Kefir – also called kifir, keefir, kephir, kewra, talai, mudu kekiya, milkkefir, or búlgaros – is a yogurt-like (probiotic) fermented milk drink that originated in the Caucasus mountains near Turkey. It is both very tasty and very nutritious. It’s also quite easy to make at home.
Kefir is made from kefir grains, which are a active bacterial cultures, and milk. Just about any type of milk can be used – cows milk (whole fat, reduced fat or skim). sheeps milk, goats milk, buffalo milk, or other. Just add the kefir grains to the milk and set it aside for a day or so to do its work.
Kefir (makes 2 cups)
1- 2 tablespoons milk Kifir grains.
2 cups fresh milk
Tools & Equipment
3 – 4 cup capacity clean glass jar with lid. The lid should not be completely airtight.
Strainer and spoon.
Wide mouthed jar or bowl
Sterilize the jar (including the lid!), strainer and Wide mouthed jar or bowl before use. A good cleaning followed by a hot (180º+) water. This is a necessary step in any fermentation process so as to avoid wild strains of bacteria from ruining your product.
Pour the cool milk into jar. Do not fill the jar more than 3/4 full, otherwise the milk may overflow at some point during the fermentation process.
Add the kefir grains.
Close the jar and gently shake the contents, then let stand at room temperature in a reasonably dark location for 24 – 48 hours. The longer the kefir is stored the thicker and sourer the resulting kefir will become.
When the desired level of fermentation and thickening has occurred – usually in 24 – 48 hours – Pour the contents of the jar into a strainer and strain the kefir into a suitable clean container to separate the kefir grains from the liquid kefir.
The resulting liquid kefir can be served immediately or stored in the refrigerator for several days. Alternatively, you can pour the kefir into a sterilized airtight vessel and store it at room temperature for up to 24 hours in order to make the kefir richer (sourer) and increase its nutritional value.
The solids that you’ve strained off are kefir grains and can be stored or you can wash out the fermenting vessel and start your next batch of kefir right then.
Kefir is a rich and creamy drink, but it can be quite sour in flavor. Many people add honey or fruit juices and/or nectars to the kefir in order to make a variety of smoothies. Kefir is also a wonderful ingredient in other dishes as a milk or cream substitute.
I hope you enjoy – especially you, Christy!