Have you ever heard of kefir? Kefir is one of the so-called “superfoods.” Kefir is kind of like plain yogurt, but more liquidy and more beneficial nutrients, yeasts and probiotics. You can read about the benefits of kefir vs. yogurt here.
Most people like to take their kefir in a smoothie with fruit. Personally, I start my day with 2 TBSP of chia seeds mixed in some kefir, along with a small piece of fruit, like half a banana or a tangerine. This keeps me satisfied until lunch. Sometimes I don’t even think about lunch until about 2, if I’m busy. The most beneficial kefir is the kind you make yourself. And it is super easy to make–much easier than homemade yogurt, which I’ve never attempted. All you need is a TBSP of (affiliate link) kefir grains, and by all accounts, they will last you forever!
Kefir grains look like tiny little cauliflowers. If you use mammal milk, the grains will actually multiply (very slowly, not like doubling with one batch!) To start, you should try 1 TBSP grains in a jar with 1 cup of milk. I use skim myself, and it “curds” up just fine, if you ask me! If you use nut milks, the grains will still work (though I haven’t tried it) but they will not multiply.
When using the grains for the first time, or when switching types of milk, you should expect the first batch or two to be no good. It needs an “adjustment period.” You will leave the jar sitting out at room temperature 12-24 hours. The longer it sits, the more “good” bacteria builds up. But it will also have a stronger taste. I simply lay the lid on top. If you seal it, the kefir will keep more fermentation in. I use a pasta sauce jar.
Note that there is a difference between kefir grains and kefir “starters.” Starters will last a few uses, but grains will last indefinitely. So those are the better option, in my opinion.
I refrigerate my kefir before I eat it. I don’t think I could handle it at room temperature. Once the kefir has curdled, you will need to strain it. I use a slotted spoon. For some reason I hear you should not use metal. I carefully pick out the grains and return them to the jar. Curds will break apart when pressed with a spoon, whereas grains have a springy feel and won’t break. This is the most time consuming part of the process.
I keep the grains in the fridge unless I am starting another batch. Just use the kefir as you would yogurt. Add fruit to it, if you wish. Make it into a smoothie. You can use it as a substitute for buttermilk, but pancakes is probably not the healthiest way to eat it.
Anyway, benefits of kefir are the good bacterias it creates and it helps your immune and digestive systems. Read more about its benefits here and you will see why it truly is a superfood!
*I am not a medical professional or nutritionist. I am simply sharing information that I have found interesting and helpful. As always, you should ask your doctor when starting any kind of “diet.”*