Cultured and fermented foods are awesome. Period. There, I’ve said it!
Kefir is no exception.
As a huge fan of all things aged, fermented, cultured, preserved, and pickled, it seemed like it was high time to make sure everybody out there knows just how easy it is to make homemade kefir yogurt. Rich in an unbelievably high quantity of probiotics, not many foods out there are able to deliver what kefir can in a single glass. It’s one of those superfoods that works to make you healthy from the inside out!
Think of it like boosted power yogurt.
We got pretty lucky with sourcing the kefir grains we use to make our kefir; one of our friends travels a metric ton, and she is a truly wonderful and friendly person who knows a lot of other people who travel the world, and someone somewhere along the line managed to get home with some kefir grains from Romania in her luggage, so we wound up with some seriously close to the original source kefir grains happening over here!
This is one of those cool power foods that, once you start making it at home, you really can’t bear to purchase it in the store any more. In that way, it’s kind of like kombucha, which is honestly just caffeinated tea with sugar in it. Once you know that, you can’t pay $3-10 a bottle any more!
Kefir is milk. It’s milk! You need the Kefir Starter, which is, of course, available on Amazon (if you don’t have a friend who has some already), but once you have that, you just want to keep those little cauliflower-looking grains alive, fed, and happy. Also like kombucha, if you have a friend who’s into this stuff, they probably would be thrilled to give you some! Both kombucha scobys and kefir grains multiply like mad when they’re happy, leaving the owner with more than they want to deal with!Think of it like boosted power yogurt! Click To Tweet
Enzyme-rich and even healthier than yogurt, this stuff is a good source of B vitamins and essential nutrients and even forms a complete protein! There are studies out there proving that what really makes kefir superior is the fact that the awesome bacteria in yogurt don’t really stick around, but the ones in kefir do and they work to colonize your intestinal tract, giving you lasting health benefits!
If you’re looking for a really well written and researched article about the benefits of kefir and probiotics in general, check out this article at Health Ambition that covers the topics in depth! It’s filled with great information about the nutritional benefits of both kefir and probiotics, what probiotics are, what they’re used for, and tons more. Check it out!
There are water-fed and milk-fed kefir, mine happen to live off of milk, which adds the bonus health benefits of milk consumption. Avoiding milk? It doesn’t work for everyone, but there are a ton of lactose-intolerant people who have no problem digesting kefir, most likely because those sweet little grains have done an awesome job of pre-digesting the lactose for you.
How to Make Healthy Homemade Kefir Yogurt
It’s ridiculously easy.
If your grains are brand new, give them a little rinse with some good milk.
Put them in a super-clean jar.
Add about 2 cups of milk for every 2 Tbs kefir grains, making sure to leave plenty of breathing room at the top of your jar.
Let it sit, either uncovered or with a breathable cloth over the top for 1-2 days, depending on how intense you like it! More intense=more sour=more nutritional benefits.
Drain in a very clean strainer, put in a very clean jar, and repeat!
Once it’s ready, you can drink it straight, add a little sweetness (I’m crazy about maple syrup and vanilla), or you can add it to just about any recipe that uses yogurt! Smoothies, salad dressings, vegetable dips, soups, and so on. Get creative and experiment a little! Not feeling like experimenting? Check out this recipe for the Reanimation Blackberry-Ginger Kefir Smoothie! It’s filled with enough nutrition to perk you up after a whole evening full of mistakes… Looking for a thicker kefir yogurt? I’ve found that if I put it in the fridge for a day or two with a little maple syrup in it, it keeps feeding and thickening while it sits. You wind up with a seriously Greek-yogurty kefir yogurt!
If you do a great job with your grains and keep them happy and fed, before you know it, you’ll have more kefir yogurt than you know what to do with!
(Then, unable to throw any away, you start to offer it to your friends and family… You might even try to force some of them to take some… Eventually, you might even start offering it to strangers on the street. At that point, you should probably be aware that you have become the Crazy Kefir Lady and might want to consider reevaluating your life choices…)
Okay. That’s probably worst-case scenario. Besides, even if that does happen, you’ll be the Crazy Healthy Kefir Lady!
I’m seriously not a doctor or any sort of health professional, but there are some well-written articles about the health benefits of kefir all over the web if you want to do some more reading! Check out:
Or, if you really just want a seriously thorough nutrition label for kefir, Nutrition Data has done the work for you!
Looking for another super healthy beverage? Check out this light and refreshing cleansing parsley tea! Of course, there’s also the Reanimation Smoothie if you want to use your kefir! Just looking for a pick-me-up? You might like the unbelievably simple Vietnamese Iced Coffee (with more great cold drink ideas)!