Friday, September 21, 2012

How to Make Kefir

There are lots of things in the health food market that come and go. People decide that such-and-such is a good alternative to sugar and everyone jumps on the bandwagon for the beginning, then slowly taper off to a different way. Even individually, we get excited about a new product or process and then drop it when it becomes too much work.

But kefir is one thing that I really love and have continued using because I feel like it makes me a healthier person. The process is not difficult, and I like the way I feel when I eat it.

What is kefir? "Kefir is a creamy, drinkable yogurt style fermented milk that tastes something like buttermilk" ( It's high in the natural kinds of probiotics that naturally occur in your gut--just like yogurt--but it has an even higher concentration of probiotics, as well as some strains that are not found in yogurt.

Why do you need probiotics? As you take antibiotics, or even as you eat foods that contain pesticides and water that contains chlorine, the natural, good bacteria in your digestion system gets killed. Kefir is a friendly way to help replace the good bacteria and keep your digestive system healthy and free from yeasts, disease-causing bacteria and fungi. Sounds great, right?

This is what kefir looks like after the 24 hour process.

This is the grains that make milk turn into kefir.

A closer look at the grains.

This is the bottles I make it in it. This is what it looks like after you pour the milk in.

I put the plastic over and the process begins.

I love to read the health benefits of kefir. Here are some I have found.

1. It is helpful for yeast infections, great for the intestines, and digestion problems.
2. I like the way I feel after drinking it.
3. I like that I can make my own. I know what's in it.
4. Kefir has also been around a long time and has a good track record.

So you can do your own research and see what you think. This was a site that had good info.  I have also cooked with it in place of yogurt and have been happy with the results. It has been fun to have a new thing to experiment with.

Where can you get kefir? While you can buy packaged kefir at most grocery stores now, if you are interested in making your own kefir, I have heard that many health food stores now sell the grains. If not, ask around to find someone in your area who may have some. The workers at your local health food store may be able to give you a recommendation of who to contact. The grains multiply, so anyone making their own should have extra every so often.

Directions on How to Make Kefir:

I have about 1 T of kefir grain to 1 C of milk. I use whole milk. (I know some people use goat milk, raw milk, almond milk, or coconut milk. It will not work as well with low fat milk.) So it is about 4 T of grain to 4 C of milk in my glass quart jar.

1. Get a clean quart jar put in about 4 T of kefir grain. Pour in 4 C of whole milk.

2. Cover the jar with plastic. Seal the plastic and poke some holes into the plastic, to let some air into it.

3. Then I place it in my cupboard away from the light. Let it sit for 24 hours.

4. I then pour the kefir mixture into either a glass or plastic bowl and scoop out the grains with a slotted spoon. You could also use a plastic colander. The recommendations I have seen have said no metal.

5. I then put the grain back into the jar and start the process over again. (Wash the bottles every couple times.) Any kefir I don't use will store up to 3 weeks in the fridge. You can keep it in the fridge in milk for a little while, but then you have to wake it up again when you want to make more. I have not done this yet.

Here are some recipes where we've used kefir in the past:

Green Berry Smoothie
Marion Berry Smoothie
Eggs Rancheros with Brown Rice
Meyer Lemon Whole Grain Oatmeal Rolls
Lemon Muffins with Kefir
Chicken, Salad, and Chips with Kefir

Kefir Fruit Smoothie
Serves 2

3 1/2 C kefir
1 C frozen blueberries
3 T protein powder
1 1/2 frozen banana
4 T flax and chia and oatmeal
1 1/2 C spinach (I sometimes use spinach I have frozen)

Blend it all up and enjoy. I do different variations. It does help to put frozen foods in it to get it cold, or the mixture will be warm. You can have fun with it. You can buy it from the store to try it out. Give it a try. :)

This is a Recipe Redux article for the month of Semptember. Check out these other great recipes on other healthful fermented foods!


  1. I went the lazy way and bought kefir but was really intrigued when doing research to make it. (I just waited until the last minute and didn't have to time to figure out where to get the grains.) But your post definitely has inspired me - what a great resource post this is!

    1. Thank You! I got them from a friend. I was so excited. I have heard you can get them from a health food store in a dried version too. I have also seem them for sale on line. You could also probably find someone in your area. I give them away when I have extras. They multiply.

  2. I love what you say about Kefir making you "feel healthier" I think if more people paid attention to how certain foods make them feel, we would have a lot less crazy dieting going on! You have also inspired me to make my own kefir next time & I love the photos of the little kefir grains :-) Of course this would be perfect for my grapefruit kefir sherbet!

    1. I agree with you. Listening to our bodies makes a lot of sense. Thanks! Have fun making kefir. :)

  3. I make yogurt all the time, but I haven't tried making kefir yet. It actually looks easier than making yogurt! I'll have to go buy some kefir grains :)

    1. Yes once you get in a routine. It is quite easy. I think it is easier than yogurt. :) Good Luck!