Monday, January 12, 2009

Got Kefir?

Becoming more common in health food stores are various kefir drinks. Pronounced ke- (like in kettle with a short "e") fear, but I have never heard anyone say it like this. "Key-fur"drinks from the dairy cases get pricey and are made with a powdered starter culture, which is inferior to the hard to find "grains." My kids call these starter grains "plumps,"which I find more fitting.

I used to make homemade yogurt twice a week, it was delicious, thick and creamy. The recipe I was using included heating the milk up to 180 degrees. When I made the decision to switch our family to raw milk, I didn't want to pasteurize it to make yogurt. I found that yogurt made without heating to high temperatures separated into curds and whey so the taste and texture was not as appealing. In my research for a better recipe I came across kefir and set out to look for the grains to make my own at home with raw milk. I had talked to so many people trying to track some down and finally a fablous woman in my ward was so gracious to introduce me to her friend that used them. She shared with me and now we enjoy the benefits of this super food. Kefir is slightly creamy with sour flavor similar to buttermilk (in fact I use it as buttermilk in my baking.) My kids drink it straight, I prefer it in a smoothie or at least with a few drops of flavored stevia, like English Toffee.

Health Benefits

  • Easily digested

  • Cleanses the intestines

  • Provides beneficial bacteria and yeast

  • High in vitamins and minerals

  • Contains complete proteins

Milk is put in a glass jar and plastic lid with a 7 to 1 ratio of kefir grains, then left at room temperature for about 24 hours. The cultured milk is strained in order to separate, and retrieve the kefir grains from the liquid-kefir. The grains are added to more fresh milk to repeat the simple process for the next batch. This procedure can be performed on an indefinite basis... for kefir grains last forever!

For more information Dom is the kefir master. Cultures for Health is a good company that sells kefir grains online.


  1. Click on the "Dom" link. He has anything and everything you would ever want to know about kefir on his site.

  2. Where do you buy kefir from? Also, do you sell grains?

  3. I got the kefir grains from a friend of a friend, they just keep reproducing and I am willing to share. I have seen them for sale on ebay. I do not sell any products at this time.

  4. I would like to buy some kefir grains from you if that would be possible. I live in Mesa also, and I am going to take one of your classes with a mutual friend, Emily C. maybe we could talk more about it then? Also, sorry for the weird "tommygun" that comes up when I post a message, I am not sure how to change that. That is my son's nickname and I guess my husband uses that name when he leaves comments:)

  5. Can I make this with rice milk?

  6. I would love to share my grains with anyone who has a real interest. Hope to see you soon.

    Sara, people make kefir water so I am sure that rice milk would work...not sure about how that effects the health benefits though.

  7. Can I ruin kefir grains? The last few batches haven't turned out quite right. It has a funny scent and separates much more. HELP!

  8. Yes, kefir grains can die if left in the same milk for too long, exposed to high temperatures or left without milk for more than a few hours. When I got back from vacation once my grains had turned yellow and shrivled, and the kefir smelled like old milk. I tried making new kefir with them, but it never really thickened and just got old milk stink. I thought they were dead, but gave them a good rinse with water and tried one last time and they revived. Still have those grains today. So try the rinse and if it doesn't start making a sweet yeasty smell just get new grains. The separation could be from the temperatures rising or just leaving it out longer than your usually do. Mine does that too.

  9. Have you done a post about why and how you switched to raw milk yet? I would LOVE to hear about your experience and where you find it. My daughter just turned two this month and she is still breastfed but I'm considering giving her raw milk instead of pasteurized when I wean her. What sites helped you understand the reasons behind your decision? If you have time, I'd love to pick your brain! Thanks for all this help, I really am trying desperately to change my husband and my bad eating habits while my kiddo is still young!! I just started using quinoa thanks to you and hope to make more and more changes! Thanks again.

  10. Basicly I am for whole foods and against processing so it was a sensible choice to me. I am a fan of the Weston Price Foundation and their push for quality real foods. Here their raw milk link:

    Kuddos to you for pushing for a change. It happens little by little, but once you are committed, it comes easily.

  11. whether the difference between kefir and yogurt?
    Which is better between them?
    thank for your information

  12. Kefir is better, it has twice as many strains of friendly bacteria, beneficial yeast, is easier to digest and works as a digestive aid in your intestinal tract.

    Not to say yogurt isn't great two, but if I have to choose between them, hands down, I choose kefir.


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