I’m excited to share with you this new project that I’m doing for the blog. I will be having a series of posts from real kefir users who will share their personal experiences, tips and favorite kefir recipes to us. This will be real, great content so we can know more about kefir from people who have done it all.
My first post is from a nutrition health coach who’s been spreading the word about the health benefits of fermented foods. Let’s all discover how kefir has changed her life and maybe learn a few of her kefir tricks. 🙂
Kefir User: Andrea
Kefir user since: 2015
Tell us something about yourself: Integrative Nutrition Health Coach with a background in Holistic Nutrition. I teach others about the benefits of fermented foods. I was introduced to fermenting through the works of Donna Gates, Sandor Katz, Sally Fallon, Summer Bock and Dr. Natasha Campbell to name a few.
What type of keifr are you making? Water, Milk or both?
How do you make your kefir? Any tips you’d like to share to have a healthy kefir culture?
I only use spring water and unprocessed cane sugar with my water kefir grains. My first ferment is 3-6 days depending upon room temperature. I remove the grains and then do a second ferment on the counter with pure fruit juice in a sealed “swing top” bottle until nice and fizzy and then refrigerate. I release the pressure from these bottles once daily during the second ferment and while they are in the refrigerator. Best to open bottles over the sink to avoid a mess. My favorite is to add fresh squeezed blood orange juice when they are in season.
After straining, I put my grains in new sugar water for a new batch or simply to rest. Every week or so I put a date or a prune in the grains and sugar water. I discard the dried fruit after a few days because the grains seem to grow better.
Rules I follow for healthy water kefir grains are to avoid any water that might contain chlorine of fluoride, dissolved sugar completely and allow water to return to room temp before adding grains, only sealing the water kefir after grains have been removed and keep the grains fed when storing.
For Milk Kefir I only use organic reduced fat milk. I use 1 heaping tablespoons of grains for 3 cups of milk. Depending on temperature kefiring can take 8-12 hours. My grains need to be watched because their activity can vary. I have over fermented because I didn’t watch carefully for signs of “pockets”. I often put a batch in the fridge if I think it is almost ready and I want to go to bed. It slows down the fermentation enough so that it hasn’t totally gone to curds before morning. If it does, I make kefir cheese.
I only drink/use a quart per week so my grains are often resting in light cream in the refrigerator. I don’t rinse my grains with milk but I will strain two or three times over a bowl using the strained kefir to “wash” the thicker kefir from the grains. The only “rules” I follow is to use organic milk, plastic utensils and strainers, store in glass with a silicone lid and keep the grains fed.
Only other thing I do is occasionally the grains float to the top when fermenting. I give a gentle stir or swirl to get as much of the milk in contact with the grains. I don’t shake them because they are only covered with a coffee filter and elastic band.
Lastly, since I have both in my kitchen I do keep them separate so that there can be no cross contamination. Not sure if that is a real problem but I have heard of others doing the same with their ferments.
How has taking kefir improve your health? What benefits have you experienced?
My belly is happy and my digestion is good.
What is your best way of taking/drinking kefir? Please share with us your ultimate kefir recipe. 🙂
My favorite ways to use milk kefir are:
Smoothies (blended with fruit or maybe a tiny bit of homemade preserves and a tablespoon of ground flaxseed)
Home made ranch dressing replacing kefir for the buttermilk
Baking anything calling for milk (especially corn bread and buscuits)
Waffles or Pancakes
Want to learn more about her work? Visit her site here!