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Kefir questions

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Does anyone in the area drink or make kefir?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it's a drinkable protein dairy majobby (that's the technical term) that is described as tasting like buttermilk, or alcoholic yogurt, depending on who is doing the describing.

You get kefir grains, pop 'em in milk and they ferment it for you. The grains grow over time and you can split them and give them to others or dry them until you have a use for them.

I'm wondering if this is something I should try or if I'd hate the taste or the work. Any kefir fans or haters want to weigh in? Or to offer up some free grains? There are many sources for free grains since they reproduce and you can only use so much, but I can't hack driving to Chicago to pick up something I might despise.

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8 Comments

I've never made my own kefir, but do buy the occasional commercial kefir drink when I miss a meal (or three) while out and about. If you like yoghurt, especially good yoghurt (without all the additives and too much sugar), I think you'll really like it.

I do make my own yoghurt, and that process is about as simple and easy as it gets. The main requirement is making sure everything is absolutely clean. I've also made cultured buttermilk, a process similar to culturing kefir. The difference is what "bugs" you start with. I'm toying with getting some kefir bugs (grains) from kefirlady.com, and giving it a shot.

I've had kefir from the store, home cultured kefir from commercial powdered culture and store bought organic milk and "real" kefir from regular old fashioned grains and raw Jersey milk. Based on texture and flavor, I prefer the stuff I made from the commercial powder, which I purchased online from Wilderness Family Naturals. The culture isn't sustainable for some reason - it's recommended that you use a fresh packet after seven batches. At my house, kefir disappears quickly from the refrigerator.

Kefir is great for intestinal health and immune health and if it tastes funny at first, you can always throw it into a blender with some berries or that yummy tropical fruit mix from the freezer section at Trader Joe's.

There are some good how-to videos on YouTube on making kefir and just about any other cultured food/beverage you'd care to make - yoghurt, kombucha, water kefir, etc. If you're thinking of experimenting with cultured foods in general, check out videos by Ellix Sandor Katz, author of Wild Fermentation, or read his book, which is both useful and fun.

I absolutely depend on Kefir. I feel good on days when I have it; I use it at breakfast or as a snack. I buy the coffee flavor at Jewel; it provides mega health benefits, and is a great source of non animal protein. I love using it!

Julie,
I live in Chicago and have been looking for some kefir grains. You mentioned that there are many sources for free grains in Chicago. Could you give me some info where I can get them because I really want to get started? Thanks.

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This page contains a single entry by Julie Todd published on August 27, 2009 10:13 PM.

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