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Milk Kefir Cheese

A delicious, healthy probiotic alternative to cream cheese and sour cream.

 

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by Jody Gowans in Milk Kefir, Recipes
February 7, 2017

Milk kefir cheese is a delicious, healthy alternative to cream cheese and sour cream. Made from strained milk kefir, it is low in lactose and high in probiotics, vitamins and minerals. I always reserve a batch of my homemade milk kefir to strain to make kefir cheese. 

This rich and tangy cheese can be used as a dip, spread or salad dressing.  It is delicious as is, and also pairs well with both savoury and sweet flavours. Milk kefir cheese is a big favourite in our house- my husband enjoys a french onion version with chips, veggies and on baked potatoes.   My youngest daughter likes a sweetened chocolate version spread on toast and bagels.  The combinations are endless, and once you try this tasty and easy recipe, your family and friends will be begging you to make more! 

HOW TO MAKE MILK KEFIR CHEESE

Preparation Time: 1-3 days (includes straining time)

INGREDIENTS

equipment-for-milk-kefir-cheese

Equipment to make milk kefir cheese

  • Home-made Milk Kefir (either 2% or whole milk, cow or goat’s milk)
  • Coffee filters or Cheese bag (I find coffee filters easier to use, but cheese bags also work well)
  • Sieve
  • Bowl

DIRECTIONS

  1. Line a sieve with 2 layers of coffee filters . Place over a bowl to collect the liquid (whey). You can save the whey to be used as a starter in other lacto-fermentation projects or added to smoothies.

    Cover the entire sieve 2 layers coffee filters

    Cover the entire sieve 2 layers coffee filters

  2. Pour kefir in filtered-lined sieve.  Place in the refrigerator and leave to strain for 1-3 days, until desired firmness is achieved.

    Don't forget the bowl to collect the whey!

    Don’t forget the bowl to collect the whey!

  3. The finished kefir cheese will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for at least 2 weeks.  Below are some flavouring ideas to create delicious, healthy dips and spreads. Experiment with your own flavour combinations and feel free to share them on this post- I’d love to try what you come up with!

     

    MILK KEFIR CHEESE FLAVOUR IDEAS

    Add the ingredients to the kefir cheese to your taste preference.

    Milk kefir cheese 2 ways: chive and "classic onion"

    Milk kefir cheese 2 ways: “classic french onion” & chives

SAVORY

  • Chive:  add chopped fresh or dried chives
  • French Onion: dried onions + beef or vegetable stock powder
  • Curry: add curry powder or paste
  • Pre-made spice blends/dip mix
  • Vegetable: add dehydrated or fresh minced vegetables

SWEET

  • Fig
  • Honey
  • Sweetened Cocoa powder
  • Fruit preserves
  • Jam
    Homemade Milk Kefir Cheese
    A delicious, healthy probiotic alternative to cream cheese and sour cream.
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    Print
    Ingredients
    1. Home-made Milk Kefir
    2. Coffee filters or Cheese bag (I find coffee filters easier to use, but cheese bags also work well)
    3. Sieve
    4. Bowl
    Instructions
    1. Line a sieve with 2 layers of coffee filters . Place over a bowl to collect the liquid (whey).
    2. Pour kefir in filtered-lined sieve.
    3. Place in the refrigerator and leave to strain for 1-3 days.The finished kefir cheese will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for at least 2 weeks. Try some of the flavouring combinations below to create delicious, healthy dips and spreads!
    Notes
    1. MILK KEFIR CHEESE FLAVOUR IDEAS
    2. Add the ingredients to the kefir cheese to your taste preference.
    3. SAVORY
    4. Chive: add chopped fresh or dried chives
    5. French Onion: dried onions + beef or vegetable stock powder
    6. Curry: add curry powder or paste
    7. Pre-made spice blends/dip mix
    8. Vegetable: add dehydrated vegetables
    9. SWEET
    10. Fig
    11. Honey
    12. Sweetened Cocoa powder
    13. Fruit preserves
    14. Jam
    The Cultured Foodie http://theculturedfoodie.com/

 

6 Comments
  1. Gillian says:

    How do I keep my kefir healthy when I am not using it?

    1. Jody Gowans says:

      Hi Gillian- Thanks for your question. There are many methods to save milk kefir grains when you need to take a break from making kefir. The easiest is to store the grains in a jar of milk and keep them in the refrigerator (with the top of the jar covered with a cloth or coffee filter). The higher the milk to kefir ratio, the longer you can store it in the fridge. The lower temperature will slow the culture down, but not kill it. It will slowly consume the lactose in milk, so the culture will remain healthy. I do this often, since my cultures are very active and reproduce rapidly. I have also used this method when I’ve gone on vacation. You can also add milk to a bit of culture and freeze it using a freezer bag or Food Saver bag. I always have frozen kefir on reserve in the unfortunate event I lose my current culture (hasn’t happened yet!). Reanimating frozen kefir culture is a little trickier as the it is sluggish- thaw the grains in the fridge in a jar of good quality milk for 2 days (cream works great for extra nutrition) and then place the jar at room temperature. The first batch might be a little sour, but it should sort itself out after subsequent batches. You can also dehydrate the grains to store them, but reanimating them can be tricky, and I don’t recommend this a primary method of storage.

  2. Karen says:

    What do you think of this study? I see honey and kefir/yogurt together all the time.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23782759?log$=activity

    1. Jody Gowans says:

      Hi Karen- thanks for sharing the study. I have read about honey’s antimicrobial properties. I have used it to ferment garlic and cranberries

  3. Teryl says:

    Is milk kefir keto friendly?

    1. Jody Gowans says:

      Hi Teryl, thanks for your interest. Since the process of making kefir involves the culture consuming the lactose in the milk, the result is very low to no carb (depending on how long you let the kefir ferment.) In Mark Sisson’s book, “The Keto Reset Diet”, (page 85), he states “The best choices for dairy are raw, fermented, unpasteurized, unsweetened with the highest possible fat content: butter, aged cheese, cottage cheese, cream cheese, half and half, heavy cream, kefir, plain yogurt…”

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