Kefir

kefir2Kefir is something I have made and used for years. Pronounced (keh-FEER) from the Turkish word for “well-being”.

If you’re looking for a good pro-biotic supplement this is the best. It is easy to make and you can use it for many things. Like make your own substitutes for sour cream, yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, ricotta, buttermilk.

I use to buy sour cream and yogurt by the big cartons.
NO MORE now I make my own. Every morning I make a protein smoothie with Kefir as the base.

kefir3Here is how it is made.
You start with kefir grains like those pictured above. These are rinsed in distilled water so that you can see what they look like. Actually they remind me of cauliflower pieces. If you touch them they are spongy feeling and very resilient. Some people even eat them. I tried them once but it was sort of like trying to eat a rubber band. Now if I get to many extras I plant them in the garden.

kefir4You start with a clean mason quart jar and add your grains then pour to the top rim with cold milk. You can use pasteurized (I do) or raw if you like. Any milk will do. Cows or goats. Many people use raw goats milk. I do not have access to it or I might use that too.

The objective is to let them sit at room temperature for about 24 hours. The little grains will do their magic and make a thickened liquid that is tart sort of between buttermilk and store bought yogurt.

I cover mine with a soft paper towel and a rubber band so it can breathe. It simply sits on the counter until it is done like the first image below. It is over done with the second image below.


kefir5 kefir6

Getting over done does not ruin it. It simply gets more sour. It is still good to make cheese or dip so don’t throw it out.

Next you will need a bowl, spoon and mesh strainer. Stir the Kefir and pour the jar contents into the strainer. Shake your strainer until the liquid flows into the bowl leaving only your Kefir grains in the strainer.


kefir8 kefir9

Now you simply scoop the grains into the jar add your milk, cover and start your process over.

kefir10At this time I pour my Kefir into another container and refrigerate it. If you want it to mellow further you can simply leave your container on the counter for another day or so. The longer it is left out the more sour it becomes and the more fizzy it gets.

If you decide to use this as a base for your smoothies keep in mind Kefir is fizzy. It is like shaking a coke bottle. If you open it … it will spew all over the place. So if you put this in a blender or nutria-bullet or Ninja single cup make sure the lid is on tight and take care when you open it.

I sweeten my Kifer smoothie and flavor it.
My favorite flavorings are from LorAnn’s Oils

strawberry-bananaIf you are going to make smoothies with Kefir and flavor it keep in mind the tart flavor of the Kefir is better with a fruity flavor like orange oil, pineapple, raspberry, coconut etc.

I buy the one ounce bottles with droppers to go with each flavor.
You only need drops since these flavors are potent.

They are used in baking and candy making and a little goes a very long way. I only use 4 to 6 drops in each 12 ounce smoothie.

For those of you not familiar with LorAnn Oil they make some really wonderful Baking Emulsions. My favorites are Princess Cake, Cookie Bakery and Buttery Sweet Dough Bakery Emulsions.

More Kefir information:
http://users.chariot.net.au/~dna/Makekefir.html#Storing

http://www.wellsphere.com/healthy-eating-article/milk-kefir-what-it-is-how-to-brew-it/833579

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