It strengthens and balances your digestive system, boosts your immune system, soothes the nervous system, and provides a range of enzymes, probiotics, vitamins and minerals. Who wouldn’t want to learn how to make this nutritional powerhouse that promotes overall health and well-being! Here’s how to go about it for a creamier, thicker, tastier kefir.
Let’s Get Started!
Assuming you are starting off with some kefir grains in a bit of milk. You will first need to top it up with enough milk, and leave to ferment for a while.
- Pour the grains and starter milk into a glass and top up with more milk. Keep to the ratio of a teaspoon of grains to a cup of milk
- Cover the glass loosely with a tea towel or loose lid
- Keep in a warm place, away from direct sunlight, to allow the grains to work their magic. Between 12 and 24 hours, depending on the air temperature
- You will know the fermentation is ready when the milk has thickened. If you see it separated into curds and whey, then it’s been left longer than required
- You now need to strain the kefir from the grains. Place a plastic colander over a bowl, and drop your kefir and grains into the colander
- Using a strong plastic spoon, stir the kefir around, squishing the grains as you go along. This will allow the kefir to pass through, leaving the grains behind
- Scoop the grains out and place into a clean glass. Top up with milk, cover loosely and keep in a warm place to ferment the next batch
- Pour out your prepared kefir into a glass for storage. Can be kept in the fridge if not consumed immediately. However, be warned that it will continue to sour if kept for some time!
- Kefir, like with any fermented food, must be placed in glass during fermentation and storage. Plastics can leech onto your kefir, and metals react with the kefir and damage them.
- Only use full cream milk, not low fat or no fat milk. The yeasts and bacteria feed on the sugar content in full cream milk in order to grow and produce the kefir
- During straining, it’s best to use a plastic colander and spoon
- If you want your grains to grow faster, squish them well during straining. This releases kefiran, the string-like structures produced during fermentation, and the primary source of health benefits of kefir
- For a creamy, yoghurt consistency, use Raw Organic milk. The cream together with the multitude of live enzymes and bacteria rocket the flavour and health benefits of your kefir exponentially!
- Loosely cover your kefir with a tea towel or lid – air must be allowed to escape or it could explode from the gasses released during fermentation
- Keep your kefir in a warm place, away from direct sunlight. This speeds up the fermentation process and creates the thicker yoghurt consistency
- Keep the ratio of grains to milk as 1 teaspoon to 1 glass. Too many grains result in a sour taste and separation of milk and whey faster than usual
- Fermentation duration depends on the air temperature – keeping my kefir in a fairly warm place during winter results in a thick yoghurt after 24 hours. However during summer days it may only need 12 hours to achieve the same consistency
- If you need a break from the continuous fermentation, storing your grains with extra milk in the fridge slows down the growth process
- Heating your kefir destroys the live bacteria and yeasts in it. Although you can use kefir in cooking and baking, bear in mind that it loses much of its benefits this way
What Can I Make with My Kefir ?
Now that you are well on your way to having this nutritious probiotic wonder on a daily basis, you might want to consider some of the many ways you can enjoy it!
- If you use raw, organic milk like I do, then your kefir will not taste tart at all, but rich and creamy and quite enjoyable as is! If you do find it a bit sour or sharp, then you can spruce it up with some honey or xylitol for sweetness
- Blend in some fruits such as mango, banana, avocado (with some honey or xylitol) for a creamy, dairy based smoothie
- Add a tablespoon of ground flaxseeds and enjoy as a breakfast yoghurt. Flaxseeds need to be crushed in order for them to be absorbed during digestion. This is a super potent way to clean out and restore harmony in the digestive tract, aiding in weight loss as a result. Anything that cleans out the digestive system ultimately results in weight loss due to optimal digestive functioning!
- Blend it with some frozen chunks of over-ripe banana to make a delicious cheat’s ice-cream
- Add some muesli to it for a breakfast on the go
Some Resources To Follow Up On
There are tons of ideas and recipes out there that you can read up on to get the most benefit out of your kefir. Here are some links I found interesting: