The origins of Kefir date back to nomadic shepherds living on the slopes of North Caucasus Mountains. During long journeys shepherds discovered that fresh goats or cows milk stored in leather pouches didn’t spoil but turned into a rich probiotic drink. Since then it has become a traditional drink within Asian, Russian, Northern European and even South American households.
Most Kefir’s are made by adding Kefir ‘grains’ to cow or goat milk. These ‘grains’ are actually cultures of yeast and lactic acid bacteria that resemble a cauliflower or cottage cheese in appearance. When added to the milk the Kefir grains (also called a ‘starter’) start to eat the the milk sugars (lactose). This is called fermentation. The whole process usually takes up to 24 hours after which the grains are then removed from the liquid and can be used again for subsequent batches.
During the fermentation process, most (not all) of the milk sugars (lactose) are eaten away by the friendly bacteria, but if your trying to avoid dairy products you may like to try making your own coconut Kefir using coconut water and a freeze dried starter.
Coconut Kefir Recipe
You will need:
4 cups of the freshest coconut water available (room temperature not cold) OR 4 cups almond or seed milk sweetened with 1 tablespoon coconut sugar.
1 tablespoon Kefir starter* OR 1/4 cup of cultured Kefir from a previous batch. (use first or second batches for best results)
*I bought my starter from Conscious Cuisine.
Conscious Cuisine Asia
Tel: +65 90024721
Briefly blend all the ingredients, pour into a mason jar, put the lid on and let it sit in a warm place out of direct sunlight for 24 – 48 hours. Here in SG we are slightly warmer so room temperature is good with no air-conditioning (90F / 32C) You can also use your dehydrator at the same temperature. The beverage will start to become tart as it ferments and will increase in tartness the longer you leave it. It will also have a slightly effervescent taste.
That’s it DONE. Happy Days.
You want to start with really clean tools. Sanitize your jar, knife, cutting board, tongs and glass bowl with boiling water, which should kill off any lurking bad bacteria. We only want the good kind growing in our kefir!
If you don’t have the time to make your own kefir, you can buy grass-fed cow Kefir from Kefir Singapore for $15 a litre. They even deliver straight to your door.
www.bushwickfoodlab.com | T: +65 8511 8149