On the Making of Kefir
Raw fresh (with cream) a2/a2 Kefir waiting to be processed
Ah, kefir. I love you.
Why I love kefir:
1. Probiotics abound. Kefir is one of the best probiotic foods out there. For example, it carries even more good bacteria than yogurt.
2. It offers a fantastic base for an amazing smoothie. Once I started making replacing the yogurt in my smoothies with kefir, it was all over for the yogurt with me! Kefir gives the smoothie an 'extra depth' or 'tang'.
3. Kefir is so EASY to make. It takes time - 24 hours a batch - but so very little hands-on time.
4. Homemade is BETTER than boughten (whoops, an opinion popped out).
So, how do you do it?
First, you'll need the grains. If a friend has them, and you can snitch some, awesome! That's the sort of friend to have around. If you don't have that sort of friend, there's still good news! You can order them here:
(Kefir grains reproduce, so you'll have some to share eventually, too. Good comes around.)
Your grains will like to eat lactose. That's right, and they are always hungry. Since your grains will eat lactose out of the milk, the kefir is going to be 99.99% lactose free. Great news for all who are lactose intolerant.
To feed your grains, they will need milk. Of course, mine get a2 milk. You can use any store-bought dairy milk (not lactose-free) including Skim (I tried it, and it works. The kefir is more runny, though.) Make your kefir with 1%, 2%, or Whole Milk.
(I know there is kefir out there made from dairy free products. If you need dairy free, I'm sorry to say it; but this post is not for you.)
When you first get your grains, use plenty until they are used to their new environment. The first time, use about 1 Tablespoon of Grains to 1 Cup of Milk. Later, when they are acclimated, you can use 1/2 to 1 Teaspoon per Cup of Milk.
Put the grains and the milk in a glass jar. Shake it, and leave it out on the counter for the next 24 hours (or so).
After 24 hours, it should look this, and slightly bubbly or separated, like so:
Dump it out in a small holed colander over a container.
And use a spoon or spatula to work all the kefir out into your container. Don't worry about the abuse of the grains. They are tough little things.
Here are the grains:
Put your grains into a jar and add the right amount of milk (reference above). And repeat the process of putting your jar out for the next 24 hours.
OR ... if you're not ready to make more kefir just yet, put a little milk in with the grains. (Remember, they always need to eat.) Like so:
Put on a lid and refrigerate the grains for up to a week. They WILL POSSIBLY last longer in the fridge than a week, but will need to be acclimated (again reference amount above).
Now, back to the kefir in your container...
It just needs to be whipped, and it will be ready! Refrigerate the kefir until ready to use in smoothies, or as a drink. Add pureed fruit &/or honey, maple syrup, or sugar.
There, wasn't that simple?
If you have a favorite kefir smoothie recipe, please share it in the Comment Section.