Dairy Kefir is a fermented milk drink, cultured from kefir grains. The grains resemble cottage cheese or cauliflower. They ferment the sugar in the milk over the course of 24 hours. The milk’s lactose turns to lactic acid, which is sour tasting. The grains are then removed and can be used again.
Milk Kefir is a rich source of calcium, protein, magnesium, phosphorus, and B Vitamins. Kefir made from whole milk contains vitamin K2. Kefir is a more potent source of probiotics than other fermented dairy products, such as yogurt. The probiotic Lactobacillus kefiri and the carbohydrate kefiran, found in Milk Kefir, protect against harmful bacteria. Milk Kefir improves bone health and reduces the risk of fractures.
Each day make Milk Kefir to add probiotics and other nutrients to your diet. It’s best to use goat milk from your own or your neighbor’s goat, but pasteurized whole cow’s milk will work, too. By extracting the whey from the Milk Kefir, (draining through cheesecloth) you can also make sour cream and cream cheese.
How it Works
Dairy Kefir is made by adding Kefir grains to milk. Add 2 about 2 Tbsp of grains to 2 cup of milk in a quart Mason jar. Goat milk is best, but you may also use raw or whole cows milk. Cover the jar with a fermenting top and keep in a dark place overnight. After 24 hours strain the grains off and add them to another 2 cups of milk. The grains will increase and extra grains (more than the 2 Tbsp needed) can be fed to the hogs or shared with a friend.
Dairy Kefir milk can be used in baking in place of buttermilk. Although the probiotic cultures will be affected by heat, the calcium and vitamins will remain. Kefir milk is used to best advantage as a flavored drink or in a fruit or veggie smoothie, where it is not heated.