Kefir grains are one of many superfoods that have exploded in popularity in the last few years, as healthy food has become incredibly popular. However, if you’re not familiar with these grains – don’t worry, you’re not alone!
Kefir grains are, despite their name, not actually a grain at all. Instead, they are a combination of yeasts and bacterias that form in milk. They are gelatinous in texture, and look a bit like little cauliflower heads. While that might not sound very tasty, they have many health benefits and also taste good when cooked properly.
Part of the reason that kefir grains are relatively unknown is due to their history. It is thought that kefir grains have been eaten and drunk for many years, originating in the Caucasian region, near modern day Russia.
They were thought to be holy in origin, and believed to have many health benefits that bordered on magical. Because of this, there was a belief that if the secret of the kefir grains made it out into public knowledge, they would lose their power. Therefore, it was kept a closely guarded secret and handed down from family to family.
Eventually, however, in the earliest 20th Century, a Russian spy found out about the grains and began to tell everyone about these great grains. It was not long before the whole world knew about them, and they became hugely popular.
Quick Comparison: Best Strainer for Kefir Grains
|Brand||Number of Products||Material||Weight||Sizes||Dishwasher safe?||Warranty|
|#1. Culina Nylon Mesh Strainers|
|3||Nylon & plastic||4 oz||4", 5" and 7"||Yes||Money back guarantee|
|#2. US Kitchen Supply Strainers|
|4||Stainless Steel||15 oz||4", 4.5", 5.5" and 8"||Yes||Lifetime money back guarantee|
What is so healthy about kefir grains?
Kefir grains may not cure tuberculosis, but they do have many health benefits. In some ways, kefir grains are similar to yoghurt and other probiotic drinks – they have a lot of good bacteria which helps with intestinal health.
To put it in perspective, when most yoghurt is thought to have between 1 – 10 strands of good bacteria, kefir grains have as many as 30. Some of these bacterias are unique and can help protect against bad bacterias such as E. Coli.
Kefir is also high in protein, and may assist with weight loss, digestion, inflammation and bone health.
What do you do with kefir grains?
Kefir grains need to be fermented before you can consume them. This is a relatively easy process, however you should be very careful to make sure you use clean equipment, or else you may make yourself unwell. If you do not wish to ferment your own kefir grains, you can often buy it from health stores and other shops.
The Fermenting Process
The first step to ferment kefir grains is to, of course, purchase the grains! They can be bought from most health stores, or online.
The next step is to add the grains into milk. You will need a sterilised jar such as a mason or ceramic jar for this. First, add the milk in (this can be cow’s milk, goat’s milk, or non-animal alternatives such as almond milk or soy), then add the grains in on top. Over the top of the bar, place a seal such as a cheese cloth or coffee filter, and seal tightly with a rubber band.
You then need to leave the jar in a warm place for about a day – do not refrigerate it. After 24 hours, you can strain the grains, and then drink your kefir milk.
Best of all, you can store the used grains back in the fridge, and they can be used over and over again. Just follow the exact same process again.
What’s the best strainer to use?
One of the few tools you will need for making healthy kefir milk from kefir grains is a strainer. Now, you can use any strainer that you have, however we have searched for a few options that are particularly well-suited to straining kefir grains.
1. Culina Nylon Mesh Strainers Set of
This set of 3 strainers is a very cost-effective option which is great for all sorts of cooking uses, including straining kefir grains.
The 3 strainers are all different sizes, which means it is suitable for no matter how much kefir milk you ae making. In addition, they have handy little tabs on the outside so that you can easily rest them against a surface to strain.
They are very durable, and there are also hooks on the end of the handle so that you can hang them easily.
In addition, these strainer are made from durable nylon. Nylon does not react with other ingredients so you will not taste anything in the milk after you have strained the kefir grains through it.
2. US Kitchen Supply Set of 4 Strainers
This is another set of strainers made by American company US Kitchen Supply. These are 4 commercial grade strainers of different sizes.
These strainers have convenient tabs that allow these strainers to easily rest against other cookware. In addition, they have comfortable, soft handles that make them even easier to use. These soft handles are also heat resistant so they are a great choice for other cooking, too.
The strainers are made from high quality stainless steel, and are extremely durable. These products even come with a lifetime money back guarantee, so you can try using these for awhile and if you don’t like them – get all of your money back!
What’s the best strainer?
Either of these sets of strainers would be great for straining kefir grains. However we personally recommend the US Kitchen Supply set, due to its excellent lifetime guarantee and elegant looks. Not only is this set perfect for straining kefir grains, but it is also great for all your cooking uses. Therefore, this set comes highly recommended.
However, whichever strainer you choose, we are sure you will see the health benefits of kefir grains.