• Laurie Blake

Making Your Own Nutritious Milk Kefir

Updated: Jun 22, 2020

Kefir is a fermented drink, traditionally made using cow's milk or goat's milk. It is made by adding kefir grains to milk—grain-like colonies of yeast and lactic acid bacteria that looks like cauliflower.

Over 24 hours, the microorganisms in the kefir grains multiply and ferment the sugars in the milk, creating kefir.

The grains are removed from the liquid and used again using a plastic strainer.

The grains' lactic acid bacteria turn the milk's lactose into lactic acid, so kefir tastes sour like yogurt.

Kefir is high in nutrients and probiotics, and very beneficial for digestion and gut health.

Milk Kefir contains Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Protein, and Vitamins B2, B12, and d. Kefir also provides a wide variety of bioactive compounds, including organic acids and bacteria.

Kefir contains the probiotic Lactobacillus kefir and the carbohydrate kefiran, both of which protect against harmful bacteria.

Studies suggest that it boosts your immune system, aids in digestive problems, improves bone and skin health and may combat cancer. Some studies indicate that good gut health has a positive effect on mental health.

We make our kefir because it is so easy to make and much more economical than store-bought. Store-bought kefir contains less of the good stuff and is often flavoured and sweetened.

Put 1–2 tablespoons of kefir grains into a glass jar. The more you use, the faster it will culture.

Add around 2 cups of the milk of your choice.

Put a plastic lid on (kefir corrodes metal), do not tightly fasten as pressure will build up during fermentation. Leave it for 24 hours at room temperature.

Strain out the liquid with a plastic strainer and use the grains for your next batch. As you can see from the photo below, I have about twice as many grains as I need to make kefir for David and myself. I have already packed some in powdered milk, sealed using a Food Saver, and froze. The grains should keep for about a year frozen.

When you first start kefir, you may experience constipation and abdominal cramping as it changes your gastrointestinal environment. If you have a weakened immune system, consult your doctor before beginning kefir.

Milk kefir can be used as a substitute for regular buttermilk, sour cream, heavy cream or yogurt.

Until next time, live well.

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