Monday, 6 January 2014

Milk kefir

 Kefir is a probiotic beverage made with kefir grains ( or in some cases a powdered kefir starter culture). There are two types of grains: milk kefir grains and water kefir grains. 

Milk kefir grains can be used with cow milk, goat milk or coconut milk. Water kefir grains can be used with sugar water, juice or coconut water. 

Kefir grains consist of bacteria and yeast existing in a symbiotic relationship. The term "kefir grains"  describes the look of the culture only. Kefir grains contain no actual "grains".

Milk kefir grains generally contain a large number of both live bacteria and yeast, more than 50 strains are typical. The milk kefir grains feed off the sugars (lactose) in the milk. Making it suitable for people who have difficulties digesting lactose or for people wanting to improve their gut health. 

The easiest way to obtain Kefir grains is online or if you are lucky, from a friend.

You only need a tablespoon of grains to culture a litre of milk over 24 hrs. Once settled, your kefir grains will start to multiply from every batch. The excess grains make great chicken food.

Place your grains in a clean glass jar, fill it up with fresh milk. Use a piece of kitchen towel or a clean cloth and secure it with a rubber band. This will allow the gases to release while keeping out contaminates such as dust or flys. 

It can take anywhere from 12-36 hrs before your batch is ready depending on the temperature. The warmer the quicker! You will know it is ready when it has thickened and it might even have separated into curds and whey. Although many people find that it tastes too sour if left to ferment to this stage. 

Once it is ready, strain the kefir through a sieve to remove the grains. Plastic is recommended as metal is thought to have a negative effect on the grains. 
Now you have kefir grains to start a new batch and kefir to use in smoothies, cooking, cheese making etc. The kefir grains should last generations once they are fed and looked at regularly.

If you are going on holidays or want to take a break from them, you can store then in the fridge to allow then to go dormant, just feeding them every few weeks. 

We use ours mostly in a banana, honey and egg kefir smoothie. Very nourishing!


  1. we love our kefir too! mostly in smoothies with whatever fruit is in season :)

  2. Yeah, it's a great way to get probiotics but I couldn't drink it straight as I find the taste too strong. I started to make a cheese from it and I love that the most now :-)

  3. I tried to make kefir a few years back but didn't like the taste , i think i will try again as I now have access to raw goats milk . I have enjoyed reading about the range of fermented foods and their benefits I have some problems at the moment with my immunity so plan to give more of them a try I love kimchi and saurkraut so no great difficulty :)

  4. I don't enjoy the taste either so I use it in small amounts in smoothies. I had auto immune hypothyroidism for six years and through diet it has reversed and I am off all meds and have normal blood work. I didnt realise that I'm allergic to dairy but I can take raw dairy!
    I have never tasted kimchi do you make it yourself?


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