I have fond, peculiar memories of a glass jar sitting on the fireplace mantle, holding a liquid that constantly reinvented itself. It changed by the day, by the hour sometimes, from something strange to something more recognizable. This liquid, as it turns out, is intensely good for you, a drinkable yogurt full of good bacteria, and even better when flavored at the breakfast table with fruit purees. This is one of the recipes in my book Food Heroes.
You can reuse the kefir culture many times as a starter before you need to begin anew: 2 cups of kefir from a previous batch will ferment 1 quart of new kefir.
You can make kefir with coconut milk, rice milk, sheep’s milk, goat’s milk, or soy milk but it won’t get as thick as with cow’s milk.
(Note: As you’ll see in my book, you really only have to heat it to body temperature. The reason you do this is to help activate the bacteria.)
Then place them on a mantle or a ledge of your choosing.
It is ready to drink at this point. But if you’re feeling fancy and need something a little extra one morning…
Have you ever made your own yogurt or cheese? Or experimented with food bacteria?