How to Make Homemade Kefir
Homemade kefir has been the biggest game changer, in helping heal me from Hyperemesis Gravidarum (extreme nausea and vomiting in pregnancy). Around 5 months postpartum, I started making my own homemade kefir again to help my body heal from the huge toll pregnancy took on me. What I immediately noticed was clearer skin, better sleep, less cravings, and of course improved digestion.
As with all cultured foods, it is possible to over-do homemade kefir, so it is important to start with small daily amounts to gauge how your body handles it. If you start to experience any flu-like symptoms, it means you are experiencing yeast die-off, a sure sign that you need to continue with kefir, however, you need to decrease the daily amount while building up tolerance to keep unpleasant die-off symptoms at bay.
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To start making your own milk-kefir, you will need the following:
- 1-2 teaspoons traditional milk kefir grains (I suggest you buy grains that are already active.)
- Whole Milk (start with pasteurized, you can slowly transition to raw if you like.)
- 1/2 gallon glass mason jar.
- Non-metal stirring utensil.
- Breathable cover for jar (I suggest cheesecloth.)
- Large rubber band to secure cheesecloth.
- Fine mesh strainer.
- Funnel. (optional)
- Combine kefir grains in glass mason jar with fresh milk, leaving 1 – 2 inches of room on top.
- Cover with cheesecloth or muslin and secure with rubber band.
- Place in a somewhat warm area of your home, out of direct sunlight (68-85 fahrenheit)
- Allow to culture undisturbed until milk is thickened and smells pleasantly tart – up to 24 hours typically.
- Strain kefir grains out and add them to a small glass jar, cover them with 1-2 cups of fresh milk, and store in the refrigerator to use next time.
- Store the finished homemade kefir in the refrigerator.
There are numerous ways to drink homemade kefir. When I first began drinking it, the tart edge was a bit strong for my taste, so I would sweeten it with stevia and add natural juice to it. At times, I would blend it with frozen fruits to make a smoothie. Now that I have been drinking it for awhile again, my body craves the slightly sour taste of kefir every day. I still add a bit of juice to it for flavor, but no longer need to sweeten it. As with almost all cultured foods, you can second ferment kefir with fresh or frozen organic fruit for a milder flavor, however, I personally prefer a single ferment.
I think kefir is the easiest cultured food to make and consume every day. Comment below and let me know which cultured food do you prefer, and what health benefits you’ve experienced as a result!