I’ve been in preparation mode this week, getting ready for my big trip. Yes, that one! The trip that requires conquering fear to fly on a big ol’ jet plane. To be honest, I’m shaking in my sandals.
I’ve decided it’s only right to stock the house with plenty of good food for Dustin and the kids while I’m away. When your wife blogs about food cooking is rarely a necessity. Monday, I loaded the kids in the car and headed to the health food store, all in the name of preparation.
After one climbing incident and a fifteen minute potty break, I was able to stock my cart full of fruit and veggies and a few convenience items for the daddy-kid weekend. I decided a special you-will-survive-without-me-treat of organic lollipops was a smart purchase. I was able to sneak the bag of (organic) sugary goodness in my cart and finally in the car without a single preschool-eye catching a glimpse of the enticing package.
At some point between the car and our front door my inquisitive four-year discovered the hidden pink bag, buried at the bottom of bananas and carrots. Digging instantly proceeded followed by, “Please, may I have one, please?”.
“Mommy is saving the lollipops, honey. They’re an extra special treat for later.” I said.
Piper’s eyes eagerly looked back at the bag, “Just one, pleasssse!”
“If you wait, they will taste even better.” I replied.
His blue eyes glared at me, then back at the bag of lollipops. His hands grasped tightly, waiting to be put to work opening the zip seal.
I decided reasoning with a four year-old holding a bag of sugar just wasn’t going to head anywhere. At least anywhere good. With raw chicken and my favorite cheddar cheese sitting in the hot car, I came to my senses, “Okay, just one. I’m going to keep the rest of the lollipops safe for later as a special treat.”
As I walked back to my car to unload my groceries, a phrase popped into my mind, “Good things are worth waiting for”. I smiled, thinking about Piper and the bag of colorful lollipops now in my hand. I also thought about milk kefir and you my dear friend, waiting patiently to make homemade milk kefir, eagerly anticipating a recipe. Today, the wait is over, and I promise it’s going to be so good–probiotic good. Because all good things are worth waiting for. Except, of course, if you’re four and really want a lollipop.
Homemade kefir is a probitotic drink. It’s made using a culture of yeast and bacteria (like a kombucha SCOBY) called, “grains”, a word used to describe the appearance not the ingredients.
Kefir is similar to yogurt in offering probiotic health benefits, as well as healthy gut-bacteria. Kefir has a thick, drinkable consistency and sour taste. I personally don’t enjoy the taste of kefir straight from a glass, so I add it to smoothies, baking, and make the most delicious spreadable cheese. Kefir is one of the simplest probiotic foods to make.
How to Make Milk Kefir
- 1 quart whole milk cows, goats, or coconut milk. Do not use ultra-pasteurized milk
- 1 TB milk kefir grains
- Place one tablespoon of milk kefir grains in a quart-size mason jar.
- Pour one quart of milk over the kefir grains.
- Cover the jar with a cheesecloth or breathable towel, secure with a rubberband. Label the jar with the date and time. Place the jar on the counter. Allow to sit at room temperature for 24 hours.
- After 24 hours stir the kefir. It will be thick. There may also be separation, this is normal. Using a strainer, strain the kefir to separate the grains from the milk kefir. Use either a bowl or clean mason jar for the kefir.
Step OnePlace one tablespoon of milk kefir grains in a quart-size mason jar.
Step TwoPour one quart of milk over the kefir grains.
Step ThreeCover the jar with a cheesecloth or breathable towel, secure with a rubberband. Label the jar with the date and time. Place the jar on the counter. Allow to sit at room temperature for 24 hours.
Step FourAfter 24 hours stir the kefir. It will be thick. There may also be separation, this is normal. Using a strainer, strain the kefir to separate the grains from the milk kefir. Use either a bowl or clean mason jar for the kefir.
Kefir grains don’t expire, so continue to repeat the process as desired. Over time your grains will grow and multiple, providing enough to share or make larger amounts of kefir. Keep kefir in the fridge and use in smoothies, baking (in place of milk), or making spreadable cheese. Store grains in water and keep in the fridge until you’re ready to culture more kefir.