Kefir is like a cross between milkshake and yogurt. This only means that you can obtain the benefits offered by both milk and yogurt from this fermented drink.
One of the nicest things about kefir is it’s so versatile. You can drink it straight up, whether chilled or at room temperature. You may also add it to your smoothies to make them creamier, tastier and a lot healthier. If you love whipping up dairy treats at home, you can actually use kefir as milk or yogurt substitute.
You can always buy kefir from your trusted health food store. Or you can make one from scratch. Yup, it’s really easy. All that has to be done is dunk some very important ingredients in a glass of milk.
And what are those important ingredients? They’re called “kefir grains”.
Because of the current popularity of kefir and the fact that more and more people nowadays love fermenting milk and a bunch of other ingredients, there are plenty of stores that are selling starter cultures, including kefir grains.
If you are steering clear of gluten, there is no need to be alarmed because kefir grains are not actually grains. They are called that way because they look like tiny sticky blobs — inside those blobs are beneficial bacteria that can turn ordinary milk into kefir, the regular consumption of which comes with numerous benefits like:
Stronger bones because it has calcium and phosphorous
Lifted mood, courtesy of its magnesium
Better digestion as it supplies your gut with friendly bacteria
Improved symptoms of asthma and various allergies
Increased resistance to invading disease-causing microbes
Lowered risk of cancer and digestive problems
If you are intolerant to lactose, you may be wondering if it’s perfectly fine for you to consume kefir on a regular basis. Well, a lot of those who are lactose intolerant are able to drink kefir regularly without any problem. It’s for the fact that the fermentation of milk causes the breakdown of lactose, turning it into lactic acid.
The only way to tell if you will be able to tolerate kefir very well like many lactose intolerant people across the planet is by consuming some of the fermented drink, and wait if you will develop unfavorable symptoms or not.
But now here comes the most exciting part: making kefir at home. Actually, you only need to take four very simple steps to turn milk into something that offers even more health benefits. Here they are:
Have a glass sterilized with boiling water. Pour milk into it. The best milk for the job is whole-fat cow’s milk. Can you use low-fat or skim milk? Yes, but there will be some differences between the resulting product and the real deal. Can you use coconut milk, almond milk or any other non-dairy milk? There’s always room for experimenting!
The next step to do is reach for a teaspoon that’s sterilized with boiling water. Use it to scoop out some kefir grains — about a heaping teaspoon only. Dunk the kefir grains in the glass of milk. Give it a good stir.
Grab a small piece of cheesecloth or kitchen towel, and cover the glass with it. Secure with a rubber band to ensure that it will stay in place and keep dust and insects at bay. Stash the glass of milk with kefir grains in it in a safe place in your kitchen. Wait for the fermentation process to complete for 24 to 48 hours.
You can strain your homemade kefir once the fermentation process is complete and enjoy it right away.