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We’re experimenting with making our own Kefir Yoghurt right now and we’re seeing good results which is exciting. I borrowed this book from our local library and it’s fantastic, with really easy steps to get into the world of probiotic foods, including milk kefir!

Fermented by Jill Ciciarelli, Love it! This will certainly be on my Christmas list!

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Kefir is really easy to make once you have established kefir grains. The best way to obtain them is from a friend or a Facebook networking group like Fermenting Freaks Forever New Zealand run by Erin Evis (thanks for setting this up Erin, it’s a great support!) click here to access the Fermenting Freaks Group on Facebook.

I tried using store bought freeze dried kefir grains but apparently they take a little while to get established and I learned quickly I didn’t have probiotic-fingers. So I put out a post on the Fermenting Freaks Forever New Zealand requesting some established grains and within a few hours, a lovely lady had contacted me and delivered me a small jar of grains with a helpful instruction note explaining everything I needed. So sweet! Don’t you just love the power of the internet to connect. It’s amazing! Once I get into the throws of kefir making and my grains grow, I’ll do the same in return and gift some out too. That’s the lovely, social thing the world of probiotic foods brings.

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So, I left the grains with the lid on at room temperature for 1 day until the grains thickened the milk. Then I strained the grains gently pushing the thick kefir liquid through a stainless steel strainer, leaving the grains in the mesh.

Now, I have read that metal can damage the grains (apparently stainless steel is ok) and metal can cut the grains too if handled roughly. So I will modify my strainer and switch to a plastic one, when I find one. I’ve spent the last few years trying to avoid plastic and now I’m on the hunt to find a plastic strainer but it’s proving difficult to find, even in the $2 shops! A rubber spatula or wooden spoon needs to be used to stir the grains/yoghurt through, again to avoid grain damage.

So once I strained off the kefir yoghurt, I placed this into the fridge to cool ready to tuck into later. For my first large batch of kefir, I just lightly washed the grains in some filtered water. Put 1L of Lewis Road Creamery Non Homogenised Full Fat Milk into a glass jar with a sealed lid (no metal exposing inside). The jar is a Kate’s Kitchen brand that I picked up at New World. And I left the jar with the lid closed in the pantry for 24 hours until the kefir thickened. Easy! Repeating the steps again to make more kefir.

I’ve just signed up to obtain raw milk through the Home Farm (deliveries in Auckland and the Waikato) and will make raw milk kefir in the near future to fully utilise the nutritional benefits milk can give us. Delicious!

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