The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Best kefir recipes (and a giveaway)

Kefir grains
Brandy is the original source of my kefir grains, and she's been experimenting with wild fermentation for much longer than I have.  So I was thrilled when she offered to share a bit about her experiences...along with a free starter culture for one lucky winner.  Scroll to the bottom of this post to enter the giveaway, but be sure to read Brandy's tips too.  (And don't forget that you've still got a few hours left to enter our notecard giveaway!)


Kefir ice cream sandwichIt's been more than five years since my kefir grains arrived in the mail, packed in a small zippered bag and looking all squished. I don't think I knew what was ahead then, that it would be the one thing I'd keep up with through good times and bad, through morning sickness and two new babies. My kefir grains have traveled, too. After sharing them with dear local friends, they've been packed up and shipped all over the country. I'm still just as excited about kefir as I was when they arrived, so I thought I'd compile some of my thoughts and favorite recipes.

Kefir biscuitsI got the grains on a whim, thinking it would be fun to try them out. I'd had some serious antibiotics a few months before and I was not feeling all that great. I started by making berry and peach smoothies and putting the kefir into biscuits. I'm still doing that, and more. I haven't bought buttermilk in years and I don't really buy much yogurt since Anna enlightened me on the differences. My stomach feels so much stronger, too.

Kefir makes a wonderful substitute for buttermilk, even for those who enjoy buttermilk plain, and adds a lovely leavening kick to quick breads. We put it in waffles, pancakes, biscuits, smoothies, cobblers, coffee cakes, anywhere that buttermilk would normally go. I've even used kefir cottage cheese in place of ricotta in lasagna! My mother, who is gluten-free, enjoys kefir as a way to add a yeasty taste to wheat-free baked goods. All this is making me hungry, let's get to some recipes! Kefir smoothies

Fluffy Kefir Biscuits
Kefir Cottage Cheese
Vanilla Kefir Ice Cream
Kefir Cream Cheese
Long-Fermented Sourdough Biscuits
My simple kefir tutorial


If those recipes sound good, you can get started on kefir in your own kitchen.  Enter the giveaway using the widget below for a chance to win a starter culture, or buy your own for just $10 (plus $5 shipping) in Brandy's etsy store.  Enjoy!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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