KEFIR

A couple of people replied to my post about making your own kefir. I was given some grains (which are actually more like a dollop of soft cheese) by a friend although ordered hers originally from a website. Sorry she can't remember which one. They come in a small amount of liquid apparently and with instructions.

Once you've got your first batch of kefir you use a non metal spoon to remove the grains to a container with a lid, not a metal one. Add enough whole milk to generously cover them but leave some space for expansion i.e. don't fill with milk right up to the lid. Put the container in the fridge to "go to sleep".

When you've used up your kefir you make more by taking the grains out of the milk with a non metal spoon and putting them in a bowl. Add fresh whole milk - I make enough to last me several days- cover the bowl and leave them out of the fridge for 12-24 hours. Unless the weather is hot I do about 24 hours.

You then remove the grains from the mix (I use a plastic sieve) and put them back in the fridge in fresh whole milk to repeat the process.

Keep your kefir i.e. the liquid the grains were in, in the fridge.

It's better just to have a small amount maybe a couple of spoonfuls at first until your gut gets used to it then you can build up. The more kefir you make the bigger the blob of grains gets so you can give some away to friends after a while.

I take my kefir every day with my vitamin D as that needs something fatty to be absorbed properly. I intend to get some vitamin K2 to take at the same time.

The kefir certainly helps my colitis and hopefully is strengthening my bones.

There have been some interesting features on Radio 4 recently about the benefits of other fermented food.

By the way if anyone doesn't take dairy you can make kefir with coconut milk apparently.

Ruth

11 Replies

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  • Thank you, that's such an interesting post. I have been wanting to make kefir but haven't known how to go about it and also haven't wanted to have milk. I had been thinking of trying water kefir with fruit juice. However now that you have mentioned coconut milk that's great - I would much rather try it with that. Your explanation and directions are so clear btw. Excellent.

  • Thanks, let me know how you get on Katy.

    Best wishes Ruth

  • Thanks, will do.

    Best wishes Katy

  • I passed a Polish shop the other day when out and about and got myself a bottle of Kefir. I was interested to know what it tasted like. I am totally hooked. :-D

    It is also cheap. I know I can make it but have to find where to get the "seeds" from to start it off. ;)

    I wish Kefir was sold just down the road where all our shops are.

  • Hi Kaarina. My friend got her first culture on the internet from a health food type place. She can’t remember which one. She recollects she only paid about £6 over a year ago although when I looked it was up to about double that. Think the grains come in a little bag of liquid.

    The more you make the bigger the lump of grains gets. She divided hers so I didn’t have to buy any. Once you’ve got them the only cost is the whole fat milk you need to make it/feed the grains.

    Although I love coconut milk and tried kefir made with it I actually preferred the milk one.

    If you make your own you can get the consistency you want.

    Best wishes Ruth

    Ps where does your pretty name originate from?

  • Finland :)

  • Never been but hear it’s beautiful. Best wishes Ruth

  • Hi ladies,

    I was interested in the posts about Kefir and decided to buy some. I found some bottles in the Polish section in Asda yesterday. They were in the aisle near the yoghurts etc.

    I quite liked the taste but don't know how much and how often to drink it.

    Thanks.

  • This is what I read from this link: yemoos.com/pages/milk-kefir...

    How much kefir should I drink?

    It's smart to start anything new in small amounts, kefir being no exception to that rule. You may drink as much as you wish eventually, being reasonable. Ask yourself how much milk you would normally consume in a day, making sure not to leave out other important foods or meals. A usual amount is around 1-4 cups daily. Balance is key to good health. Some people struggle with it at first possibly because of its acidic nature, carbonation, alcohol, or large population of probiotics (or any combination of those). It is a wise idea in this case to take it slowly to let your body and digestion get acquainted with it. Start with 1/8 cup a day (you can even mix this into a full glass of water or fruit juice at first), then gradually increase to 1/4 for a week or so (maybe skipping a few days here and there to give your body a break). Most people find it helps to first try your kefir with meals, such as a little with breakfast. After a week or two, try increasing it again in this fashion until you gradually reach amount you wish to consume. Kefir can be used medicinally in large amounts for a short period if desired (such as after chemo-therapy, where 4 cups a day may be helpful). Following the advice of others, we typically give ourselves a break once a week or so, where we do not consume kefir for at least 1 day. It's never a great idea to eat the same thing continually without a break (just like its never recommended to exercise continually without a break - the body needs time for recovery and variety). Even in Tibet there's a belief that it's best to drink only 2 cups a day and after 20 days take a 10 day break, completely abstaining from kefir.

  • The friend who introduced it to me suggested starting with a spoonful or so and gradually building it up. Think she has about half a pint a day although I have less, maybe half that.

    I’ve never seen the bought version. Maybe if it’s more like milk consistency it’s not as strong. Depending on how long I leave the brew out of the fridge it’s more like yogurt consistency which I like. You can then either drink it or put it on fruit or cereal

    Best wishes Ruth

  • Thanks Kaarina and Ruth,

    On one of the sites selling three week supplies of Kefir, I read today that they advise starting on 170ml. each morning before breakfast.

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