Milk Kefir

Kefir is a fermented milk, like yogurt, but with more cultures and it’s easier to make at home. I make mine with both raw milk, and if I run out, goat milk from the store. Kefir is not only okay, but excellent for those on the GAPS diet; all the probiotics it contains are excellent for gut healing.  Like Kombucha, kefir ‘grains’ are colonies of beneficial microorganisims and aren’t really grains at all.

Kefir Grains

Kefir fermenting on the counter

After fermentation


To make, all you do is let your milk get to room temperature, then add a tablespoon of kefir grains (you can buy them here) per quart.  Close the lid, allow to sit on the counter for 12-24 hours (24 hours if you’re on GAPS), shake gently or stir a few times during culturing.  When the kefir is done, it will taste tangy.  Pour the kefir through a strainer to strain out the grains, then put the grains aside to use again.  Keep the kefir in the fridge and drink as a ‘drinkable yogurt’ or use in your smoothies.

Kefir-strawberry-banana smoothie

Millie, an active encourager on the GAPS yahoo list replied to me when I remarked how easy kefir is to make,

Yes, it’s a billion times easier and a billion times more powerful and effective. Have you seen the list of strains in kefir? It’s huge and includes beneficial yeasts as well as bacterial strains. I think people don’t really understand how great it is. The fact that it doesn’t need to be heated like yogurt shows you how strong the strains are that they can overpower anything already present in the milk and “win” the microbial battle. Yogurt only has 3-5 strains that are weaker so you have to kill off the ones in milk in order for those to thrive. I make yogurt too and love it, but therapeutically speaking, kefir can’t be beat.

Kefir contains dozens of different organisms that use up the lactose in milk, breaking down the milk to be more easily absorbed and leaving an array of health-building organisms that do things such as control yeast outbreaks, B vitamins, and Tryptophan, the amino acid in turkey known to aid in relaxation.  It is a less thick than yogurt, and tastes similar.  Since I received kefir grains a couple weeks ago, we haven’t bothered with yogurt and have switched over entirely to kefir.

The kefir grains will multiply as you use them, and extras can be shared with friends or even blended into smoothies as powerful probiotics.

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