Vegetarian, Gluten free
Kefir is a cultured milk product which originated in what is now Russia. Similar to thin yoghurt but with a tarter, more distinct taste and a different colony of bacteria, kefir helps maintain a healthy digestive system by encouraging beneficial intestinal flora.
This recipe uses powdered starter, which is easy to source, store and use. Alternatively you can buy pre-made kefir or, if you’re serious about the stuff, hunt down somebody who has kefir grains- the original culture.
Kefir can be used like a drinking yoghurt and is great blended with frozen fruit (like bananas and mangoes) to make smoothies- especially if you find the unmasked taste too intense. Use it to soak mueslis, serve with spicy Indian curries and even to replace buttermilk in baking, though depending on the consistency it may need to be thinned out slightly first: these Ricotta Pikelets with Kefir, Maple & Banana might be a good place to start!
Ingredients (makes 1 L)
1 L whole unhomogenised milk, at room temperature
1 sachet Nature’s Goodness Kefir starter
1. Pour milk into a large jar or bottle with a tight fitting lid. Add kefir starter and shake vigorously to combine. Remove lid, cover with cloth and allow to sit at a moderately warm temperature- 20°C- for between 12 hours and 24 hours, until the culture has settled on top.
2. Store in the fridge and begin to use after another 12 to 24 hours, or when kefir has thickened.