Did you know it’s super easy to make your own kefir? Kefir is a powerful probiotic full of nutrients. Use it in this Blueberry-Orange-Vanilla Kefir Smoothie!
I have been drinking kefir a lot more these days to help my digestion. The probiotics in kefir are great for a healthy gut! But buying the already-made kefir all the time can get pricey, and I don’t always like all of the ingredients that are added. I started looking into making my own, and found that it’s super easy!
Materials: All you need is a large glass jar, a plastic strainer (make sure it’s plastic–strainers made from aluminum, iron, brass or copper are likely to release toxic metals into your kefir or on the grains), kefir grains, and milk. Raw milk is preferable, or milk from grass-fed cows, or goat’s milk. Do not use ultra-pasteurized milk, it can’t really be cultured and won’t give you the best results. I usually go to Whole Foods and use Lazy Meadows or Kalona SuperNatural milk, which is made from grass-fed cows, organic, non-homogenized, and batch pasteurized. They are cream-top so you need to shake them up a bit.
Where to find Kefir Grains: If you happen to have a friend that makes kefir, they might have some extra grains they can part with. My mother had some extra kefir grains that she brought to me, but you might find some at the local farmer’s market. You can purchase them online as well. Yemoos and Cultures for Health are great places to buy them. Once you start making kefir, your grains will start to multiply and you will have extras that you can lend to others!
How to make your own milk kefir:
- Place a tablespoon of kefir grains into a large glass jar. I use a quart-sized mason jar.
- Add 2 cups of milk to the jar.
- Cover the jar with breathable fabric, such as cheesecloth, or a coffee filter, and secure with a rubber-band.
- Allow the kefir to ferment for 24 hours at room temperature out of direct sunlight. You will know it has fermented when the milk has thickened and it tastes a bit sour. There might be some separation.
- Once it has fermented for 24 hours, stir the milk with a wooden spoon and use a plastic strainer to catch the kefir grains as you pour the kefir into your container. This is the plastic strainer I use.
- Place it in a sealed jar in the fridge to enjoy immediately, or you can cover and leave the strained kefir at room temperature for an additional 24 hours. This will increase the nutritional value slightly and further reduce the lactose content. This is what I prefer to do.
- Place the kefir grains back into the jar and start the process over again!
And that’s it! Pretty simple!
If you want to take a break from making more kefir, cover the grains in milk in a sealed jar and keep in the fridge. Replace the milk every 7 days.
You can drink it as is, or eat it with granola, or add it to smoothies. Drinking some every day has improved my digestive system. The fermentation makes it easier to digest, and it is filled with complete proteins and valuable enzymes. Drinking kefir is a great way to help balance out your gut flora.
This is the smoothie recipe that I use, and one of my favorite ways to start the day:
- 1 cup kefir see instructions above
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1/2 frozen banana
- 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 Tbsp honey or 2 packets stevia
Place all ingredients into a blender.
Blend until it is smooth.
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