These little white balls that look like tiny cauliflowers are what we call milk
kefir or Tibetan mushroom.
It is actually about living microorganisms, combined with various yeasts and bacteria.
In the milk kefir grains, yeasts such as Kefir candida and also more than twenty different
bacteria can be distinguished, the main ones being the following:
Lactobacillus bulgaricus caucasicus
Lactobacillus bulgaricus casei
By fermenting in animal milk (cow's milk, goat's milk, etc.) we obtain a beverage called
exactly as the grains, namely milk kefir: it is a slightly gaseous and acidic beverage, whose texture resembles strongly to a yogurt
Milk Kefir Kilocalories
Number of kilocalories per 100 grams of whole milk kefir 64 kcal.
Number of kilocalories per 100 grams of semi-skimmed milk kefir 53 kcal.
Number of kilocalories per 100 grams of skim milk kefir 36 kcal.
Source: "The probiotic miracle", Claire Pinson, IDEO editions 2012,
History of Milk Kefir
The name kefir would be derived from the Turkish word
keif and would mean well-being sensation .
The milk kefir grains are also known under the following
No one knows exactly the origin of the milk kefir. It is generally accepted
that it would be a native of the North Caucasus secular tradition.
For the Muslim populations of this area, the kefir was considered as a gift
from Allah. According to the legend, the tribes had received the milk kefir grains from the hands of the Prophet Mohammed himself, as they were crossing the area about 1400 years
That is the reason why the milk kefir grains are also known under the
name of Prophet's millet and the beverage obtained from these grains, the Drink of the Prophet.
Benefits of Milk Kefir
Before consuming beverages obtained from milk kefir grains and especially
in case of health problems, we strongly recommend our users to see a doctor, as only a doctor is certified to prescribe a treatment. The consumption of beverages obtained from milk
kefir grains can in no way replace the treatment, or if so, the user does this at his own risk and peril.
The kefir milk shouldn’t be considered as being a "miracle product", but it
could have its role to play in the internal body rebalancing. Many modern diseases are the result of an unbalanced diet, intestinal disorders, vitamin deficiency, etc. This gives quite often
nutritional deficiencies, stress, tension, etc. Most of these inconveniences are solved once the body balance is restored, and this is where the milk kefir could successfully
These are foods that, in addition to their nutritional function, provide
physiological benefits, while helping to reduce the risk of diseases and take care of health.
The main effect of kefir milk consists in restoring the internal body balance
and optimizing health. For the seniors, it would also be a great way to revitalize.
The milk kefir would help to digest and assimilate the food that we eat, would
restore the intestinal flora and also would encourage intestinal transit; the beneficial bacteria contained in the milk kefir would settle in the digestive tract, where they would have a
Consumed on a regular basis, the milk kefir beverage would have positives
effects on the intestinal disorders, by its intestinal purifying and cleansing action. And also, after taking antibiotics, the milk kefir may help you to repopulate gut flora.
Real appetite suppressant, milk kefir helps to reduce appetite; for this
reason, it would be indicated in diet. The beverage obtained by fermentation of milk kefir grains has the same nutritional value as the milk used in its manufacture. During the
fermentation process, the lactose (the milk sugar) is partially degraded; thereby kefir milk would also supported by people who are lactose intolerant.
Equipment needed to prepare Milk Kefir
Here’s what you need in order to prepare the basic milk kefir
milk kefir grains (you will need about 20 grams of milk kefir grains for 250 ml
animal milk (cow milk, goat milk, etc.), preferably whole or semi-skimmed milk.
Wherever possible, skimmed milk is to be avoided. In fact, it is the whole animal milk that brings most of the nutrients to the living kefir grains.
Regarding the kitchen tools, here's what you will need:
a non-metallic container: any glass will do (a canning jar for e.g.);
a muslin in order to cover the jar, using an elastic;
a fine mesh plastic strainer and
a small plastic spoon.
Together with your order you will receive the basic recipe for the milk kefir.
You can also find the basic recipe for the water kefir on our dedicated recipes section.
Hygiene compliance Milk Kefir
Hygiene compliance is essential while preparing milk kefir beverages.
Therefore, it is very important to always pay attention to hygiene when it comes to kefir.
If you notice any unusual smell and/or colors, or if mold appears on your
kefir grains, you must not drink the beverage obtained. Milk kefir grains that smell strange are usually grey or brown.
Healthy kefir grains have naturally a slightly acidic smell, no aftertaste.
Always use kitchen tools easy to maintain (glass jar, fine mesh plastic strainer, small plastic spoon).
In order to wash the kitchen tools, you do not have to sterilize them; by
cons, always use hot water and dish detergent preferably made of natural products, and take care not to burn yourself when doing this.
For the jar, you can use glass jars for vegetables for e.g., that you can
easily find on the market. You must carefully clean the jar before use, as described here.
Mesh plastic strainers and plastic little spoons being affordable, the best is
to buy them new and used them only for your probiotic cultures.
Once the kitchen tools are cleaned as described, you have to let them cool
completely, as kefir grains can’t withstand high temperatures. Only after that you can start a new culture.
Milk Kefir Tips and Tricks
In order to successfully make milk kefir beverages, here are some helpful tips
avoid the use of metal when handling milk kefir grains; in fact, metal ions distort the bacilli contained in the kefir;
milk kefir grains are not to be eaten: they serve only to seed your drink;
always respect the recommended dosage: use about a tablespoon of kefir grains into 250-300 ml animal milk. If the grains grow too much,
simply divide them to always keep this proportion. Otherwise, the beverage could be very acid, undrinkable too;
use preferably whole or semi-skimmed animal milk. In fact, the whole milk strengthens the kefir grains , as it contains all the nutrients
that the grains need for their development, while the skim milk weakens them. Do not use fortified or "easy to digest" milk;
avoid using constantly the same type of milk, as kefir grains bacteria appreciate the variety;
if the kefir grains ferment hardly, simply add a little bit of sugar;
hygiene compliance is essential: the container must be thoroughly
washed after each culture. Milk kefir grains must be rinsed once per week in bottled still water and immediately put back in milk;
stir the milk from time to time, as the milk casein (milk proteins) tends to clump and form around each seed; using a small plastic spoon,
carefully stir the grains so that they can disengage and inoculate more homogeneously the beverage;
if whey appears at the bottom of the jar, simply stir a little bit with the little spoon: the beverage becomes immediately more sparkling.
This also means that the kefir drink is ready and the fermentation should be stopped;
respect the fermentation time, as it varies depending on the temperature (18-25° C). At more than 25° C the fungus works faster, while below
18° C the fermentation is slower; if the fermentation is too important, it will give a sour taste and it is not recommended to drink the beverage obtained;
the effect of the drink varies according to the degree of fermentation:
A young kefir (fermented 12h to 24h) is slightly laxative, therefore indicated against constipation for e.g. The kefir is not very thick yet,
it has some little bubbles and its taste is not very pronounced;
A medium kefir (fermented 24h to 48h) has already bubbles, it becomes thicker and the taste is comparable to a yogurt one;
A mature kefir (fermented 48 h to 72 h) slightly constipates, and it is rather used in cases of diarrhea.
How to store milk kefir Grains?
If you do not prepare milk kefir drink, the grains can be stored in
a non-metallic container in the refrigerator crisper compartment, in a sufficient amount of milk to covered all the grains; in the mean time, make sure to leave them some space so they can
have enough air.
You can also dry the grains on a clean linen in the open air, simply
by covering them with a muslin so that dust doesn’t penetrate. This way, you can store them in your kitchen cabinet, in a jar covered with a muslin retained by an elastic. In order to later
reactivate the dried milk kefir grains, simply soak them a few hours in lukewarm water (do not use hot water).
Another solution consists in freezing the milk kefir grains and then
let them thaw in open air.
Please notice that the dried milk kefir grains and the thawed ones usually
take longer to reactivate, so you have to be patient.
Frequently Asked Questions about Milk Kefir
How to make milk kefir beverage?
The basic recipe for preparing the milk kefir drink is available in the Recipes section of the site or simply by clicking here.
A detailed user guide will be attached to your order.
Animal milk or vegetable "milk"?
Milk kefir grains mainly feed on ingredients found in animal milk (cow's milk, goat's milk,
For people who do not wish to consume animal milk, the use of vegetable "milk" (soy milk, almond milk, etc.) is an alternative, provided that kefir grains are regularly
returned to animal milk.
Please pay attention to the fact that using only vegetable "milk" will result
in the loss of grains over time because they do not find the nutrients they need.
In this picture, the milk kefir grains are about to thicken vanilla flavored organic
... and here, the milk kefir grains thicken organic goat's milk.
How to store the milk kefir Grains?
If no milk kefir drink is being prepared, the grains can be stored in a non-metallic container in the refrigerator crisper, in a sufficient amount of milk in order to cover the Grains,
while making sure to leave somespace so that they can have enough air.
You can also dry the
grains on a clean cloth in the open air, covering them with muslin in order to avoid dust to enter.You can store them in a cupboard, in a jar covered with a muslin held by a
rubber band.In order to
reactivate dried milk kefir grains later, they must be soaked in lukewarm water for a few hours.
Another solution is to freeze the milk
kefir grains and then let them defrost in the open air.
kefir grains and the thawed ones usually take longer to reactivate, so you need to have patience.
Can milk kefir grains be eaten?
No, the milk kefir grains are in no way to be eaten: they must only be used in order to sow
Bacteriological analysis for the milk kefir
Please notice that the bacteriological analysis results are only available in French. Thank
you for your understanding.