Doesn’t that look good?! Here, try some.
It’s raw milk kefir with raspberries and a little bit of honey in it. I made it just for you, and it’s loaded with probiotics, and it promotes healthy digestion. Your gut and taste buds will thank you 🙂
Kefir is one of the simplest probiotic drinks to make. All you need are some kefir grains (named for the look, not for the ingredient) and raw milk. We get our milk from Lucy, our cow, but you could also use goat’s milk as well.
I usually make one half gallon jar at a time for our family, and it lasts throughout the week. One thing I love about having kefir on hand is that its the perfect ‘on-the-go’ snack or breakfast. Once it’s made, there’s no need for blending or mixing. Just pour in a drinking glass, or my favorite- a mason jar, and you’re set!
Alright, first things first. Before you attempt to make kefir, you’ll need to get your hands on some kefir grains. You can ask around in your community to see if anybody will give you some (they multiply quickly, and anybody with grains will most likely be happy to give you enough to start). Otherwise, you can buy some online. Or better yet, let us know, and we can send you some of ours!
To start, skim the cream off of your raw milk. You won’t need the cream, so this would be a perfect time to try making butter if you haven’t already. Step one, check. Now for step two, place kefir grains in your jar of milk and cover with a cheesecloth (or breathable towel) and secure with a rubber band.
You’re eighty percent done! I told you this was easy 😉
Now let it sit for 24-48 hours on your counter.
After the 24 hour mark, you’ll want to check to see if the kefir has thickened into a yogurt-like consistency. If it seems to be on the runny side, just cover it back up and let it sit for another 24 hours. Separation is a natural occurrence, so no need to worry.
Also, the amount of time you let it sit is more of a preference, and you’ll get familiar with what you like as you make more batches; you won’t ruin it if either way you choose . Sometimes mine gets left on the counter simply because I’m busy or forgot about it, and it still tastes delicious!
After you’ve decided that the consistency is about right, wash your hands and set out a pint sized jar and a medium sized bowl. For this next step, your goal is to retrieve the grains from the milk kefir you just made, so that you can reuse them next time.
Option 1: Set a strainer on top of the bowl, and slowly pour your entire jar of kefir over it to separate the grains from the milk kefir. Place the grains in the pint sized jar, seal with a lid and let sit in the fridge until ready to use next time.
Option 2: Remember I said there would be some separation that would occur? You can see it pictured above. Take a spoon and scoop out the top part that separated and place in the bowl. The top part is where most of the grains hideout, but if you are more of a perfectionist than I and want to make sure that no grain is left behind, then maybe stick to option #1 😉
Once you think you’ve spooned out most of it, then place your hands in the bowl and fish out all of the grains with your fingers (this is my preferred method!) and place in the pint sized jar. The grains are not hard to fish out, and this is a fun step for the kids to try (with clean hands of course)!
After the grains are retrieved out of the kefir milk, you are ready for the next step. If you don’t want to flavor your kefir but prefer a plain taste, then go ahead and skip this step. Many people choose to add kefir to smoothies or in baking (in place of milk) and don’t need it flavored, but if you’re like me and drink it solo, you may want some flavor.
My favorite choice is raspberries, but you can experiment by adding a variety of different fruits to it.
Place the kefir milk into a blender and add 1/4 cup of fresh or frozen fruit as well as 2 tablespoons of honey.
Blend until smooth.
Look at that wonderful, creamy consistency!
After blending, simply place it back in the half gallon sized jar and seal with a lid. Place in the fridge for 24 hours. This last step ensures that it is chilled, and by sealing it, carbonation is created and gives the kefir drink a perfect amount of fizz.
That’s it! When you’re ready to drink it, just pour it into a jar, stick a straw in it, and sip! Kefir is very filling, so you don’t need much to feel satisfied!