Flavoring Milk Kefir (& Secondary Fermentation)

Last year we started making and drinking milk kefir. If you’re not familiar with what milk kefir is, Kefir is a creamy probiotic drink that is kind of like a cross between yogurt and buttermilk, but it has up to 10 times more beneficial probiotics than yogurt! ‘

Kefir is full of vitamins, essential amino acids, minerals and easy to digest protein.  According to Dom’s Kefir, even those who are lactose intolerant are able to drink kefir, because the yeast and bacteria in the kefir consume the lactose during the fermentation process. You can use cow’s milk, goat’s milk or even coconut milk for a dairy free option. I posted about the basics of making kefir last year.

Today I wanted to share a few fun ways for flavoring milk kefir and doing a secondary fermentation. A few ideas I got from Cultures for Health would be:

  • Cinnamon and Vanilla (I used about 1/4teaspoon vanilla and 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon per 3/4 cup kefir)
  • Pumpkin Pie Spices (1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, pinch of allspice, pinch of nutmeg and pinch of ginger)
  • Fresh Fruit (Toss in a few cherries, blueberries, or strawberries and puree. I used my immersion blender.)
  • Cocoa or Carob Powder
  • Citrus Fruit Peels (to be removed after fermentation!!)

Add the desired flavorings to the freshly made milk kefir (from which the grains have been removed), cover with a lid and allow to ferment for 8-12 hours before consuming or moving to the fridge. And, good taste isn’t the only reason to do a secondary fermentation. B vitamins are increased and calcium and magnesium are more available to the body following a secondary fermentation.

You can simply add the flavorings and consume immediately if you’d like. You might also be interested in 8 ways to use extra kefir grains. If you’ve never made kefir before and need a source for kefir grains, I highly recommend Cultures for Health. I have personally worked with them and they have absolutely amazing customer service. When I was trying to get my water kefir grains going they were very helpful with their live internet chat support and I would not hesitate to buy a culture from them.

1 comment to Flavoring Milk Kefir (& Secondary Fermentation)

  • Michael

    After your kefir is fermented and strained it should not be consumed immediately since it is not, biochemically, a finished product. A second fermentation is in order. A 2nd. fermentation is a 48H process that allows the yeast components of the SCOBY to complete their synthesis of the B, A, K vitamins, peptides, organic molecules, cytokins, biotins, etc. One observation on secondary fermentations I would like to pass along is this: After straining, let your kefir stand at room temp(in a dim spot on the counter or pantry) for another 24H and then the last 24H’s of the process in your fridge. Then it is a drink ready to augment your health. Cheers!

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