Kefir cheese is one of the many different foods you can make once you start culturing with kefir. Kefir grains are the starter culture used to make a kefir beverage similar to yogurt. The grains are yellowish and look similar to cauliflower. They contain over 35 different types of beneficial bacteria and yeast. Cheese can be made from the kefir beverage by adding a few more steps to the fermentation process. The cheese made from kefir is a softer cheese similar to cream cheese. It can be used in place of cream cheese or ricotta in recipes. You can also add spices, herbs or even fruits and nuts to add extra flavor.
What You Will Need
1 tablespoon of kefir grains
2 16-ounce jars
Tight weave cheesecloth
Large glass bowl
Herbs or spices for flavor (optional)
- How to Make Kefir
Kefir is a fermented milk beverage that contains probiotic benefits similar to yogurt. Unlike yogurt, kefir can be fermented at room temperature and requires less tools. Kefir is fermented using kefir grains.
Add 1 tablespoon of kefir grains to a 16-ounce jar. Add enough fresh milk to fill the jar 2/3 full. Cover the jar with a lid, but do not tighten the lid completely.
Place your jar in a location that stays at room temperature and is away from sunlight. Allow the kefir to ferment for 48 hours.
Use a plastic colander to strain the kefir liquid off of your kefir grains. Put the kefir grains in a new jar to start your next fermentation. Use the kefir liquid to make your kefir cheese.
Line your colander with the tight weave cheesecloth. Place the colander into a large bowl to catch the whey that drains from your kefir cheese. Pour the kefir liquid into the cheesecloth.
Place the colander and bowl in the refrigerator for 48 hours to allow all of the whey to drain. Set a plate on top of your cheese and allow it to sit for a few hours. Continue to add more weight every few hours by putting another plate on top of your cheese to press out the remaining whey.
Remove the cheesecloth and scrape your cheese into a glass bowl. Mix any herbs or spices into your kefir cheese that you wish to flavor it with. Store your cheese in the refrigerator.
Use the whey you drain off your kefir cheese in smoothies or to make cultured sauerkraut.
Avoid using metal utensils because fermented food will react with the metal.