Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Kefir, Kefir, Kefir

Move over yogurt, I have a new love in my life- and it's name is Kefir. 

Not to be confused with Kiefer, but wow can I not get through talking about Kefir without breaking out in that lady's accent!! Anyways, I digress... Let's move on.

Time to make some Kiefah! Gotta talk about my boyfwieeeenndddd.... 

Alright, seriously, here we go: 

Kefir is a fermented food which I'm all about these days. It's made by placing kefir grains in milk and then left out at room temperature until it thickens and takes on a consistency similar to thin yogurt.  Yogurt drinks/smoothies are pretty popular now so this fits right in with that. Also, did I mention how EASY it is to make this? Even easier than making yogurt!  

I drink it for the probiotics, same as with yogurt, but if you'd like to hear about some of the other benefits, lookie here. I'm super shocked that I haven't tried this stuff sooner! If you don't have access to kefir grains or want to give it a try before committing to making it yourself, you can find kefir (flavored or unflavored) at most grocery stores and for sure at your local health food store or co-op.

If you wanna be adventurous please continue reading: 

Everyone, please meet Kefir.

I think they look like cottage cheese. They're kind of spongy and wow do these puppies grow after a few ferments! The grains will continue to grow and multiply so when you get overwhelmed with the amount you have, give some away to friends!

To prepare your kefir grains for fermentation, simply toss the grains in a clean mason jar, top with milk, give it a stir, and then cover with cheese cloth.

I cover with the cheese cloth and then put the ring back on the jar to hold it in place. Then you just leave it out on your counter for 24-48 hours until the liquid thickens.

Oh well, you can't really tell from this photo but, it's thick and barely moving when I tilt it. Trust me.

You'll need to drain the kefir grains out so you'll want to get a mesh sieve and put it over a bowl. I just pour it into the sieve and then stir to remove most of the milk product from the grains. This is secretly my favorite part because I like seeing how much the grains have grown in just a day or so! I'ma nerd, I know.

Here you can better see it, sometimes it gets bubbly like this..

Then I just pour it into a glass with some honey and vanilla extract- instant vanilla smoothie!

Step by step: 

  1. Put kefir grains in clean mason jar
  2. Cover with any cow's milk (organic is best, I use pasteurized and they grow well, any fat content works)
  3. Stir with clean spoon to disperse grains
  4. Cover opening of jar with cheese cloth
  5. Secure cheese cloth with rubber band or canning ring 
  6. Set out of the way on a counter for 24-48 hours
  7. You'll know kefir is done when it has a pleasant tangy smell and is thickened 
  8. Strain kefir grains out using sieve, repeat steps
Important things to know:
  1. It's very important that the milk be at room temperature and be exposed to air for it to ferment in a decent amount of time. 
  2. If you want to slow down fermentation, cover the grains with milk, put a lid on it, and then put it in the fridge. The cooler temperature slows down the fermentation but they'll still have milk for food while you're taking a break! I've left my grains in the fridge for up to a week before I have to feed them again. 
  3. You have to make sure your kefir grains have food or they will die. They're kind of like having a pet. 
  4. Kefir grains are very resilient but extreme heat WILL KILL THEM!! 

After you've been making kefir a while, you may build up a surplus if you don't drink it everyday or perhaps don't know what all you can do with it. Here are some ideas:
  • Smoothies, (Der, but you can do vanilla or fruit or CHOCOLATE or PEANUT BUTTER *blows into a paper bag* You get the drift, experiment!) 
  • Overnight oats (Just replace the yogurt and milk with allll kefir baby) 
  • The most amazing waffles you will ever eat
  • Salad dressings (Such as these)
  • Soaking your flours or grains if you're into that sorta thing
  • Also, this is on my list: Banana Bread
  • Adding to soups, stir into cereal, whatever dude

So anyways, that's the schpeal on my new love.

But let's not forget an old love of mine....

The cutest little nugget I have ever seen.

No comments:

Post a Comment

What'cha thinking?