In case you missed the previous posts in the Milk Kefir series we’ve been making our way through, here are the previous posts:
- Getting Started With Milk Kefir
- Temperature & How to Choose a Culturing Period
- The Common Milk Kefir Mistake You Might Be Making
- Three Tips for Getting Your Milk Kefir Grains to Grow
- Removing the Grains from the Finished Kefir
I’d like to wrap this series up today with some thoughts on actually using that milk kefir every day, and how it can be a blessing to the busy home cook. If you choose to keep making kefir on a continual basis, then you should have plenty of it. Figuring out what to do with it all can be the next challenge.
Thankfully kefir can be used in myriad ways in the kitchen and at the table. It’s no secret that our family loves milk kefir, and certainly not solely for its tangy flavor. Learning how to use it in all sorts of ways – sweet & savory, smoothies & dips, salad dressings & drinks – really revolutionized the cultured dairy making and eating that goes on in our home.
Here’s what happened…
When we moved off-grid I stopped making yogurt. I stopped making creme fraiche. Actually, I stopped making a lot of things.
I had two small children with one on the way, was helping my husband build our homestead from scratch, living off-grid with all of the extra to-dos that are involved, and working on out-of-the-home projects more than ever.
In short, I needed everything else to be simple. But I valued cultured foods for our health too much to cut them out. So I researched and found that I could use kefir for just about all of our dairying needs.
- drinkable milk kefir
- kefir soft cheese
- kefir hard cheese
- kefir butter (made from kefir-cultured cream)
And then there’s the many ways you can use all of these. It became the base of all of our salad dressings. It became the stuff we poured over fruit and nuts for breakfast. It became a straight-from-the-glass addition to a meal when we needed some enzymes and good bacteria.
It turned into a dip or spread mixed with the yumminess of banana and peanut butter. It topped spicy curries and chilis. It dressed a fruit salad with no more than a splash of lemon and vanilla.
In short, it fulfilled all of our cultured dairy needs with one simple counter top culture to keep track of. It’s exactly what I needed at the time and it will continue to play that role in our kitchen because we love it, it makes my life simple, and it is just so flexible.
Some days I would use it in up to three meals a day, other days it would just be one. But it was flexible, and so was I. So if we had a little leftover it would get saved for the next day. And when there was just too much we fed it to the chickens and they went crazy over it.
The point is, you can do all sorts of things with milk kefir and it just might become one of the most useful food items in your kitchen.
How do you make use of your milk kefir?