Experimenting with Kefir

Currently at the Hutt, there are prickly pear and yucca offcuts sprouting roots in jars of water on top of the gas unit, and another jar of scary-looking milk slowly fermenting out on the table. I don’t think anyone would be surprised if one of these days I go full mad scientist and start wandering around with frizzy hair and a coat, muttering to myself.

Oh, wait…

Anyway, Kefir: It’s home-made fermented milk and looks about as disgusting as it sounds. Never fear! It’s basically a runny kind of Greek yoghurt, only with tons more probiotics up in there. You can chug it down on its own, add some honey and pop it on your museli, or (my favourite) just throw it in your blender instead of yoghurt the next time you make a smoothie.

Still not convinced?

All I can say is it’s waaay cheaper than yakult, easy to make, and more effective than probiotic tablets. It helps with bloating and other, umm, feminine issues, and I’ve also noticed a slight difference to my skin since including kefir in my diet.

I’d very much recommend getting on this stuff after a round of antibiotics too. Those things are nasty.

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Make a meal of it:
You need:
1. Kefir grains. I got mine from an online store originally, but they multiply so if you want to give it a go I can give you my extras. The grains are little white lumpy things that feed on the lactose and whatever else is in milk. You need about a teaspoon to get started.
Side note: Yes, this means kefir is safe for the lactose-intolerant, because the grains break it down.
2. Milk. I use the unhomogenized full cream milk from Paris Creek, because I like to eat the cream from the top first it’s the most ‘whole’ milk I can find. Any milk works though, except for UHT. For things like soy and coconut milk, other mad scientists recommend switching the grains back to dairy every few weeks so they can refresh themselves.
3. A mason jar, because we’re trendy like that. Really you just need a glass jar with a lid.

How to:
1. Put one teaspoon of grains into your jar along with a cup or so of milk. The more milk, the longer it will take to ferment.
2. Close the jar loosely and sit it somewhere in room temperature for 12-24 hours.
3. Shake occasionally. I just give mine a swirl on my way out the back door every so often.
4. Pour through a strainer to separate the kefir from the grains.
5. Use the grains to make another batch!

Tips:
1. Refrigerate for a little bit after straining to make it firmer and more yoghurt-like.
2. If you go away for a while, just give the grains extra milk and leave the jar in the fridge. They can sit like that for a couple of months and just take one or two batches of fresh milk to perk up again when you arrive home.

Laziest medicine ever!

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