight, like oatmeal).