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A Heart For Home: Kefir in Our Kitchen

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Kefir in Our Kitchen

Our family has been making our own kefir for a couple months now and we love it! I first read about kefir on Tammy's website, Tammy's Recipes, in her post All About Kefir. As I read more information on How to Make Homemade Kefir and watched her Video Tutorial I was increasingly interested.

Kefir is similar to a drinking-style yogurt. It contains beneficial yeast as well as friendly ‘probiotic’ bacteria found in yogurt. The naturally occurring bacteria and yeast in kefir combine symbiotically to give incredible health benefits when consumed regularly. Kefir is also filled with valuable vitamins and minerals and contains easily digestible complete proteins.
For those who are lactose intolerant, kefir’s beneficial yeast and bacteria provide lactase, an enzyme which consumes most of the lactose left after the culturing process. This makes kefir easy to digest even for those who cannot drink milk!
I won't go into the steps of making your own homemade kefir because Tammy does a wonderful job walking kefir newbies through the entire process.

Fresh kefir, and a jar of milk just starting to ferment

Since we've had our own kefir grains we've tried Tammy's Strawberry Banana Kefir SmoothiesFluffy Kefir Pancakes and Smooth and Creamy Maple-Sweetened Kefir. We've loved every recipe!

Strawberry Banana Kefir Smoothie

Fluff Kefir Pancakes
photo credit: Tammy's Recipes

We even have begun our own kefir experiments by substituting kefir for buttermilk and milk in many recipes like these Peanut Butter Pancakes and this Buttermilk Syrup (which actually boiled too long and ended up making delicious Kefir Caramels once refrigerated).

We've now been able to pass some of our growing kefir grains to one of our neighbors who has also been enjoying the benefits of fresh homemade kefir. In fact we have some kefir ice cream from our neighbor waiting  in our freezer to be devoured.

Vanilla Kefir Ice Cream

If you're looking to purchase some kefir grains to begin making your own homemade kefir they can be found online at Cultures for Health under Starter Cultures.

These are dried milk kefir grains (they also carry water kefir grains). These grains can be rehydrated within 5 to 7 days and will continue to make kefir and grow just like fresh kefir grains.

Remember that if you purchase kefir grains you can quickly recover your initial cost by the money you'll save making your own kefir as opposed to buying store bought kefir. Also your grains will continue to grow and you'll be able to bless others with your extra kefir grains.

Cultures for Health

Some More Kefir Links:
Health Booster: Kefir @ Passionate Homemaking
Video Blog: How to Make Coconut Milk Kefir @ Keeper of the Home
How to Make Coconut Milk Kefir @ Passionate Homemaking
Strawberry Coconut Milk Kefir Frozen Dessert Recipe @ The Healthy Cooking Coach
How to Make Coconut Kefir @ Just Making Noise

Homemade kefir is definitely a Finer Thing.

Have you ever tried kefir? What about making your own kefir? We'd love some new kefir recipes if you have any to pass on.

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Anonymous Tammy L said...

Loved this post, Allyson! :) We're big kefir fans (as you know) and I'm glad your family is enjoying it too! :)

April 14, 2011 at 9:40 AM  
Blogger Attila & Tamara said...

We've been making our own kefir for a couple of months now. We love it in smoothies. Just make the ice cream! Amazing! Tastes just like the wonderful yogurt gelato you can get in Europe. Delicious!

April 16, 2011 at 10:46 AM  

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