June 27, 2011

Kefir “grains” are little bundles of bacteria and lactose-fermented yeast, and can cause things to ferment. Usually, when somebody says “kefir,” they are referring to a milk based drink that has been fermented with kefir grains. Kefir was originally from Turkey, and it is possible to find it in grocery stores today, though most books claim this is cultured milk passed off as kefir, and was not actually fermented with kefir grains.

According to RJ Ruppenthal in his book Fresh Food from Small Spaces, kefir has “stronger healthful properties” than yogurt, and he also claims that the word kefir translates to English from Turkish as “feel good.” He also goes on to explain that the kefir grains can be used in addition to culturing milk on vegetables, fruit juice, and sugar water. “Remarkably,” he writes, “the very same grains also can culture and create just about any fermented food, including a delicious sourdough bread, ginger beer, sauerkraut, or kimchi.”

I find kefir to taste a lot like yogurt, and I have a hard time drinking it plain and unsweetened. Maybe it is an acquired taste. I have found that it works quite well to substitute it in recipes for plain yogurt, especially if you are doing a marinade or need a thinner sauce.

Further reading to the nutrition of kefir:

2 Responses to “Kefir”

  1. […] 29, 2011 Admittedly, it took me a few attempts to make a kefir batch. Part of the problem was that I wasn’t sure what a finished batch should really be like. I […]

  2. […] of the libraries I have access to had books devoted to kefir, so the books I found discussing kefir were either DIY or the advantages of eating a […]

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