Thursday, June 16, 2011

Making Kefir

My girlfriend, Chelle, gave me some kefir grains and a paper telling me how to make this fermented milk product. Kefir is made by pouring milk over the "grains"(they look kinda like tapioca,just not round)covering the jar or crock with a cloth and letting it sit out on the counter for up to 24 hours. After 24 hours you strain the kefir through a sieve saving the grains to make another batch. The result is a thick buttermilk texture liquid. It's put in the fridge to chill. It smells yeasty and has a tangy taste that I really can't drink alone. I was told it's an "acquired" taste.
Ummm it's just gross plain. I made smoothies sweetened with agave nectar or honey. The kids loved it! We made peanut butter- banana w/honey and strawberry w/agave and then peanut butter with chocolate syrup.
Kefir is so easy to make and you continue to use the same grains. The grains start to multiply and after a few weeks, making kefir everyday, they should grow enough to have a cup full of grains. I use about a 1/4c and that will ferment 1qt of milk. So with more grains you could do more milk at a time or divide it up and share with your friends like Chelle did with me!
Kefir is very high in probiotics and cleans out the toxins in your system. Depending on your home temperature and air quality, it may take less then 24 hours. You just have to make a few batches to see what works for you. In my home, with no air conditioning, it takes about 18 hours to get a thick creamy kefir. I have also noticed that it thickens in the fridge, so if you strained it too early it will thicken up with time.
As I am more of an instant gratification person, I like making kefir. It's simple and neat and tidy. No mess! In fact I am having trouble because I'm using up all my milk! I wish I had these grains a few months ago!
I'm still looking up more recipes to use it up. But smoothies are great right now. I would like to make ice cream and was looking to see if I could use it in baking.

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