You have most likely seen many different brands of milk kefir in the grocery store. I have yet to see a healthy brand offered at a regular grocery store. Most of them use low fat milk, which is not a whole food. Many of the brands I have seen are using factory farmed milk.
The healthiest milk is raw pasture raised milk. It is best to source this from your local farmer. I have a link in the recipe below to where you can source raw milk. The store milk kefir also usually has stabilizers like guar gum in there and carrageenan, which are not digestible.
The milk kefir from the store is also high in sugar. If you want to control the ingredients that go into the milk kefir, it is best to make it at home!
- Take a clean quart mason jar and place 1 tbsp of milk kefir grains in it*
- Pour one quart of fresh raw pasture raised milk on top of the grains
- Cover the jar with a clean dish towel and secure with a rubber band
- Leave on the counter in a warm place for no more than 24-48 hours. Do not ferment for longer than 48 hours or the grains will weaken. They thrive on sugars, so they need to be fed regularly.
- Strain grains through a plastic strainer and store milk kefir in glass jars.
- If you want to store the milk kefir grains, pour fresh milk over them in a glass jar and store them in the refrigerator. Pour a little fresh milk on them weekly at a minimum if you aren't using them on a regular basis.
- Add fresh fruit, vanilla extract and/or honey/maple syrup to flavor the kefir. This step is optional, but it tastes wonderful this way. Enjoy!
Watch these videos on how to make milk kefir at home! Let me know if you have questions.
Have you tried making kefir? What is your experience with it?