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All things Kefir

For years I have gotten requests and questions about making kefir.  I had a small period of time where I made some years ago but my family didn’t care much for it back then so I stopped.  Recently it has begun to ne a buzz food again so I thought I would give it another shot.  I got some Kefir grains from my sister in law and worked through the process.  Its very simple actually, much easier than the yogurt and cheeses I usually make so I found it quite enjoyable.  I am definitely not claiming to be an expert at this but I wanted to share the information I have compiled so far for those who are eager to dive in to kefir making!  I have also uploaded a video to our Sunny Cove Youtube Channel so if you are more of a visual aid person check that out.


What is Kefir

Kefir is a fermented milk drink that originated in the Caucasus Mountains. It is made by adding kefir grains, which are a combination of bacteria and yeast, to milk and allowing it to ferment. The result is a tangy, slightly effervescent drink that is rich in probiotics and has numerous health benefits. Kefir can be made with cow's milk, goat's milk, or even non-dairy milk alternatives like coconut milk or almond milk. It's a great option for those who are looking to incorporate more fermented foods into their diet.

How do you make it?

 To make kefir, you'll need kefir grains and milk. You can use cow's milk, goat's milk, or non-dairy milk alternatives like coconut milk or almond milk. Here are the basic steps:


1. Add the kefir grains to a clean jar.

2. Add milk to the jar, leaving some headspace at the top.

3. Cover the jar with a breathable cloth, like cheesecloth, and secure it with a rubber band.

4. Leave the jar at room temperature for 24-48 hours, until the milk thickens and becomes tangy.

5. Strain out the kefir grains using a fine mesh strainer.

6. Transfer the kefir to a clean jar or bottle and store it in the fridge.


You can reuse the kefir grains to make subsequent batches of kefir. The ratio of kefir grains to milk can vary depending on the strength of the grains and the desired thickness of the kefir.


How do you make it?

There are many ways to use kefir! Here are a few ideas:


1. Drink it straight up: Kefir has a tangy taste that some people love on its own. You can drink it cold, or let it come to room temperature first.


2. Blend it into smoothies: Kefir adds a creamy texture and tangy flavor to smoothies. Try blending it with frozen fruit, spinach, and a touch of honey.


3. Use it as a base for salad dressings: Kefir can replace some or all of the yogurt or buttermilk in salad dressings. Add herbs, garlic, and lemon juice for a tangy, flavorful dressing.


4. Make kefir cheese: You can strain kefir to make a soft, spreadable cheese that's great on crackers or toast. Simply place the kefir in a cheesecloth-lined strainer and let it drain in the fridge for a day or two, until it reaches the desired consistency.


5. Use it in baking: Kefir can replace some or all of the milk in baking recipes for a tangy twist. Try using it in pancakes, waffles, or muffins.


Remember that kefir is a live probiotic food, so it's best not to heat it too much, as this can kill the probiotics.

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