If you've ever made Kefir from powdered kefir starter you may have thought you needed to follow the instructions on the package. Not true! The instructions tell you to use a quart of milk, to heat it to 180º, let it cool to 100º and add the starter. None of this is true - it is so much easier than that. I may have the temperatures wrong because I threw out the instructions long ago but you get the idea
Following the directions means heating the milk - which means getting out a pot, later washing that pot, it means using a thermometer, later washing that thermometer, it means standing around watching milk almost boil, then standing around watching milk get almost back to room temperature. It means finding a container to store the kefir in so it can go into the fridge after it gets thick, then later washing that container. Following the instructions is also twice as expensive as not following them - as you will see.
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Step 1: Supplies
- 1/2 gallon of milk - I use organic whole cow's milk but you can use goat milk as well as lowfat milk.
- Kefir starter - available at Whole Foods and here on Amazon.
- spoon and cup.
Step 2: Mix and Pour
Pour out a bit of milk and add the culture to it. Mix it well and then just pour back into the milk container.
Step 3: Shake
Put on the cap and shake or turn it upside down 25 times or so.
I've made kefir this way for at least two years now with success every time.
Step 4: Wait 24 Hours
That's it, just wait 24 hours with the container sitting out of the fridge. After 24 hours you can test the consistency and see if it's as thick as you like, if not then give it a few more hours. Afterwards just put it in the fridge - it will stay delicious for at least a month, though it is unlikely it will not be drunk well before then. The milk container does get a nice bulge to it but that's OK.
You may use a few tablespoons of your homemake kefir to start another batch - the same way - by stirring it into a cup or so of milk and then pouring that mixture into your container of milk. I have hear that the powered starters make for a culture that gets weaker over time. I don't know if this it true because I get tired of kefir after a few months of eating it and take a kefir break for awhile.
Step 5: Kefir Soup
This may be weird sounding to all of you who are used to sweet kefir with fruit found on the grocery store shelves, but I eat mine in a soup bowl with a soup spoon, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt, chili powder and sesame seeds. Yummers.