Milk kefir is a fermented probiotic beverage that has been used for centuries by tribes living in the North Caucasus mountains in Russia, a region known for its people to have good health and longevity. It was introduced to the world by Russian immunologist and Nobel Laureate Dr. Illya Illyich Metchnikoff, who studied the benefits of kefir as it related to well-being and longevity.
Today, kefir is still used widely in Eastern Europe for its healthful benefits and is sold worldwide. You can find flavored kefir in your supermarket’s dairy aisle, but making it at home is far more economical and the kefir is fresh and has a higher number of cultures and probiotics than store bought.
Kefir “grains” aren’t actually grains but clusters of tiny living organisms that are healthy bacteria. Milk kefir is almost like a pourable yogurt in that it’s creamy and tangy, but kefir is loaded with way more probiotics and it’s so easy to make. You’ll be hooked!
Prep Time: 16 to 24 hours
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 16 to 24 hours
Here’s how to make it:
- Once you receive your kefir grains in the mail, place them in your clean glass jar, pour 1 cup of whole milk over them and close the jar with the plastic lid. Let it sit on the counter for 24 to 36 hours, or in a warm spot (kefir does well in rooms that are around 70 degrees F). The first time you use the grains, it takes a little longer to wake them up to ferment. Once they are fully functional, your fermentation time going forward can be anywhere from 16 to 24 hours.
- Once the time is up, give the mixture a little shake and open the lid and strain the kefir into another glass container. The strainer will catch the kefir grains that you will use again to make more kefir. Thoroughly clean your first jar with soap and water and dry it. Place the kefir grains back into the glass jar and pour another 1 cup of cold, fresh milk on top to start the process over again.
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