When I wanted to try kefir, I wanted the actual grains so I wouldn't have to buy a powdered starter again and again. If you don't know anyone that has some grains they can give you, you can purchase some from a reputable company, like these from Cultures for Health. (The grains look kind of like cauliflower.)
If you've never had milk kefir before, it is like a thick milk that tastes similar to yogurt but with more of a twang... almost like it has wine in it. No, you don't get a buzz from drinking kefir. That's just kind of how it tastes to me.
When I first got it, it took some getting used to. I still don't enjoy drinking it straight, but do love it in smoothies. (I've got some great recipes to share with you later this week.) I went through a spell where I was drinking it fairly regularly, but then I just stopped. I'm not quite sure why.
So, I decided to put my milk kefir grains with some fresh milk into the refrigerator. It stayed there for close to 6 months.
A few weeks ago, I thought I'd better see if I'd killed off my grains. I strained off the kefir it had been sitting in all those months, rinsed them with filtered water, put them in some fresh milk in a clean jar, and left them on the counter.
And you know what? Yep, you guessed it. They were alive and started to do their thing. After a couple batches I was right back up to having freshly fermented kefir every 24 hours or so.
Now that I'm back having milk kefir smoothies as a afternoon snack, I've noticed that my blood sugar is more balanced and that I'm not craving "bad" food. I thought it was just me until I read that that was one of the side-benefits to drinking kefir.
Do you drink milk kefir? If so, let me know your favorite way to use it!
I'm so glad I'm not a kefir grain murderer. I don't know how I could have lived with myself.