So far, we've been showing you kombucha and various vegetable ferments. Now it's time to play with dairy! Like vegetables, dairy has been consumed and fermented in most cultures for centuries. This week's video shows you how to start basic milk kefir. Milk kefir is sort of like a thin, drinkable yogurt, but has way more healthy belly bugs in it than yogurt. Yogurt traditionally only has bacteria contributing to the fermentation, whereas milk kefir, like kombucha, has bacteria AND yeast. This creates a slightly different flavor and nutrient profile.
As you'll see in the video, the milk kefir cultures are called "kefir grains" because of the way they look. They do not contain any actual grains. Milk kefir can made with most mammal milks, coconut milk, and sometimes other milk alternatives. The process breaks down most of the lactose, so fermented dairy products are often more easily digested and tolerated, even by those with dairy intolerance. As always, get the best quality ingredients you are able to get and go from there. Grass-fed, raw milk is going to be the most nutrient dense (seriously, it's a super food, check out why in our "Why Raw Milk?" blog), but you can make kefir with regular, pastuerized organic milk. (We always recommend organic animal products if at all possible. Commercial animal farms are the worst!)
Milk kefir grains are different than water kefir grains. You should not try to mix back and forth, although there are some situations in which a transition will work. More on that in our upcoming 201 video series, so stay tuned for that! As always, comments and questions are welcome on here, YouTube or our social media! (likes and shares, too!) Enjoy the video, then get in the kitchen and play!