One of the concerns often voiced when starting to make homemade kefir is the required daily routine.
I know what you mean! Adding another thing to be done on a day-to-day basis can be overwhelming if your life is already quite brimming with details… and whose isn’t?
Making kefir is such a quick process, but it’s that doggone clean up of the couple jars and lids that can slow the process down. (I did recently clock myself at 2 minutes to complete the entire task! Broke a slight sweat, but invigorating!) Yet, some days, even squeezing out a little window of time can seem impossible. I have worked to find ways of simplifying, and perhaps this method might help you out also!
The secret for me, is BIG BATCHES so I can step away from the routine for 2 to 3 days…
Together my family consumes about 2.5 to 3 cups of kefir daily. I have been putting about a cup of kefir grains in a full half-gallon jar with (fresh, raw!) milk and letting the whole half-gallon ferment for the 24 hour cycle. After 24 hours, I strain out the grains and move them into a quart-sized “holding jar” with about half a quart of fresh milk. This jar goes into the refrigerator for a couple of days.
The 1/2 gallon jar with the kefir needs to remain on the counter to complete the second culture, which really boosts the bioavailability of loads of B-vitamins and even C!
When the 1/2 gallon of kefir has completed another 8 hours or so on the counter, the second ferment is completed! A finished creamy kefir is ready to be consumed! I put this kefir in the refrigerator so it will chill.
The grains will be fine… waiting in the refrigerator for a couple of days. When I am ready to make more kefir, I bring out the quart jar with grains and strain the grains out. They will be a little “sleepy” because they have been chilled for a bit, but they will wake up as they sit out on the counter. I start the steps over again by adding them to a new 1/2 gallon of fresh milk. Sometimes, I get really crazy and let this 1/2 gallon jar sit for a full day and a half because those little sleepy guys need to revive. This method has worked very well!
The 1/2 gallon jar of second fermented kefir will wait on your schedule. When you are ready, take the chilled kefir from the refrigerator and blend into smoothies. The biggest time saver for me has been making the smoothies in big batches.
Our family favorites: frozen mango, frozen strawberries, frozen blueberries, honey, optional unsweetened coconut milk (the kind in a can… absolutely divine addition to the smoothie!), and sometimes a ripe banana! In my Nutribullet, I mix batches of kefir with fruit, honey to taste, and occasionally coconut milk. Each batch has such a distinct happy color. After each batch is blended well in the Nutribullet (a wonder gadget, by the way), I pour the creamy goodness into a glass pitcher. All the flavors end up together in one pitcher, and the color swirl is so lovely! I don’t stir it all up just because I love the swirl (what girl wouldn’t?).
Now I have fruit smoothies in the fridge where they can be enjoyed whenever anyone in my crew has a hunkering. The pitcher lasts about 3 days with my family. The longer it sits in the refrigerator, the more tart the kefir taste will become. Some like that flavor; some don’t. I personally love kefir so the change in tartness is no biggie. I do notice that the kefir smoothies lose some of their wondrous thickness the longer they sit “ready-made” in the fridge, but again, no biggie.
This method of making larger batches of kefir and larger batches of smoothies has helped a lot in minimizing the time investment.
Whatever rhythm you develop for making kefir at your home, just be sure you are doing just that… MAKING KEFIR! AND DRINKING IT, of course! Making kefir shouldn’t be a hassle. I have found that the process is actually so forgiving. I don’t clock my batches on the counter… the more I have worked with it, the more relaxed about the process I have become. I know that will be true for you as well.
And so here’s to KEFIR! Life changing! Health rejuvenation with every sip!
Those amazing grains are little life-giving treasures working around the clock to bring you many, many wonderful helps. Time will tell, you’ll see! In the big picture of life, I can’t think of any food that brings so much to the plate (ahem… glass) than homemade kefir!
With much gratitude, BOTTOMS UP!
If you need a reminder about the benefits of this crazy blessed food, please click here and find reason to keep at it!