Tag Archive for kefir

Vanilla Green Tea Kefir Shake

Green tea and vanilla. These are two flavours that I love together.

There’s a macaron joint in my neighbourhood that serves a vanilla green tea, and it’s just my favourite thing.

As the weather gets warmer, though, a young girl’s thoughts turn to Frappucinos. Milkshakes. Smoothies. Cold, creamy, and refreshing, there are unlimited ways to make these frosty drinks.

vanilla green tea kefir shake

The base of this one is matcha and a delicious new vanilla kefir that ended up on my doorstep a week ago.

Now, I’m a fan of kefir. In fact, I’m a fan of anything with probiotics. I take a supplement and I also make sure I eat yogurt or kefir every day.

I should say, for the record, that I there’s yogurt (or kefir) and then there’s yogurt. I think a lot of people buy yogurt thinking it’s good for them, but the kind they are buying actually is packed with sugar and has little nutritional value or probiotics. I usually buy the stuff that’s plain, no sugar, no additives. Or I make my own.

Because I’m buying the plain stuff, I don’t usually eat (or drink) it straight. I usually throw it in a smoothie, which helps to make it less tart and more palatable.

But this stuff! I could drink it straight from the jug! It’s so tasty! And it gives anything you add it to a tart vanilla kick. Oh–and it passed the kid test; Michael loved it and kept asking for it.

This creamy, green “shake” is super healthy and packed with antioxidants and all kinds of other things that are good for you, and it takes about 30 seconds to make.

Vanilla Green Tea Kefir Shake

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Kefir (I used Olympic Dairies Organic Vanilla Kefir)
  • 1 tsp matcha powder
  • 1-2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 6-8 ice cubes
  • 1 tsp vanilla (optional–if you are using plain kefir add it, otherwise the vanilla in the flavoured kefir will do it)
  • 2 tsp Vega’s Protein & Greens Vanilla flavour (optional–this just adds more nutrition)

Method:

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend well until smooth. Serve.

How to Make Kefir

So… yeah. I’m all about the probiotics. I’m all fermenting and making my own yogurt, and I love me some miso.

I guess it was just a matter of time until I got to Kefir.

how to make kefir

I don’t know why it took me so long. It’s not hard. And according to some of the stuff I’ve been reading, the probiotics that go into Kefir are even better for you than the ones they put in yogurt. Well, maybe. Depending on where they come from.

You see, the kefir grains are a lot like sourdough. It’s one of those things that you can’t really buy (although you can), but you can have “passed down” to you. And because these strains have been around for so long, they are really rich and full of different kinds of bacteria.

If you’ve never had kefir, the best way to describe it is as a fermented milk drink of about the consistency of drinkable yogourt. It’s not as thick as yogurt, but it has very similar properties. You can drink it as-is, or some producers add blueberry or strawberry puree, for example, to it, to make a kind of strawberry drinkable yogurt. I use mine, simply, in smoothies, or pretty much any other place where you might use yogurt (I’ve even used it in a cake in place of buttermilk). I always put yogurt in my smoothies, as I like the creamy consistency it gives them, and the bonus probiotic.

There are basically three steps to making your own kefir.

First, you have to get the kefir grains. You can buy them commercially at The Gourmet Warehouse, and probably also Whole Foods, and they also sell more ancient ones at the Homesteader’s Emporium. Probably the best source of kefir grains, though? Craigslist. You can get water kefir, for making something similar to kombacha, or you can get milk kefir (which is what I use).

Secondly, you heat up your milk, then you let it cool a little. This helps to create the thickened texture of the kefir.

Next, you let it sit for 18-24 hours. Now, I’m sure you’re thinking, “waitaminit, lady. You’re telling me to let a milk product sit out, unrefrigerated for 24 hours?” Yep, that’s exactly what I’m saying. The bacteria need a warm environment to do their work. Once it’s completed, you can put your kefir in the fridge to keep for the next week.

How to Make Kefir

Ingredients: 

  • 1 litre milk
  • kefir grains or kefir starter (I’m using Yogourmet–one 5 ml packet)
  • 1 litre mason jar
  • candy thermometer

Method: 

  1. Heat the milk gently in a saucepan on the stove until it reaches 180 degrees F (82 C). You don’t want it to boil.
  2. Take the milk off the heat, and allow to cool down to 75 degrees F (25 C).
  3. Take a ladleful of the milk out of the pan, and place it in a small bowl. Add the packet of culture, and mix well.
  4. Carefully pour the milk into the mason jar, then pour the small bowl of milk (with culture mixed in) into the mason jar as well. Mix or shake well.
  5. Allow the mason jar to sit out, on the countertop, for 18-24 hours, or until your kefir reaches a desired consistency. It should be like a thick yogurt, but still smooth. If it gets too lumpy, you’ve left it out too long. Give the jar a good shake, and then store it in the fridge. Shake prior to each use.