This is just one of the recipes included in my Simple Cheesemaking ebook. Follow the link to find more wonderful cheese recipes with easy to follow instructions and much more!
I posted quite awhile ago about making yogurt, how easy it is and how much our family enjoys it. Well, I have found something better and easier – homemade kefir! While most people are familiar with yogurt, an even more potent probiotic drink is kefir.
As you can see from the photo, now that I know how easy and delicious it is, fermenting kefir has a permanent place on our coffee bar! Right next to the coffee maker, it is accessible but out of the way.
Kefir is not as thick as yogurt but has more twang. We drink it straight but you could easily sweeten it with fruit and honey. Once the heat of summer hits, I will be putting it in the blender with some ice and fruit to make smoothies.
Kefir grains, which look like little cauliflower pieces, are needed to make kefir. Since the grains multiply, it is very easy to obtain some from a friend who already makes kefir – if you have one. If not, I recommend Cultures for Health. I have found their products and service first rate! When purchased online, detailed instructions are given for the care and use of them. If properly cared for, they should last indefinitely.
If you need a break from kefir making, the grains may be rinsed and refrigerated in non-chlorinated water (chlorine will kill them). I have even read that they can be frozen for future use but have not tried it. Like most things, homemade kefir is tastier and more economical than its store bought counterpart. With homemade kefir, you get the taste you prefer because the twang is determined by the length of time you leave the grains in the milk. This is one recipe that must be tried to believe how easy it is!
To make 1 quart:
4 c whole milk (we use raw milk from our family milk cow, Buttercup, when she is giving milk)
Other items needed: 1 qt mason jar, lid or cheesecloth to cover jar loosely, mesh strainer, spatula
Put the kefir grains in a 1 qt mason jar. Pour whole milk over the grains leaving about 1 inch space at the top of the jar. Stir the milk and grains and cover loosely. Leave in a warm place for 12 – 24 hrs. – depending on the taste you prefer. The kefir grains culture the milk and the longer it is left the tangier it will become. I leave mine on the kitchen counter for 24 hours. If it has separated and there is a bit of liquid on the bottom, I shake it before straining. Pour the kefir through a strainer into another jar catching the grains in the strainer. Refrigerate and enjoy.
Use the grains to start another batch – Add them to a clean jar and start a new batch. Some people rinse their grains after each use but mine do not multiply as quickly if I do.
It is just that simple! There is no need to heat the milk like you do when making yogurt. I do not even bring the milk to room temperature – I pour it straight from the refrigerator over the kefir grains and it works every time!
Homemade Kefir Recipe
Yield 1 quart
- 4 c whole milk (we use raw milk from our family milk cow, Buttercup, when she is giving milk)
- 2 - 4 Tbsp kefir grains
- Other items needed: 1 qt mason jar, lid or cheesecloth to cover jar loosely, mesh strainer, spatula
- Put the kefir grains in a 1 qt mason jar
- Pour whole milk over the grains leaving about 1 inch space at the top of the jar.
- Cover loosely.
- Leave in a warm place for 12 - 24 hrs. - depending on the taste you prefer.
- Strain the kefir from the grains by pouring through a strainer catching the kefir grains.
- Add them to a clean jar and start a new batch by repeating the above steps.