How to Make KefirOctober 9, 2023
Kefir is a unique and popular fermented drink. While it can be bought in shops, many people are unaware of how easy it is to make kefir at home. Here, you will find everything you need to know about kefir, how to make your own from scratch and different ways you can include kefir in your weekly meals, with HelloFresh.
What is kefir?
Kefir is a drink-yoghurt hybrid that is made from the fermented milk of goats, sheep or cows. The drink is said to have Turkic and North Caucasian origin, and translates into English as “good feeling.” Many compare kefir to Greek yoghurt, due to the slightly sour flavour and fermentation process involved. However, you will find that kefir generally has a much thinner texture than Greek yoghurt. HelloFresh’s recipe development manager, Mimi Morley, suggests that many people drink kefir regularly for the probiotic health benefits, as the milk drink is packed with healthy gut bacteria.
How to make kefir
Due to the suggested probiotic benefits of kefir, it’s a great addition to your diet. You can choose to buy kefir from the supermarket, or opt to make your own homemade brew if you’re feeling adventurous in the kitchen. Read on to find out more about making your own kefir drink.
How to grow kefir grains
The key ingredient of kefir is the kefir grains. The grains hold the bacteria and yeast that help to ferment the drink. If you know someone who makes their own kefir, ask to borrow some of their grains, as they constantly grow and multiply. Alternatively, you can purchase kefir grains, however, they may need a little time to “grow” before you can make your kefir. Mimi Morley suggests covering them with a little milk and leaving for up to two days until the milk sets. She says that this will ensure that the grains are in the best shape to make your homemade kefir.
Making kefir at home
When making kefir at home, there are a few steps you need to follow. Once you have sorted your kefir grains, you’re ready to begin the fermentation process. Mimi Morley’s favourite kefir recipe involves adding half a teaspoon of your grains into a jar, plus approximately a pint of milk, depending on the size of your jar. There should be around 2cm headroom left in the jar, then set to the side to ferment for 1-2 days.
You will know your mixture has become kefir when the liquid has thickened into a more yoghurt-like substance. It may appear set or separated in some places, which Mimi reassures is normal for all homemade kefir. To stop the fermentation process, strain your kefir by pouring the mixture through a sieve. This allows you to separate all the grains from the kefir drink. Your kefir is then able to be consumed straight away, but make sure to keep it in the refrigerator and consume within two days.
You can mix up your kefir drink to match any occasion. Mimi Morley suggests throwing in a few slices of lemon to add a zing to this probiotic drink. While most people choose to drink kefir, there are many other ways to include kefir in a range of dishes.
Kefir is commonly used in baking to bring extra moisture to cakes. Simply replace the milk in your favourite recipe with some homemade kefir. Kefir is also perfect to drizzle over salads or as a refreshing dip with falafel, for example. You can also mix kefir into salad dressings, for example, as a replacement for mayonnaise in this Waldorf Salad Style Salad with Chicken and Bacon.
If you’re looking for an early morning boost, mix your homemade kefir with some bananas and fruits for an energising start to your day. Or pour homemade kefir over your favourite cereal as a milk substitute, to give it a tangy, healthy boost.
Benefits of kefir
One of the biggest reasons people choose to make their own Kefir is due to the many health benefits that come from the regular consumption of this milk drink. With a high healthy bacteria count, it’s incredibly helpful in supporting a healthy gut and digestive system. Kefir consumption has also been linked to easing of weight loss and a boost of overall daily energy.
Recipes with kefir
The best thing about Kefir is that you can serve it to drink with just about any recipe, both sweet and savoury. Having a go-to jar of homemade kefir handy in your fridge is always a good idea to add a unique twist to an evening meal or baking session. Try adding a dash of kefir to this Falafel and Avocado Salad with Feta and French Dressing or mixed with tahini sauce in this Herby Falafel Burger.
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