I have found kefir cheese and cream very useful, and healthy at the same time! They can be used in much the same way as ordinary cream cheese and cream. Kefir cream cheese makes lovely dips for parties and special occasions.
Health benefits of kefir Curds
• Reduce allergies if not eliminate them altogether
• Enhances digestion – eliminating constipation or diarrhoea
• Supports the immune system
• Replenishes good bacteria following antibiotic use
• Treats yeast infections
• Improves mood and sleep
• Helps lower blood pressure
• Helps symptoms of acne
First make kefir in the usual way, but leave it a little longer to ferment than usual. Your kefir will begin it separate.
Gently shake the kefir and strain out the kefir grains in the usual way.
Then place a double piece of muslin in a sieve and place the sieve over a bowl. Pour the kefir into the sieve and allow it to drip into the bowl. The liquid in the bowl is the whey and the thick milk (curds) in the sieve can be used to make kefir cream or cream cheese. (Also see post for making whey.)
The muslin can be gathered together and gently twisted to squeeze to extract the juice, or you can use a jelly strainer if you have one.
Let it drain until the curds are as thick as required. I usually use a spatula to gently move the thicker curds from the outside to the centre so that the whey can drip through the muslin more easily (because I am usually impatient to see the finished thing!)
Scoop the curds into a bowl. In its present state is tastes similar creme fraiche and can be used as such.
This is plain kefir cream cheese. It can be used as it is or you can add some flavourings. At this stage you can be quite creative depending on the use of the cream cheese and your tastes. I have found it is better to use dried ingredients as things like fresh garlic, chilli or onions seem to make the cheese watery after a little while.
Here are some suggestions:-
Cracked black pepper
Simply add your choice of flavourings a little at a time until it is to your liking.
On baked potatoes
In recipes using cream cheese
Add to soups
Cooking with kefir and kefir cheese will kill he healthy bacteria, however the good news is that there are other helpful nutrients in kefir and kefir cheese such as calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, tryptophan (an amino acid), folic acids, biotin, and Vitamins A, B2, B12, D, and K which will be retained. If possible add the kefir cream cheese after cooking to retain the probiotic element.
To make the curds into cream simply add a little honey or rosehip syrup to take the sourness away if desired. Vanilla can also be added. Use as you would for cream although it won't whip to make it thicker.
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