So a friend surprised me with Kefir grains (at a party, in a take home container) and some instructions for use. I also checked NT for some basic instructions. The grains she gave me is like one big cauliflowerette sized thing. About 1/8 cup big. Is that a good size or too much?
I put it in a quart jar with 2 cups of milk (2% from the store) and covered it with cheese cloth. I left it for 24 hours (will go longer next time) and mixed it with a wooden chop stick a few times. She said to keep it away from metal. I used a wooden slotted spoon to strain out the grains. I stored the kefir in a new glass jar in the fridge and used a metal lid - is that ok? Or should I cover with a plastic wrap?
I tasted it plain and it was not sour or sweet, but had a bready/cheesish taste. Not really something I would drink plain. I can see how smoothies are a good option.
I am waiting for some fresh strawberries we get today to make a smoothie :-) I am hoping DH will like it too and want to drink it again.
My friend said to just add new milk to the grains to keep making kefir - making 2 cups each day. The issue is I maybe the only one using it and that is too much for me. I am thinking having a kefir smoothie 2 -3 times a week. How do I do this and keep the grains active/alive?
Also what I can do with kefir aside from smoothies or drinking it plain? Can I use it to replace buttermilk when making homemade dressings?
I am starting out with kefir too right now with some grains from a wonderful MDC momma. I have about 3/4 cup of grains, and I've making about a qt of kefir at a time, usually in less than 24 hours because of summer. Mine have the same taste as yours (cheesy) and I'm on my 4th batch now and I think I'm getting the hang of it and getting used to the taste.
I'm flavoring mine with vanilla bean, and I had a tsp of sugar to the 8oz cup when I drink it in the mornings or make it for the kids. I was feeling a bit guilty about this since I though kefir might be a bit sweeter based on my experience with commerical kefir, but I checked at the store today and lo! the vanilla flavored kefir had cane juice listed in the ingredients.
So far I've used it in place of milk for pancakes for the kids and I'm planning on lots of green smoothies soon for breakfasts.
For storing when I haven't made a batch - I just put it in a mason jar with like a cup of milk (just to cover) and stored it in the fridge until I was ready to make a new batch.
And you who seek to know Me, know that the seeking and yearning will avail you not, unless you know the Mystery: for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without.
Ok made my second batch of kefir and this time left it out for 48 hours, instead of 24 hours. Tasted delightful with that yogurt like tartness. Although I still prefer it as a smoothie (with strawberries I u-picked myself) it tasted fine plain too.
I am just putting it in a small jar, barely covered with milk in between uses.
I don't culture my kefir every day--I usually make about 2 quarts a week, and it takes right at 24 hours, and I just put the grains in the refrigerator with the amount of milk I culture and leave it until I'm ready to take it out and let it culture. I hope that makes sense. And it should be more yogurty than cheesey, I think, or at least that's been my experience.