I recently obtained some milk Kefir grains and have them happily growing in a jar in the kitchen. Does anyone else grow Kefir that can give me any tips on looking after it and uses. I have had a taste and it is quite sour is this normal.
Kefir! Great stuff! If you can get raw milk, it does best with that. Otherwise ... it will do OK at room temperature in the cooler months but keep it in the fridge in warm weather. Sour, yes, rather like yoghurt but a tad nuttier - it's a cultured product so expect pleasant sour. Follow your nose - if it stinks, heave it into the compost.
If you go away, you can feed the Kefir (which I believe is pronounced kef-fir rather than keefer) with fresh milk and leave it in the fridge and expect it to be still living when you return. Just freshen up the milk and start a new batch. Alternately, it freezes and thaws without any trouble. Once you've got more organism than you need, freeze a batch as a backup.
There's a ton of info on the net - Dom's site is very comprehensive. If you have specific questions I will try and answer them. I kept kefir and used it with raw milk until both of us did not want to eat any more dairy products - it just naturally happened for us, not a conversion ;-) I still think Kefir is the greatest stuff and remember my experiences with it with fondness :-)
A friend recently gave me some Kefir grains, though she did not know what they where, called them a yogurt bug, which it is in a way. I looked it up on the internet & agree Dom's site is the best I could find. for a few weeks we were eating it on our muslie instead of yogurt, then decided it was too sour. I am still making it but use it in a milk drink, to a glass of milk or Soy add about 3 tablespoons full, or to taste, with the soy it turns the milk thick like a thick shake, yummy, but my husband keeps telling me I should not have soy milk, so usually I put it in ordinary milk & it is a pleasent drink.
Thanks Elaine and Jane. Jane I will try it in a milk drink I think, we had a taste yesterday and yes it was very sour, I think my husband thought I was trying to poison him:) I will persevere with for the health benefits. I did hear too that it is very good to add into muffins and cakes when baking.
I add kefir when making scones, pancakes, pikelets, waffles and bread - great results. When I first started eating kefir, i made fruit whizzes with it, adding a bit of honey. Now I drink it straight - sprinkle in a bit of salt and it neutralises the sourness. Isobel Shippard has a great article on kefir (I bought mine from her) and if you follow her method, you end up with cottage cheese and whey.