KEFIR | the ultimate [and easiest] how-to guide | part I

milk kefir jar

Kefir | the ultimate [and easiest] how-to guide |

Whether you’ve heard of kefir before or not, there’s just one thing you need to remember.
It’s gonna change your life.

Call it what you like kee-fer or keff-ir, drinking this supercharged fermented elixir elevates your body,  immune system & energy levels into the stratosphere. If there’s one habit I’d recommend EVERYONE to include in their daily life. This is it!
Kefir come in two general types, milk + water grains. Not to worry if you don’t do dairy, you can still enjoy the milky strain. These little kefir grains love to get their ferment on in coconut milk too.

 

kefir grain close up

 

This week we’ll start with MILK KEFIR.

What exactly is it?

Kefir Grains are a combination of bacteria and yeast which form into little jelly like structures (that look a bit like cauliflower) called grains. When placed in milk, these kefir grains metabolise various sugars in the milk (lactose in the case of dairy milk), turning the milk into a slightly acidic drink brim full of supercharged gut beneficial bacteria .

So long story short, they chow down on the milk and produce probiotics in return in the form of a drink called Kefir.

 

How to prepare:

here’s what you need~ 
kefir grains, 1/4-1 tsp to begin
milk of choice – non dairy [coconut- fresh, canned or UHT // soya- fresh, carton – non GMO + organic // cashew – homemade // etc] , dairy [cow, sheep, goat- all preferably organic or raw although normal milk will do]
glass jars
plastic strainer
plastic spoons [kefir doesn’t react so well with metal so try to use high quality BPA free plastic utensils]
lid or clean cotton/muslin + elastic bands

this is what you need to do~
1// sterilise all the equipment
with hot water
2// place the kefir in the cooled glass jar
3// pour milk of choice on top.
cover with lid or cloth fixed with an elastic band around the mouth of the jar
4// let is ferment on the counter top for 1-3 days depending on the temperature in your kitchen and how tangy you like it [ warmer = quicker fermentation ]

5// decant the fermented kefir through the sieve into a clean jar. use the plastic spoon to gently work it all through the sieve revealing your kefir grains again.
6// finally place the kefir back into a sterilised glass jar and begin the process all over again.
7// store in the fridge. SIMPLE.

 

How to eat, drink + enjoy:

There are basically endless ways to enjoy your kefir. It’s your new best friend for sure. Try these suggestions:
// drink just as it is, or with added juice, sweeteners or stevia. start off slowly as your stomach and digestive system gets used to the supercharged health effects
// mix with olive oil, spices and herbs to use a dressing for salad, tempeh, steak…
// mix with nut butter + cocoa to make a probiotic whopper chocolate spread
// add to your fav smoothie
// use as you would any other cold milk or yoghurt product

+++read the extra tips below for more details on how to ferment like a pro.

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Make sure you catch parts II and III of our Kefir series in the coming weeks!

Once you have your production/consumption show in full, effortless, swing I’ll cover off other must know info, such as:
~Water Kefir- How to ferment like a PRO.
~how to grow your kefir grains so you can bring your fermentation adventures to another level or share the grains with friends
~how to consume for optimal benefit
~how to incorporate kefir into other recipes- making fermented food a ubiquitous staple in your kitchen
~why you should have a few varieties kefir on the go at the same time
~troubleshooting 101
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Tips:

if you use a lid with the glass jar ensure that there is room for gases to escape. last thing you want is a milky kefir explosion when you open the jar to decant. if you do this you need to keep the jar in a cupboard where no insects or fruit flies can get inside and infest your grains.

don’t heat your kefir. heating will destroy all the live probiotics, which are the exact reason kefir is so fantastic in the first place. this explains why pasteurising kefir is so counterproductive. shop bought kefir, I’m looking at you! duh!

store your final decanted fermented milk drink in the fridge. keep the ongoing brew of kefir grains mixed with milk at room temperate.

using non dairy milks can sometimes be a bit hit and miss. almond or hemp milk from cartons have never produced good results for me, for instance. shop bought dairy milk alternatives tend to have a whopper load of ingredients in them from sweeteners, thickeners and emulsifiers to low quality vitamins. kefirs like to keep things simple so try to choose a milk with fewer and higher quality ingredients

keep all your equipment used during the fermenting process separate from other utensils and sterilise with hot water/vinegar before each use. kefir is a particular mix of bacteria and yeast so understandably they don’t like other bacteria invading their turf. also make sure to replace any scratched or damaged utensils with fresh new ones. fermentation hygiene is the way to go!

++++If you’re in Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia or Ireland drop me a line to request some kefir grains of your very own~  hello@fitgreenlean.com

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by The Big Noise

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