How To Make Kefir
Kefir is a traditional probiotic drink made from milk (or other liquids like coconut water) that has been fermented using cultures. These cultures are good bacteria strains that aid in fermenting the milk without it going bad. The key to health, whether it be good or bad is in the gut and probiotics help to heal and restore gut health. Kefir delivers many strains of good bacteria to the intestines to keep harmful bacteria at bay and can be taken daily. It is a bit expensive to buy in stores already made but very easy and inexpensive to make at home.
How to make kefir:
The cultures look a little like cottage cheese. Some of them are larger and look like large tapioca.
Begin by placing starter cultures into kefir crock. I use 1-2 tablespoons.You’ll notice the ring of cream inside my crock. I had just strained the previous batch and rinsing between batches is not necessary.
Then add your raw milk. I have a 2 quart crock and I fill it about two-thirds or so.
Cover crock with a cheesecloth or a clean towel and place in a dim place for 24-48 hours. The longer it sits the more “fizzy” it will become.
When the kefir is ready, strain it through a strainer or cheesecloth into a clean, preferably glass container. I used a metal strainer here but no longer use one because metal reacts with kefir. I use a plastic strainer instead.
Return the cultures to the crock for your next batch. They will multiply with each batch. Give the extras away to friends or store them in a container in the refrigerator for a short amount of time. They tend to go dormant if they are not being fed by the milk so they may take some coaxing to be reconstituted.
The kefir is now ready to serve. It will have a slightly yeasty smell to it which is normal. Store in a glass container in the refrigerator. Drink daily for maximum benefits. It will keep for a long time in the fridge and you can keep adding new kefir to it.
That’s it! You now have fresh, organic kefir for just the cost of milk once you get your starters going. It is a wonderful addition to your real food diet.
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Sarah is a wife, mom of 4, farm owner, and real food blogger at Real Food Outlaws. She is also an Master Herbalist and owns 90210 Organics, an Eco-boutique and Apothecary. She holds a Master’s Degree in Applied Clinical Nutrition from New York Chiropractic College and is a Clinical/Functional Nutritionist and Advanced Nutrition Response Testing™ Practitioner at Natural Health Improvement Center of South Jersey and Natural Health Improvement Center of Des Moines. You can often find her barefoot in the garden (or kitchen), or rummaging through a refrigerator (not necessarily her own).