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Homemade Kefir Making Benefits

Homemade Kefir Making Benefits

3rd Aug 2020

Homemade Kefir Making Benefits

Do you like to indulge in probiotic-rich fermented drinks? If you’re not a big fan of kombucha due to its distinct taste, kefir may be the better alternative for you. It’s rich in consistency, better than yogurt, and it’s loaded with health benefits!

Kefir is a healthy, fermented probiotic drink that has a thicker consistency in comparison to yogurt and comes with endless health benefits! Homemade kefir is not only better for your overall health, but for your financial health too. It’s easy to make at home and it arguably tastes better than store bought kefir. If you’re uncertain about the quality of store bought kefir, you can easily make your own kefir at home!

A key benefit of making your own kefir is the rich flavor.

Store bought kefir typically has a more liquid and sour taste versus homemade kefir which has a stronger flavor and may even sparkle when fresh. This is largely in part of the strains that make up the kefir. For example, commercial or store bought kefir contains only about 10 strains; whereas, authentic homemade kefir has between 40-60 strains. Kefir that has more strains is overall better for you because it holds a more dense nutritional value that is diverse and packed with probiotics! In addition, typically, fermented beverages naturally produce a sparkling or carbonated texture. When you purchase commercial kefir, this is certainly not the case due to the additives and other preservatives that are placed into the product to maintain a greater shelf life. On the other hand, with homemade kefir you know exactly what ingredients are going into the production process. Unlike kombucha, kefir only needs two main ingredients: milk and kefir grains (starter culture). If you choose to make your kefir at home, you have plenty of non-dairy, lactose-free options that can be made with your preferred non-dairy milk (coconut milk, almond milk, oat milk, or cashew milk, etc.), coconut water, or fruit juice. Let us delve more into the benefits that come with making your own kefir.

The production process to make your own kefir at home is very simple! You can also locate kefir grains at select supermarkets, online, or shop with us for high-quality and cost-friendly DIY kefir products.


Store Bought Kefir vs Homemade Kefir


Store Bought vs Homemade Kefir

For our health-conscious probiotic drinkers, if you’re wondering which is the better option: store bought kefir or homemade kefir, we’re here to give you the rundown! Due to its processing and packaging, store bought kefir has a lower potency, is not carbonated, and has a longer shelf life. Store bought kefir only yields about 10 strains versus homemade genuine kefir typically yields 40-60 strains which is a significant difference! With more strains of bacteria and yeasts, you receive a higher nutritional value than commercial kefir provides. You’ll also notice that most commercial kefir is not carbonated as this is because store bought kefir is limited by the bottling and manufacturing process. Although this may not be a discerning factor for you, if you decide to make your own kefir at home you have the option to make it carbonated.

Homemade kefir is also the healthier and safer option if you have dietary restrictions such as lactose intolerance, or if you’re diabetic and need to be diligent about your sugar consumption.

Most milk kefirs can also be substituted with non-dairy milk such as coconut, almond, soy, and these alternatives have proven to culture successfully. As with most DIY projects, you have complete control over the exact ingredients that you will be using in your kefir--a major advantage that comes with making your own kefir. Another benefit of homemade kefir is that you get to add fruits to make your beverage more flavorful and custom to your liking. While most local supermarkets and grocery stores carry different flavors and varieties of kefir, it does not come close in comparison to fruity homemade kefir all without the unnecessary sugar or additives!


Easy To Make At Home Kefir


Easy To Make At Home Kefir

Unlike other fermented probiotic-rich beverages like kombucha, homemade kefir is simple to make because it only requires two key ingredients and minimal equipment. To make your own kefir from home you will need:

  1. Whole Milk, Cow’s Milk, or Goat Milk- We recommend to use 1%, 2% or whole milk. Lactose-free milk, ultra-pasteurized, and skim milk is not recommended. Coconut or almond milk may be used. The thickness of your kefir will depend on the type of milk you use.
  2. Kefir Grains-To get started, you will only need 2 teaspoons of kefir grains! Always use fresh kefir grains instead of dehydrated ones.
  3. Mason Jar or Wide-Mouth Jar- Preserve the rich taste and quality of your kefir by using BPA-free glass and use a wide mouth so you have more space to work with.
  4. Cloth or Plastic Lids- Use a cloth or plastic lid to cover your kefir and keep it enclosed tight to start the fermentation process.
  5. Plastic Mesh Strainer or Stainless Steel- Only use plastic or stainless steel. Try to avoid fine mesh or metal strainers because they make straining more difficult due to their small size.
  6. Plastic or Wooden Spoon- When handling kefir, never use a metal spoon.

OR

Kefir Making Starter KitKefir Making Starter Kit-

To save time and money, you can purchase a starter kit with all of your kefir supplies to get started right away!

Whether you choose to purchase each item separately or a starter kit, making your own kefir at home doesn’t require many ingredients and you may already have the majority of these supplies at home! For in-depth step-by-step instructions, learn how to start making your own kefir here.


Cost Efficient


One of the most significant factors in deciding whether it is worth it to start producing your own kefir or stick to the commercial kefir is cost. On average, one bottle of kefir is 32 oz. and costs about $3.99, which equates to approximately 12 cents per ounce. Depending on how much kefir you drink will determine which option is most affordable for you. For example, if you drink one bottle of kefir per week, that would cost you $20 per month and $240 per year. While this may not seem like much, if you drink two or three bottles of kefir per week, then you’re looking to spend about $8-12 per week that comes out to $40-60 per month, which averages out to approximately $480-$720 per year. On the other hand, depending on how much kefir you drink, the cost associated with purchasing milk and kefir grains to produce your own kefir comes out to $60-$100 a year for the same amount which is significantly less expensive. Even if you choose to take the self-starter kit route it still comes out to be more affordable than store bought kefir because most starter kefir packets are about $27-30, and when you factor in the cost of milk it would cost about $99-135 for the same amount. Let’s take a look at the breakdown.

Option A: Purchase Each Item Separately

Whole Milk or Cow’s Milk- (Local Grocery Store or Supermarket: $3.27- reg./ $4.08- organic)

Kefir Grains- (The CheeseMaker- $27.97)

Mason Jar- (Walmart or Target- $4.19)

Cloth or Plastic Lids- (Walmart or Target- $2-4)

Plastic or Stainless Steel Strainer- (Walmart or Target- $3-4)

Plastic or Wooden Spoon- (Walmart or Target- $2-5)

Option B: Purchase a Starter Kit

Kefir Making Starter Kit- (The CheeseMaker- $36.97)

Regardless of which option you choose, you could still be saving yourself hundreds of dollars if you made your own kefir at home! Kefir is one of the easiest gut-friendly probiotic drinks to make available. Once you get the feel for it, the process becomes simple and enjoyable! Then, you can get creative by experimenting with different flavors, fruits, and milk to cater to your dietary and personal preferences.


Health Benefits of Homemade Kefir


Health Benefits of Homemade Kefir

Kefir is packed with a variety of health benefits--it’s one of the main reasons why people drink it! Below are only a few of the benefits you can expect when you drink kefir on a daily basis.

  1. Potent In Antibacterial Properties
    Kefir has many probiotics, some of which are believed to protect against infections. Studies have shown that when harmful bacteria presents itself in our bodies, Lactobacillus kefri, an active probiotic in kefir may help prevent its growth. Kefiran, another active ingredient in kefir also has antibacterial properties.
  2. Low In Lactose
    For those who have lactose intolerance or other dietary restrictions, this may surprise you! While dairy products made with milk typically have a lot of lactose in them, kefir is quite the opposite. This is due to the fact that the lactic acid bacteria found in fermented dairy foods (like yogurt and kefir) transform the lactose into lactic acid, making these foods lower in their lactose content than milk. Kefir also contains enzymes which helps significantly in breaking down the lactose. In addition, it is possible to make 100% lactose-free kefir using coconut water or a non-dairy beverage of your choice.
  3. Helps with Digestive Issues & Gut Health
    This one is probably the most well-known of them all. If you’re experiencing digestive issues or need to reset your gut, kefir is very effective in aiding with this. Kefir has been proven to treat many forms of diarrhea including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The probiotics in kefir help restore the good bacteria in your gut. Ample evidence has shown that probiotic-rich foods and probiotics in general can alleviate many digestive problems.
  4. More Powerful Probiotic than Yogurt
    While yogurt is one of the best known probiotic foods, kefir is a more potent source. Kefir grains contain up to 61 strains of bacteria and yeasts, which makes them a diverse and rich probiotic source. Probiotics have a positive influence on many areas of your health, not just your gut, such as that it aids in weight management, digestion, mental health, etc. Whereas, other fermented dairy products don’t contain any yeasts and are made from far fewer strains.
  5. A Great Source of Many Nutrients
    Traditional kefir is made using goat’s or cow’s milk, that makes it easier to ferment. This fermented drink is made by adding kefir grains to milk as we’ve covered throughout this article, but what happens when you add them in? Over a 24-hour period, the microorganisms in the kefir grains multiply and ferment the sugars in the milk turning them into kefir. From there, you get a low-fat, probiotic beverage that is nutrient-dense with calcium, protein, vitamin B12, magnesium, and several others! Although kefir may taste like a liquid form of a yogurt it has a more sour taste and thinner consistency


Why Should You Make Kefir at Home?


Why Should You Make Kefir at Home?

If you were wondering why you should make kefir at home, we hope the health benefits, cost factors, and practicality process has convinced you! Bottom line-- kefir is easy to make at home, it’s packed with nutrients, and has many health benefits. Even if you cannot consume animal products or need dairy-free options, we have alternatives for you! Our dry-kefir culture or other vegan options may be a better fit for your lifestyle. Whether you’re a novice learning how to make your own kefir or a professional, we’ve got the right tools, kits, supplies, and recipes for you!