Kefir (pronounced “ke-fear”) is my current favourite fermented food and as I look forward to drinking it most mornings, I just had to share my enthusiasm with you!
The origin of the word sums it up really -“keif” in Turkish means “good feeling” 👍🏻
Why is that? Well it tastes yummy and it benefits the body in a number of ways;
✔️ Boosts immunity
✔️ Heals inflammatory bowel disease
✔️ Builds bone density
✔️ Fights allergies
✔️ Improves lactose digestion
✔️ Kills candida
✔️ Supports detoxification.
🥛Kefir can be either fermented milk (cow, goat, sheep or coconut milk!) or a sugar based kefir (sugary water or coconut water) -both rich in the same nutrients.
Kefir contains high levels of B12, Calcium, Magnesium, K2, Biotin, Folate, Enzymes and Probiotics.
For homemade Kefir starter grains can be found online, or if you have a friend whose kefir grains are multiplying then see if you can have some starter grains from them.
Instructions for milk kefir;
Makes 1 cup
1 cup milk, preferably whole fat
1 teaspoon active kefir grains
1 pint-sized glass jar
Cheesecloth, paper towel, or clean napkin
Small strainer (preferably plastic, but metal is ok)
Storage container with lid
Combine the milk and the grains in a jar: Pour the milk into a clean glass jar (not metal) and stir in the kefir grains. The milk can be cold or room temperature, either is fine.
Cover the jar: Cover the jar with cheesecloth, a paper towel, or a clean napkin and secure it with a rubber band. Do not screw a lid onto the jar as the build up of carbon dioxide from the fermenting grains can cause pressure to build in the jar, and in extreme cases, cause the jar to burst.
Ferment for 12 to 48 hours: Store the jar at room temperature (ideally around 70°F) away from direct sunlight. Check the jar every few hours. When the milk has thickened and tastes tangy, it’s ready. This will usually take about 24 hours at average room temperatures; the milk will ferment faster at warmer temperatures and slower at cool temperatures. If your milk hasn’t fermented after 48 hours, strain out the grains and try again in a fresh batch (this sometimes happens when using new kefir grains, when refreshing dried kefir grains, or when using grains that have been refrigerated).
Strain out the kefir grains: Place a small strainer over the container you’ll use to store the kefir. Strain the kefir into the container, catching the grains in the strainer.
Transfer the grains to fresh milk: Stir the grains into a fresh batch of milk and allow to ferment again. This way, you can make a fresh batch of kefir roughly every 24 hours. To take a break from making kefir, place the grains in fresh milk, cover tightly, and refrigerate.
Drink or refrigerate the milk kefir: The prepared milk kefir can be used or drunk immediately, or covered tightly and stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.
• Avoid aluminium utensils when making milk kefir. Stainless steel is acceptable.
• Fermented foods often have a sour but clean aroma and flavour. Never consume anything that smells or tastes unpleasant.
Instructions taken from The Kitchn website, which is a great source for further information about kefir.
Here’s some pictures of my mother-in-law refreshing her grains and splitting them into a new jar for me.
You can also find pre-made kefir in health shops, like this Biona one.
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