Homemade Kefir + A Honey-Roasted Banana Kefir Smoothie

Homemade Kefir

1 tablespoon fresh kefir grains

1 cup warm organic milk (animal or coconut, must be organic because remnants from antibiotics in non-organic milk can kill the bacteria cultures in the kefir grains)

Honey-Roasted Banana + Kefir Smoothie

2 bananas, ripe but firm

1 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon raw sugar

pinch of cinnamon (optional)

First, make sure everything that touches the kefir and kefir grains is clean, as you do not want to introduce harmful bacteria into the fermentation environment. To revitalize your new kefir grains, place them in a clean container with 1 cup of the milk. Cover with a breathable fabric or cheesecloth and use a rubber band to make it taught and sealed. Let it sit for 24-48 hours, gently shaking it side-to-side a bit  about 3 times a day. 

Once the milk has thickened, use a clean mesh strainer to filter out the kefir grains. Keep the grains, and discard the first batch of milk. Place the kefir grains in another clean container and add 1 cup of fresh milk. This will be your first batch of kefir. Allow it to sit at room temperature for 12-48 hours, or until it thickens and the texture is like thin yogurt. The warmer your home is, the less time it will take, and vice versa. Strain out the kefir grains again, place them in a clean container with another cup of milk, cover with breathable fabric and repeat. The kefir you strained from this batch is ready for drinking! You can drink it at room temperature, or refrigerate it to chill it a bit. Feel free to blend it with various fruits, spices, or extracts to add some flavor. The next time you make your kefir, feel free to add 2 or 3 cups of milk instead of 1. It might take a bit longer to ferment, though, so keep an eye on the texture.

If you ever notice any spots of mold of any kind on your kefir, throw it all away, including the grains. This only happens if the materials that came in contact with the kefir were not clean, or if it was left to ferment for waaaaay too long. But if it does happen, it is not worth the risk of using contaminated grains to start another batch, so toss those little guys and order some new ones.

To make the smoothie, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Peel the bananas and cut them in half length-wise. Coat them in the honey and place them on a baking sheet lined with tin foil. Sprinkle with the raw cane sugar and bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool completely. Once cooled, place the bananas in a blender or food processor with the kefir and cinnamon. Blend until smooth and serve immediately.