Milk Kefir grains are the starter culture that is used to make not only kefir, but various foods including cheese and bread. Kefir grains can be used for countless recipes rather than being eaten on their own.
From my personal experience I know that most of my self-producing colleagues often end up having so many grains that they don’t know where to store them. Many ask me what to do with the extra grains they still have after refrigerating them, drying, sharing around and so on.
Your kefir grains keep growing soon filling all your containers and you don’t know what to do with them? Well, why not eat them!
Milk kefir grains can be eaten alone, but they also fit well in a number of recipes. They are mainly composed of proteins, lipids, polysaccharides and a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts. Milk kefir grains provide an easily assimilated form of protein, fiber, active probiotic cultures, and are also rich in B vitamins and calcium.
I think the best is to drink them up. If you can swallow them while sipping your kefir just do it, because they are extremely beneficial for our intestinal flora.
Kefir grains taste similar to kefir of course. The lactic acid produced by the grains concentrates on their outside making them more savory than the milk kefir they produce. Their texture is kind of spongy similar to a gummy bear. Visually they may not look very appetizing, but with little imagination we can turn them into appetizing dishes for both the palate and our eyes.
HOW TO USE KEFIR GRAINS IN THE KITCHEN
This is my favorite way to use my extra milk kefir grains. I often add those grains into my multi-vitamin smoothies making them creamy. It’s also a great way to take probiotics and prebiotics together.
In this regard, you might be interested in the article: “Probiotics vs. prebiotics: what’s the difference?”
Kefir grains can be added to the dressing for any salad as they make the dressing thicker and give it a creamy texture. The same way you would prepare a vinaigrette for a Caesar salad, just blend the grains with it. This dressing is best prepared on the spot just before using it because the lactic ferments will immediately begin to produce lactic acid making the seasoning sour.
You can blend kefir grains with chickpeas and the spices that you normally use to make hummus. In this case you will have to reduce the amount of lemon juice and the result will be amazing.
Added to the sauté
Kefir grains, drained,dried and grossly chopped, can be added to your sauté where they will bring a slightly sour taste. Depending on the preparations you can choose to use them in this way.
Added to soups, minestrone and mashed potatoes
Add kefir grains to your soups after cooking so that they retain their original texture, as well as all their nutritional values. When added at the beginning they soften and can dissolve completely in the soup. In this case probiotics and vitamins are dispersed, but they will still provide proteins and lipids without changing their consistency.
They fit great in soups such as cream of mushrooms, carrots or leeks for example. The grains can be added easily when you go to blend after cooking. I have even add kefir grain to mashed potatoes and vegetable puree, the outcome was great too.
Kefir grains have similar characteristics to mother yeast as they are concentrates of bacteria and yeast cultures. Yeasts convert carbohydrates into CO2 and alcohol. Alcohol is converted into lactic acid by lactic bacteria.
To use kefir grains as a quick sourdough, mix a tablespoon of kefir grains with a little water and flour to make a batter. Let it sit in a warm place for 24 hours.
The sourdough should be fizzy and have a sour smell. You can use milk kefir directly and a tablespoon of kefir grains instead of yeast straight into the dough to prepare bread, pizzas and cakes.
Kefir grains can be spread on bread, crackers or toast. To obtain a fresh spreadable Kefir “cheese” I put 1 cup of kefir grains in a colander to drain for half a day or so. At this point all that is necessary is to season the cheese with chives or whatever you like, and use it just as you would with any creamy fresh cheese.
Stir the kefir grains with some eggs. Add 1/4 cup of kefir grains to your regular omelettes. Kefir grains can also be used as egg substitutes for individuals who want to consume probiotics and less cholesterol that is contained in the yolks. Kefir grains can also replace egg whites in ice cream recipes.
These are some of the ways I personally use my extra kefir grain. The taste of milk kefir grains doesn’t go with everything, but options are certainly not lacking. Even my pets are greedy for it and does good to them as well as for us. There is no shortage of options, be creative and good kefir everyone!