image by tarikgore
Those funny little cauliflower/popcorn looking blobs are dairy kefir grains. Kefir is an amazing probiotic beverage that is great for your gut and helps populate it with good bacteria. If you’ve ever cultured dairy kefir, you know that healthy kefir grains will rapidly multiply and soon you will have enough grains to be able to culture kefir for your whole neighborhood or you’ll start looking for ways to use up the extras. I think that there’s a truth to that old saying, “waste not, want not.” If you’re anything like me and hate wasting perfectly good things, then hopefully you will enjoy this list of ways on how to use extra kefir grains.
You can use extra dairy kefir grains and convert them to make water kefir, which is like a homemade soda with probiotic benefits. Granted, dairy kefir grains will never actually be water kefir grains, as they are different, but you can make a tasty carbonated beverage using your converted “water kefir grains.” My 7 year old absolutely loves the water kefir made with grape juice. Cultures for Health has a some wonderful suggestions on different flavor variations for water kefir. Check out their t 10 ways to flavor your water kefir.
Put kefir grains in smoothies
There are a whole variety of smoothies out there,and adding a few kefir grains would be an awesome addition of hidden probiotics- especially to sneak some extra probiotics to the kids. Just be careful to start out with a small amount and work your way up to more, as you may have an undesired reaction if you do too much all at once (which is a sign of your body detoxing.Here are a few of my favorite smoothies
Add them to the soil in your potted plants
Mix in a few of your extra grains for added nutrients for your house plants.
Share extra kefir grains with friends
Use your extra grains to give to friends and introduce them to the benefits of this delicious probiotic beverage. If they’re not familiar with it you can share how to make kefir with them. New England Cheesemaking Supply has a tutorial on how to dry kefir grains to ship them to others.
Feed them to your pet
You can give extra kefir grains to your pet for probiotic benefits, just make sure not to give them too many at once. I give our dog up to 2 tablespoons at a time and he loves them.
Compost the extras
-Toss your extra grains in the compost bin!
Store them for emergencies
Take those extra grains and dehydrate them in case of an emergency. Then you can keep some as a backup in case your grains get messed up or accidentally killed. Wardeh over at GNOWFGLINS has a great post on how to dehydrate and store your dairy grains.
The simplest idea for extras is to simply eat your them plain. Just don’t eat too many at once or you may experience detox type symptoms if your body is not used to having such a strong influx of good bacteria all at once.
Note: I am not a doctor