A hot health trend for all the right reasons, you’ll find kefir (pronounced ke-FEER) in drinks, soups, salad dressings, smoothies and more. But what is kefir? It’s a probiotic-rich liquid made by combining kefir grains/cultures with milk (or in this case, coconut water). Kefir boasts a wide-range of strains of beneficial bacteria, including lactic-acid producing yeasts and beneficial gut organisms. The benefits of fermented foods such as kefir go beyond digestion, offering potential support for immune function and nutrient absorption, too.*
Yes, you can buy drinkable kefir from your local health or grocery store, but you can make your own at home, too! All you need are live kefir grains (starter culture), which are the beneficial bacterial organisms that give this liquid its probiotic powers, plus a dairy- or coconut-water-based medium. Give this simple recipe a try and see what kefir can do for you!
Bring milk or coconut water to room temperature or heat it just until it reaches 70 degrees F.
Pour warm milk into mason jar and add kefir starter packet. Stir with a wooden spoon to incorporate the ingredients.
Cover mason jar with coffee filter or cheese cloth and secure with rubber band.
Let mixture ferment for 14-16 hours in a warm spot with a temperature of at least 72-74 degrees F.
After mixture develops a sour yogurt-like flavor, cover with lid and refrigerate. Dairy milk-based kefir should be the consistency of pourable yogurt while coconut water kefir should be slightly cloudy with a sour, tangy flavor.
How to use: Kefir can be enjoyed in smoothies, overnight oats, salad dressings, poured over fruit or even all by itself. Do not cook the kefir or it will destroy the beneficial organisms. Keep covered the in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, then feel free to reserve ½ cup of kefir as the starter for your next batch!
Can’t get enough kefir? Try this homemade kefir with coconut milk next!