How to Make Dairy Kefir




Today I’m going to share another live cultured food that I’ve been making for the past couple years, milk kefir. It is similar in taste and consistency to drinkable yogurt, but a bit stronger flavor and has different bacterial strains. It is made with kefir grains that are added to milk and contain healthy yeast and beneficial bacteria in a symbiotic relationship. The grains resemble little clumps of cauliflower. Over time they multiply and you can make larger batches of milk kefir or give them away to friends. (My milk kefir grains have multiplied but not nearly as much as my water kefir ones have.)
This probiotic drink help digestion and over all gut health. I make my with whole raw milk or full fat coconut milk. I prefer the coconut milk because I am still working my way into eating more raw dairy. I stopped eating it when I was a toddler and lost the taste for it so it’s slow and coming process learning to eat it again. For now I eat more coconut milk kefir and use the dairy in place of buttermilk in baking or in ice cream. If you chose to use coconut milk you will need to return them to dairy milk occasionally to revive them. Milk kefir whatever kind you make is great for eating on it’s own, with fruit, in smoothies, for making ice cream, in curries, on top of oatmeal or in baking. I bought my grains from Cultures for Health but you can find them from individuals online as well.
Here is what Cultures for Health has to share about Milk Kefir:
Milk Kefir Highlights:
  • Traditional heirloom-style kefir culture (aka “grains” due to appearance); not a powdered starter culture
  • Reusable culture; makes a new batch of kefir every 18-48 hours
  • With proper care, the culture can be used indefinitely to create delicious probiotic rich kefir
  • Cultures on the counter at 67-80°F, no heating appliance required
  • Can be used with cow milk, goat milk and coconut milk (see instructions)
How to Make Dairy Kefir
1 quart whole raw milk or two cans of  full fat coconut milk
2-3 TBS dairy kefir grains
1 quart glass jar
rubber band or twine

Pour your choice of milk in clean glass jar. Add two TBS or milk kefir grains to the jar. Cover with a cloth and secure with the rubber band or twine and let culture for 12 or more hours. You will know that is done when it  thickens and smells and tastes a bit tangy. Strain through a plastic colander and store in a covered glass quart jar in the fridge.

Keep in mind that if you have other things culturing like, kombucha or sourdough keep a distance of several feet between each jar, as over time the cultures will cross contaminate and weaken.

Here are a couple videos you can watch to on how to make coconut milk kefir:

For great cultured milk ice cream recipes check out my friend Mare’s new E-book, Just Making Ice Cream, purchasing it will help support their ministry in Honduras, the suggested donation is $12. A steal in my opinion, she shared over 70 recipes, some are cultured, others aren’t. I’ve tried many of the recipes and haven’t found one that I didn’t like. All contain real food ingredients.

This post is part of Simple Lives Thursday, Pennywise Thursday, Week Long Blog Hop


About Katie Mae Stanley

Katie Mae Stanley is the writer at Nourishing Simplicity, where the focus is on nourishing foods, herbal remedies, simple living and faith. Ethnic and Mid-west foods are always a favorite in her kitchen and on her blog. She is also the author of the book Steeped: Simple Nourishing Teas and Treats. Katie Mae spent 10 years as a missionary dorm "mama" for a gaggle (almost 40) of amazing deaf girls at a school for the deaf in Baja California, Mexico. Now she finds herself state side ready to embrace God's next adventure. A cup of tea or coffee and a bit of dark chocolate make an appearance at some point in any given day. You can connect with the Nourishing Simplicity community on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.


  1. […] make your own whey you will need homemade yogurt, high quality plain yogurt from the store or homemade dairy kefir. Place a colander in a large bowl, line it with a cheese cloth or thin flour sack towel. Pour your […]

  2. […] kind of smoothie includes fresh or frozen fruit blended with raw milk, water kefir, coconut milk kefir, and other nutrient-dense foods that combine health and […]

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