Thursday, May 16, 2013

Kefir is Easy to Love

I have a lot of food changes going on in my life and I feel like I'm barely keeping up with it, let alone blogging about it!  But I did snap a photo of kefir, so let's start there.

I lived in Russia for 8 months after high school with a church missions team.  I was introduced to kefir there and thought it okay, drinkable yogurt.  The Russians pronounce the word "keh-FEAR."  Now, years later, it is this micro-craze with the healthy foodies and people say "KEE-fur."  Have you heard of it?

I started making kefir this spring when Rebecca handed me a nugget of kefir grains and said, make this, it's like having a constant supply of buttermilk and it's easier to make than yogurt. 

Here's how I do make kefir:
1.  Plunk the kefir grains in a jar of milk in the evening.  Cover.
2.  Let the milk ferment overnight on the counter. 
3.  Put the jar in the fridge in the morning.  It will continue to ferment and thicken a bit in the fridge. 

What I do with kefir:
1.  Drink it straight for the probiotic deliciousness.  It's perfect when I return home from grueling errands all hot and bothered.  It's perfect for acid reflux (more on that elephant in another post).
2.  Use it as buttermilk or sour milk in baking.  Best pancakes ever.
3.  Pour it over granola for breakfast.

I could give you way way way more information about this and other fermentation, but I'm keeping it simple here.  I have been reading and, yes, studying Sandor Ellix Katz's excellent book since I received it as a Christmas present.  I am learning so much!

Thoughts?  Questions?  I always love to discuss food.


Zoë said...

I was never told how to pronounce it so I say: ke-FUR. Interesting.

I've tried it. Bought grains online and fermented our raw milk. HATED the stuff. Like, could hardly even gag down smoothies made with it. I like yogurt so it's not like I don't have a taste for that sort of thing. Would the raw milk have made it extra strong or something? What milk do you use?

Rebecca said...

Hi Zoe...I use raw milk. When I first tasted it I doubted that sour, fizzy milk was for me, either. I just used it in baking. But I've been converted! Maybe just repeated exposure....?

Sew Blessed Maw [Judy] said...

I have never heard of it.. But my mom made buttermilk by letting it ferment and keep on using the first batch.. We drank it as children and she cooked with it.
I am really interested in hearing about the reflux use.. As I suffer from this.

Meryl said...

I keep seeing this pop up and keep meaning to try some. I love yogurt and granola in the mornings, so it would be an easy switch up.

jenny_o said...

I've never tried this, but am interested, especially if it will help acid reflux. Some people find milk to be a trigger for that, but others find it soothing (I am one of those).

As Rebecca said, maybe repeated exposure is the key to enjoying it. I remember the first time I tried soy yogurt - not so good. But I came to love it.

Beth said...

Have not had kefir.
Pretty popular where we are, though.
Open to trying new things!
I hope we can straighten out and organize our own diet in coming months :-)

Margo said...

Zoe, I use pasteurized 2% milk. I love kefir, however, if you don't like the taste of it for drinking, consider keeping it around as a baking staple.

Zoë said...

Margo - I already always have so much "sour" dairy to use up...buttermilk from making butter, whey from cheese or draining yogurt, sour milk, you name it, it's probably in my fridge right now. What can I say...we're dairy farmers :)

I'm sure some day I'll try it again!

Yes, Rebecca, I'm sure repeated exposure helps. Thanks for letting me know that raw milk works the same!

Margo said...

Zoe, must be nice! We've been going through milk like crazy as the kids grow and I make more yogurt and kefir.

kyleann33 said...

I haven't tried kefir, but so far the only fermented food I've liked is salsa. I would like to hear more about your other food changes! I saw your comment on my homemade ketchup blog, and thought you might like to try this fermented ketchup recipe: I had pinned it a while ago but decided to try a non-fermented one first. Alex asked for the "regular" ketchup the first time we tried it, but we've eaten it 2 other times and he hasn't said a word about the difference, other then "more ketchup please!"

Margo said...

Kylie, I'll have to look for the fermented salsa recipe - we love salsa. Is it on your blog? In Nourishing Traditions? I pinned the ketchup recipe - thank you!