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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Frugal Homemade Kefir

It worked, and I am so excited!!!!  What am I talking about, you ask?  Well, let me tell you.  I'm not sure if you have discovered kefir yet, but I made the discovery a few years ago.  Kefir reminds me of drinkable yogurt.  To find out more about what it is and the origins of kefir, all you need to do is "google" it, and you will come across a wealth of information.  It is full of probiotics and very good for you.  If you are lactose intolerant, it is supposed to be very good for you too.  Anyway, most of my family has come to really enjoying kefir.  It is rather costly to buy it in the store however, and some stores don't carry it.  As I have read about it, I found out that you can make your own.  You can make it from kefir grains, which you need to get from someone who has some to share (or sell), or there are places that you can buy kefir powder starter.  So, before Christmas I got daring and bought some powdered starter.  There are several places online that you can find it, but I ordered it from Wilderness Family Naturals , and am very pleased that I did.  I would recommend ordering from them.  They are family-owned and have many products to offer.
So, now that the holidays are over, I decided to finally make my own.  The directions called for using organic milk, which I don't buy.  I didn't want to have to always buy organic milk for my kefir, so I thought I would try it with the milk we always drink.  (It is hormone-free, however.)  I followed the directions, warming up 4 cups of milk on the stove and adding the packet of kefir powder.  I mixed it together and poured it into a 1 quart glass canning jar.  Cover and wait.  :)  The directions said it should take between 18 and 24 hours to work.  After 24 hours, I checked and the milk had thickened and smelled like kefir!!!!  I was so excited!  My kefir making was a success!  The original packet of starter should be able to make about 7 batches, the directions say....when my first batch was finished, I took 2 T. of that to start the next batch.  The first batch goes into the fridge.  (I saved a Trader Joe's kefir container, so I poured it into that...)  The plain kefir can be used plain, or flavored with just about anything that you think sounds good!!!  :)  I tried a little cinnamon and sugar and thought it tasted good.  :)  Usually I will use frozen berries and blend it like a smoothie.  It also can be used in recipes where buttermilk, or yogurt is called for.  My youngest loves it mixed equal portions of orange juice and plain kefir.

By the way, here's the breakdown of spending:
$5.00 on the kefir starter (which should make up to 7 batches)
4 cups milk ($.50---we buy in bags from Kwik Trip)

So, each batch of kefir will only cost approx. $1.21 to make!!!!  Wow!  That's $1.50 less than at Trader Joe's and approx. $2.50 less than at Cub!! 

I would love to hear if you love kefir too, and if you make your own. Pin It Print Friendly and PDF