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 you 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!
All you need is a large glass jar, a strainer (preferably 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. I typically use goat’s milk. Do not use ultra-pasteurized milk, it can not be cultured.
My mother had some extra kefir grains that she brought to me. You might find some at the local farmer’s market. You can purchase them online as well. I have heard that 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!
So here’s the very simple directions on how to make your own 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. I usually use Goat’s Milk.
Cover the jar. Use a cheesecloth, or a a coffee filter, or a breathable towel and a rubber-band. You can use the lid, but Do not put it the way on the jar, leave it slightly ajar. I place a coffee filter over the top of the jar and hold it in place with a rubber-band.
Place it in a cupboard, or somewhere away from any direct sunlight. Allow the mixture to ferment for 24 hours. You will notice it has fermented when the milk is a bit thicker, there is some separation and it tastes slightly sour.
After 24 hours has passed, stir the milk and use a strainer to catch the kefir grains as you pour the mixture into your container. I am just using a plastic strainer I found at HEB, but you can find some good ones online.
Keep your kefir in the fridge, or you can leave the strained kefir at room temperature for an additional 24 hours. This increases the nutritional value slightly and ferments most of the lactose away.
Place the grains in a clean glass jar, and start the process over from the beginning. 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
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1/2 frozen banana
- 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 2 packets stevia or 1 Tbsp honey or maple syrup to desired sweetness
Place all ingredients into a blender.
Blend until it is smooth.
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