MILK KEFIR CHEESE-HEALTHY, HOMEMADE AND DELICIOUS!

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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 living, beneficial microbes, 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 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[yumprint-recipe id=’15’]

20 Responses

  1. Desde febrero de 2020 preparo y consumo el KEFIR, en este momento estoy preparando queso crema, queda delicioso. Pero tengo una inquietud y es que tengo muchos granos de Kefir y no s? c?mo puedo obsequiarlos para que otras personas preparen en casa su leche kerirada. Otro consejo es que me indiquen como conservarlos en el refrigerador por varios d?as.
    Agradezco su apoyo

    1. ?Felicitaciones por su ?xito con el k?fir de leche! ?Parece que tienes una cultura muy sana! S?, puede almacenar el cultivo de k?fir adicional en el refrigerador en un recipiente grande de leche. La temperatura m?s fr?a desacelera la fermentaci?n y no matar? el cultivo.

      Tambi?n puede congelar el cultivo en exceso con un poco de leche para conservarlo como plan de respaldo en caso de que pierda su cultivo de k?fir primario. Tambi?n funciona como una opci?n de almacenamiento para cultivo de k?fir adicional. ?Siempre tengo una copia de seguridad del cultivo de k?fir en mi congelador!

      Si tienes gatos o perros, puedes alimentarlos con cultivo de k?fir, ?les encanta!

  2. what is the nutrition information (macros) for home made kefir cheese using organic, unhomogenized whole cow’s milk please?

    1. hi Muri Mei- Sorry, I don’t have the nutritional analysis for your request. I have had the opportunity to make kefir cheese with this type of milk, and it has been very delicious. The less homogenized the milk, the thicker and richer the result

  3. How much milk should I use with the keiifer in making a new batch?
    Is one cup of kiefer to start a new batch enough?

    1. Hi Anita- if you are talking about making milk kefir, my ratio is roughly one tablespoon per 1 litre/quart of milk. However, it is not critical that you follow this ratio. Remember, the more milk to kefir grains, the longer it will take to ferment (you have to wait for the culture to consume the lactose in the milk.) You could do one cup, but you would need less kefir culture, or if you use a tablespoon of culture to 1 cup of milk, it will likely be ready in 12 hours or less.

    1. Hi Sally- thanks for your interest and question. You would add the flavourings after you have made the kefir cheese. It is never a good idea to add anything but milk to the kefir as it is fermenting with the kefir culture as it might harm the culture. It is perfectly fine to add flavouring to the finished kefir cheese.

      1. Hi Fran- thanks for your question. I have never frozen kefir cheese. If the kefir cheese you make is soft (has a ricotta or mascarpone texture), it might not freeze well due to the liquid content.

  4. I have tried making kefir cheese but when straining all the kefir milk goes through the strainer bag. Should I make my kefir milk stronger, ie leave to ferment longer? I use a cheese basket provided with my kefir jar. Many thanks for your advice.

    1. Hi Pamela- thanks for your interest and question! I use coffee filters instead of strainer bags. I layer them as shown in the article and have had repeated success with this method. Your kefir could also be thin if you are using a lower fat milk. I use a full fat milk from my neighbour’s dairy farm so my kefir is always thick. You could also try leaving it to ferment longer, but bear in mind it will be more sour.

    1. 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.

    1. 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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