Ferment This: Kefir Cream

The grains are still hidden in that pillowy kefir cream – can you spot them?

Do you enjoy the super-rich creaminess of (dairy) whipped cream? How about the gut-pleasing goodness of probiotics? Well, you’re in luck – the two come together in delicious kefir cream!

To make it, just put your milk kefir “grains” – those wonderfully rubbery, nubby mini-SCOBYs – into a non-reactive container (I use glass jars). Pour in the cream, stir, and cover. In just a few days, the microbes work their magic.

When it’s ready, the kefir cream will be incredibly thick – like firm whipped cream. Your challenge will be to retrieve those grains from the cream (no easy task)! I use my fingers to fish around for them, so I’m able to feel even the tiniest grain and pull it out. If you do inadvertently eat one, it’s a bit like a tart, probiotic gummy candy. My dogs love them as an occasional treat!

So what can you do with the finished kefir cream? It has the slightest hint of tartness (mine cultured for two days at room temperature, in the proportion of about 2 tablespoons grains to a pint of cream), and could easily be used in place of Greek yogurt or sour cream. A dollop on beet borscht or chili is fantastic! I also enjoy a bit on top of soaked muesli cups.

If you prefer less-sweet desserts, using kefir cream in place of whipped cream topping (add a touch of sweetener if you wish – liquid stevia, for example, should work well) is delightful. On a chocolate mug cake, for example, it helps balance the sweetness of the cake.

Kefir cream is a must-try if you like milk kefir. Just take your time when fishing out those grains…it’s worth the effort!

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