How To Make Milk Kefir + A Yummy Kefir Smoothie Recipe!

How To Make Milk Kefir + A Yummy Kefir Smoothie Recipe!

What's healthy for you and so versatile for many uses? What is made from fresh milk and full of great-for-you probiotics? What can you make with just a few minutes of work each day? Milk kefir!

Why Learn How To Make Milk Kefir?

For many reasons! First, it's a cultured product with both yeast and bacteria which are beneficial to your digestive system. These organisms lend an effervescence to kefir that isn't present in other fermented dairy products, like cheese and yogurt. Of course, if you are allergic to milk in any way, proceed with caution before making and drinking milk kefir. Some have found, however, that when they make the switch to fermented milk, they are better able to digest it. Proceed with caution when using this product in that circumstance, please. Second, milk kefir is so easy to make! Milk kefir cultures at room temperature -- no babysitting or thermometer-watching! All you need is fresh milk, a Kefir Starter Culture, and a Mason jar.

About Dry Kefir Starter Culture

If you're at all familiar with making kefir, you are probably accustomed to kefir grains -- cauliflower-like globes that you transfer from batch to batch. Kefir grains are a SCOBY or symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeasts. It is a living organism that grows over time as it eats the lactose (milk sugar) in milk. Using a dry kefir culture has one main advantage over kefir grains: convenience! Rather than having to keep your grains in fresh milk every 24 to 48 hours to keep them alive and healthy, you can simply take a break from making kefir whenever you like with a dry kefir starter culture. Once you are ready to make kefir, you will need good, quality milk. Fresh raw milk is best, but be sure that whatever you use has been produced under sanitary conditions. Use the highest quality milk you can afford, preferably organic, if raw milk is not an option for you. 

How To Make Milk Kefir With A Dry Kefir Starter Culture

First, take 1 quart of cold milk from the fridge, add your dry kefir starter culture, and stir gently to mix in. If you are using goat milk, you will need to add a full packet of starter culture to only 2 cups of milk as it doesn't thicken like cow's milk. This is because of the different proteins in goat's milk. If you are using low fat or skim milk, you will need to add 2 teaspoons of non-fat milk powder to the quart of fresh milk. This adds the proteins needed to make the kefir thicker. Next, add a lid and leave it on the counter for 24 to 48 hours. It will become thick, but still liquid, like a drinkable yogurt. Alternatively, if you are concerned at all about bacteria in your milk, heat the milk gently just about boiling, stirring constantly to avoid burning and allow it to cool. Once cool, you can add the culture starter and proceed as before. After 24 hours, check your cultured milk. It will have a distinctive "sour" smell to it, but it shouldn't smell bad or "off". Think similar to yogurt, but a bit more yeasty. Transfer the kefir to a different jar, then place in the fridge for storage and use. To start the next batch, simply take 2 Tablespoons of the fermented kefir and place in a clean jar with a quart of fresh milk and continue the process. Don't add more than that, or your kefir can quickly become very sour. You can make 7 batches of kefir before you need a new starter culture. After 7 batches, simply start the process over with a brand new starter.

Using Your Kefir In This Yummy Kefir Smoothie Recipe

You can make yummy kefir smoothies by placing kefir in a blender with frozen fruit and greens for added nutrition. My favorite recipe is:
  • 1 quart kefir made with a Dry Kefir Starter Culture
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves
Add all the ingredients to a blender, and blend until smooth. If it's too thick, add up to 1/2 cup of water or fresh juice to the blender.

Do you know how to make milk kefir? Have you ever used a dry kefir starter culture?

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