Kefir Recipes

Spectacular Kefir Drink

Make kefir with the freshest milk possible and add as many of the following ingredients as desired:

  • 1 tsp. of unrefined flax seed oil
  • Lecithin, which aids fat digestion, to taste
  • Fiber, such as Nutri-Flax
  • Probiotics (friendly bacteria)
  • Natural flavorings or herbs such as stevia, nutmeg, cinnamon, non-alcoholic vanilla or natural fruit flavoring
  • Fresh or frozen organic fruits, strawberries, raspberries, bananas, kiwi, mango etc.

Blend together for a delicious, nutritious breakfast, lunch, or snack and enjoy!

Cool Kefir Dressing (No Oil)

  • 2 cups fresh Kefir
  • 1 heaping tbs. fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 heaping tbs. fresh chives, minced
  • 1 heaping tbs. fresh lemon zest, finely chopped
  • 1 heaping tbs. fresh garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Herbamare™
  • 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
  1. Combine all ingredients (except xanthan gum) and blend thoroughly.
  2. Slowly add xanthan gum and continue to blend until mixture thickens.
  3. Full flavor will develop after 6 to 8 hours.

Note: Dairy products combine best with nonstarchy vegetables and acid fruits. Don’t hesitate to add a little Flax Seed Oil to this recipe.

  • Lee

    A friend gave me some kefir and I think I messed it up. I rinse it everyday when I strain it. It used to taste like a normal smooth yoghurt but now tastes like bad maas / sour milk. I have not strained it for almost 2 weeks. Should I rinse it and start it over again or should I get fresh seeds. I don’t like the taste it has now, prefer that smooth yoghurt taste. Help, what should I do?

    • George McLaughlin

      Try straining it and adding to fresh milk. Do this once a day for a couple days. Chances are that it will recover. you’ll know it’s recovered when the product tastes good, not spoiled. I, personally, don’t rinse the grains in water.

      Tahlequah, Oklahoma

      • Also, if you let your milk grains sit in the fridge in a little milk for a week or so, the kefir will be so smooth; taste and look just like yogurt.


    • Never rinse kefir grains in water

      • sally

        Why can’t you rinse kefir in water?

  • There’s a few recipes at foodferret, here.

  • Rachel

    I bought some raw cow milk kefir (“mild”) from a local farmer. It tastes like sour, lumpy milk to me and brings back memories of not checking the milk carton from when I was a kid. With the way it tastes/the texture, I can’t drink it now. Any suggestions? I always thought that kefir was supposed to taste something like yogurt.

    • Cali

      you can blend it with frozen fruits to get a yummy smoothy. You can also add honey and vanilla extract for more flavour…

      • Jean Thompson

        Here’s a recipe I’ve created, and LOVE:

        Breakfast Smoothie

        For one smoothie:

        ½ ripe banana
        4 frozen strawberries (or equiv. of another fruit)
        1 heaping teaspoon cocoa powder (antioxidant)
        ½ scoop of vanilla whey powder (for protein, but don’t add too much)
        ¼ cup quick raw oats (grain/fiber)
        1 tablespoon coconut milk (Creamy coconut found by the drink mixers)
        ¾ to 1 cup kefir milk (6-8 oz.)
        Honey or sugar to taste

        Can also add:

        Egg Nog
        Ice Cream
        Any kind of frozen, canned or fresh fruit (pineapple)
        Chocolate syrup
        Anything else that looks like it would be good

        • Joe Clarke

          I am diabetic and substitue real maple syrup for most of the sweeteners mentioned. Maple Syrup does not spike your glucose as other sugars – natural or otherwise – will do. I sweeten my morning kefir drink with it and it is delicious.

  • maryellen

    I have been making cheese with my kefir and love it more than any cheese I have ever tasted! I have tried it out on many friends and have yet to find anyone who disagrees with me. I have not read anywhere here about anyone else doing this, but I highly recommend it.
    After you have made your kefir, and removed the grains to start your next batch… Place the just made kefir in a gauze or cheesecloth (several layers, you don’t want the fabric to be too open weave or you lose everything) bag shape. I have a big mouthed gallon jar. I place the gauze so that it hangs down into the jar, holding it in place with rubber bands around the mouth of the jar.I pour in the kefir, and use the excess fabric hanging down from the outside to cover over the top. I then let it sit out in same temp as when making kefir but for another 24 hours. I might place it in the refrigerator at this point, but most of the whey has dripped away after 24 hours leaving a ball of soft cheese. I then add garlic, basil, a dash of salt, pepper, gomasio, herbs.. Get Creative!! I promise you will become very addicted to this cheese. spread on toasted bread, crackers or fresh vegies .. Enjoy!

    • Vicki

      Im interested in how you make your cheese. I want to try it but I need a few more details. Thanks for your help!

    • Kelz

      maryellen, I have just tried Kefir for the 1st time last week when I started a new diet that focuses on increasing lean protein consump
      tion and decreasing carbs. In doing that, I have found im stuck eating the same things over & over. How do u “make” Kefir? I only
      just purchase it at a loca l store & would love to know how. Also, feel free to share any other things that can be done with Kefir so that I can broaden my “healthy eating” horizons. Thanks

    • Joe Clarke

      What do you do with the excess whey? Thanks!

    • Janice

      I would like clarification. I have been drinking the liquid and not eating the curds or grains. I hope that is what I am suppose to being doing? I am wondering if I were to begin making cheese all the liquid would just flow through the gauze???
      How does that become cheese?

    • Deanna

      Maryellen, How much kefir milk do you need to make a usable amount of cheese? Also, my kefir milk is pretty runny, how does it stay in the cheesecloth? And you only need to let it sit for 24 hours to have cheese? I thought it had to be like 2 months? Just starting with kefir, so not very knowledgable yet. 🙂

  • Annette

    I have been making kefer for about 6 months, after getting some buds from a friend. My buds have turned a salmon pink color. The kefer milk I strain off it is white as usual, and it tasts the same. I was concerned that it might be a pink algae. Is it ok to eat or do I need to start over?

    • maryellen

      I don’t know the real answer but I have had this happen also.. I felt like it was contaminated.. but only on that top layer.. I scooped off all that appeared pink..and kept going.. could have been the one time something was not perfectly clean.. this happened to me when I was making the cheese, I have never had it happen when making the kefir..

    • Aneke

      Wash/rinse the kefir about once a month with water

      • Clark

        No,No,No,No; salmon pink is FINE; that’s just the colony maturing and grouping together. Your kefir is NOT contaminated or bad in any way, and there is no need for rinsing that I’ve ever heard of. Let me clarify that: I have heard many times of people rinsing their grains/buds; but many others claim it is unnecessary, and even damages a protective layer the colony forms around itself. I myself have never rinsed any buds, and it’s my belief that it’s an unnecessary practice that may even inhibit your little guys in some way. My OPINION is that the only reason to ever get rid of your culture and start fresh is if it changes the character or taste of your kefir in some way that is not to your personal liking.

        Case in point:

        I loved kefir from the first taste, and the friend who introduced me to it split his culture for me, and I took that piece home with me. Keep in mind that he had been using this same culture for a year or more. So I started my on batching. Problem was, I couln’t make it FAST enough! I like my kefir pretty mature and tangy, and have to wait longer for a batch to “age” to my liking. since I was only making a half gallon at a time, I’d wait a week (at room temp, mind you), and then only have kefir for two days, 3 at most. I mean, I can demolish a quart of the stuff in one sitting; so I’d have to start again, and go through that cycle again. It was mostly working and waiting, and very little brief enjoyment; so finally, I got frustrated with it. I had a half-batch in the fridge ( I culture at room temp, but prefer to drink it cold) and just let it go. I intended to make more, but just got so tired of working and waiting so long to get so little of what I wanted, that in actuality, I just gave up on it. So my last batch of kefir sat in the back corner of the fridge. I don’t remember any more how long it’s been there, but it’s been way over a year (remember this; there’ll be a quiz later). In the meantime, one of the local grocery chains started selling commercially made kefir. I tried it and liked it, but at over $3.50/quart it was an expensive habit; so I started using it to culture more. It worked. I’d buy a quart of skim milk to a quart of kefir, or maybe a half-gallon of milk to a quart of kefir if I was willing to wait longer, and I had more kefir faster that way than with my early attempts. Then I bought some bottled water in gallon plastic jugs; drank the water, and used the jugs to culture kefir, now at a rate of 4 gallons at a time. I thought, finally, I’m getting nearly as much kefir as I want. I put in the fridge what I want to drink immediately, and let the rest sit out for a few weeks or a month until I get around to it, and force myself to drink only 8 oz. a day :>( to make it last. by the time I have only one gallon left, I can use it to start another batch of 4. Ok; this works, more or less.

        Now (quiz time) what about the stuff that’s been in the fridge over a year. About a quart, maybe as much as 48 ozs. Neglected. Dead for sure, right? Gotta get that outta there. It’s just taking up space. Decided this last night. But I got adventurous (which is how we all got onto kefir in the first place, right? Everybody say “yes”…). I poured out a little sip….

        WOW!! You want tangy??? We gotcher TANGY right HERE! WOO!

        Another sip, and another, to get used to the taste. OK, TOO tangy, even for me. Tangy like straight vinegar. Very acidy. But I wasn’t scared, because the high acicity woud be hostile to virtually any other organism loking for a home in my kefir. So with regret (and probably in some ignorance as to what else this “sharp” kefir could be used for), I poured out the liquid, but saved the colony. Then, for the only time I ever did it, I rinsed the colony, just in case I was wrong about other organisms. I know now I needn’t have been concerned.

        I put the rinsed colony in a clean glass jar (I consider sterilization unnecessary, owing to the nature of the kefir colony to immediately put up “no trespassing” signs wherever it goes, and enforce them rigorously), and poured fresh sim milk over it. A taste this morning.

        I didn’t know what to expect, but in retrospect and using reason to figure it out, I should have expected what I got. What I got was nascent kefir that tasted much like the (in my opinion) overly tangy kefir I poured out. Fainter, not as pronounced, but just as tangy. Like an echo; exact same sound, just not as loud. Exact same taste, just not as loud.

        Well, duh; of course. Over the year in the fridge, the character of the colony changed. It evolved. It HAD to, to stay alive. It was cut off from fresh food (more milk), so had to survive on what it had available. By feeding and re-feeding on the same stuff (the beverage formerly known as milk) it created for itself a more and more acidic environment, and only those microoganisms that could survive and reproduce in that environment stayed alive. In fact, they came to PREFER that highly acid environment; so when they came into contact with fresh milk last night, they immediately began to change it to their liking. These are critters that live and thrive in high acid, and so produce for themselves a high acid environment. They could do no other. Makes perfect sense. So the colony continues to live. And remember, it was over a year old when I got it; but the previous owner kept it fed with fresh milk, so the colony continued to produce tamer kefir until I neglected it into evolving into a high-acid strain.

        So now I have to decide whether I want to keep this high-acid strain or not. That’s going to be a struggle. There’s GOT to be a use for super-over-the-top tangy kefir, like in cooking or something, but I’m woefully ignorant of what it might be.

        Meantime, as for myself, I’m fine as frog hair. No ill effects from drinking kefir over a year old. BTW, I did read about such a couple of different places around the web, so I wasn’t striking out off-trail completely by myself.

        So while this is only a single example, I think it INDICATES (not proves) a few things:

        A kefir colony CAN be hardy and adaptive;
        It CAN be used over and over for extended periods of time, even years;
        Its character CAN be “adjusted” by how often you give it fresh milk;
        No matter how old it is, if it’s not dead, it’s entirely POSSIBLE to drink without harm.

        But in the meantime, I’m looking for fresh grains. I still drink the stuff I culture from commercial kefir too fast to get it to the tangy state I like and keep it there. And by the time it “matures” to where I really like it, I’m almost out, and I have to dilute it with fresh milk to keep it going; and no grains ever develop, so I’m back to square one. I think grains represent a colony that is already mature; that, or the commercial kefir is chosen or treated for market somehow (no doubt a requirement of the Nanny State formerly known as The Land of the Free) such that grains can’t develop in the time I allow.

        So any help out there? I’m looking for mature, viable grains that give a tangy sort of buttermilk flavor without being over-the-top vinegary. And if you’re out there, how do we communicate privately (off of this forum) so neither of us has to splash our personal info on the ‘net?

        I don’t ask for much, do I? (Right.)

        Thanks, everybody. – C.

        • kathy

          Clark – Being a new kefir grower, I don’t have an answer to your question but wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed reading your comments. You should take up writing in your spare time. Thanx! kathy

        • Maggie

          Clark- from all that I’ve read (especially on Dom’s in-kefir site), if you keep giving fresh milk to the colony that was neglected, it should gradually go back to normal.

        • Ken in Manila

          Hi Clark,
          I just read your comments. I live in the tropics where the kefir cycle is sped up. Mine kefirs a quart of milk with 2 Tbs of grains in 12 hours. The warm environment speeds it up. Could a shorter fermentation or less grains in a volume reduce the acidity?

        • Ric

          Hey there all.
          Here is a little bit about my experience. I did kefir a bit about 15 years ago, just a kid, neglected them at room temp. (about a week) until the stench got so bad It made me think that I’ve lost the colony, and with no access to information related to this, I thought I lost them and got rid of them (so sad). I got mine from a Herbal Medicine store, the owner had some and chaired them with me. Only the seed, no information except for the basic. So, the owner of the store closed and I lost contact with him. years and years passed I couldn’t find grains again until this summer. I friend’s wife form out of town (a milk and cheese producing town) had some that her mom gave her and shared with me once again. this time, I could get more info from the net, so I was determined I was going to make this work. Sorry If I get carried away.

          any way. So I started to experiment with the stuff and they were reproducing at a good pace. but I ran into a friend that has some water Kerfir seeds. Odd, I have never really knew any body that had this type seeds. And she tells me that she puts water and a sugar base cane called Piloncillo (Mexican) wish is unrefined sugar. those guys eat that thing like it was nothing. produce a sort of carbonized water type (like soda). she promised that she share when she gets a good size colony.

          this got me thinking. so I did an experiment, separate a batch just in case and I added a teaspoon of brown sugar to the milk, and then I warm the milk in the microwave about a minute. not to get it hot, just a little bit above room temp. and added to the batch. next day got my strainer out and poor the thing out slowly and it was had separated a watery oily thing from the kefir milk, that’s now more like cream so I separate the two… ( I did have a drink of the other stuff and it was tangy like hell by it self) and know the kefir milk had a relay mild taste to it. I still have to ad some honey, I like mine sweet. (and Oh before I forget, here is a good one. try if your into tea, I like it… I opened up a green tea bag poor it in the kefir, honey and blend it together, let it rest over night in the fridge and drink it as a good breakfast, first time I tried it, even my 4 year old liked it…) a side effect of the sugar in the milk experiment is that the seeds now reproduce faster and I have too much. I don’t put too much milk on it and different form other people I do rinse in fresh water at least once a week, it affects the flavor if i do or don’t , most I leave in with milk has been 48 hours. I have the two batches now and you know, some times you run out of milk in the process so I don’t have any and my kefir is done and I need to take it out because of the demand in the house, so I have left them in water for at least 3 days. after that just rinse again, put some sugar milk on them and I have fresh kefir again.. not the great taste the first two days, but then goes back to normal. I have still to make the cheese, but I will this week. I’ll drop by and let you know how it goes.

          cheers all!

  • Judy

    I am trying to reactivate my kefir after letting it sit in my refrigerator for several months. I am having trouble with it curduling and getting sour. When we used it before I never remember it souring – it would just thicken. Does anyone have any ideas what I need to do?

  • Cindy

    I have been making kefir for sometime now. I feel to get the utmost benefits from kefir, I only use raw organic cows milk. I have some everyday and also give a few tablespoons a day to my dogs & they LOVE it! Smoothies… 1 cup of kefir, 1 cup of frozen organic fruit, 1 teaspoon of cacao nibs, 1 teaspoon of ground flax seed, 1 teaspoon of local honey, 1 teaspoon of coconut oil and a handful of fresh greens such as kale or spinach. Blend it up and enjoy all the benefits!!!

    • Clay

      I know this sounds crazy, but.. honey actually isn’t the best sweetener for cultured products, if you’re trying to get the most benefit from the probiotics. Honey is a natural anti-bacterial, thus killing bacteria present in whatever it is mixed in. It’s an oft-overlooked fact, but raw, minimally processed sugar is better if you want to preserve those good little critters.

  • Judy

    I bought some homemade kefir that had blueberries in it and thick crean on top. It was delicious!
    when I was making kefir I also added blueberries and used raw milk. The next day the kefir was still watery. Is that because I put fruit in the recipe? Are you suppose to wait until the kefir is already made? I wanted it to be like the homemade kefit I bought with the blueberries and thick cream on the top.
    Please tell me how I can make my kefir like the homemade one I purchased.

    • Rosa

      Yes, you’re suppost to wait, you ferment the milk first, then you strain your grains, then you can add whatever you want to the kefired milk. No grains in it.


      • I found that Raw Milk takes about 18 longer to kipher compared to whole vitamin D milk from the store. RAW Milk is so much better thought!!

  • Tina

    I was given some kefir grains and have really been enjoying making kefir and drinking it in my morning smoothies. Last night I forgot to not use metal and did so when I scooped the grains out. Have I ruined them and how will I know? What should I watch for?

    • Rosa

      This may be too late of a response, but your grain should it be fine, They say is not good when you ferment in metal, but just to strain the grais out, it shouldn’;t be a problem. I use metal all the time to mix or strain them and my grains are fine and healthy, growing like crazy.


  • Peter Wue

    Water Kefir is great. After 3 days it taste like wine. Many who drank, was cured from their ailments. My right arm, could barely move or pick a dollar in my pocket

  • Maria

    You can also make Kefir with water and sugar, some dried fruit (apricot, figs) and after the fermentation you add lemon juice.
    Beautiful taste, (very, very slightly alcoholic,if you leave it for 3 days.)
    Where do you get your Kefir?

    • Chelsea

      Did you put the dried fruit in while it fermented or after? How much lemon juice do you add? I have only been leaving my kefir for 1 day because that was the directions I got. Is that too short? The first batch I just drank today and it had a fairly strong taste, although I was also drinking it straight. Now I’m trying to find some recipes for it…

      • rinnysmigh

        See Rosa’s 7/25 reply–allow the milk and kefir grains mixture to ferment first, strain to remove the grains to save for another batch, & *then* add in whatever other ingredients you want, such as fruit, to the kefired milk. As for lemon, I’d suggest you add it one tsp. at a time, to your taste.
        From what I’ve read, 24 hours is enough time, but you can leave it longer if desired–I believe the taste gets stronger, more sour with time.

        Rinny 🙂

  • Alkia

    Recently I bought Kefir grains for my mom. She’s been having so many health disturbances, from allergies to ect… Actually she takes some pills for treating those sicknesses and I would like to know from any of you, while she’ll begin to take Kefir does she have to stop taking those pills or no problem at it, she can go along with the pills and Kefir.
    Help is so much appreciated.
    Many thanks…

    • rinnysmigh

      I’m sorry to hear about your mother’s health issues. In general, it is *not* recommended to stop taking medications without first consulting a physician. There shouldn’t be a problem in having kefir along with the pills she’s been prescribed.


    • Elene
      please check out this new research
      article is from the New York Times
      research is from the University of Maryland
      doctors are WAY behind on research

  • carol

    Can I buy kefir already made, if so where?

    • rinnysmigh

      Carol, It depends on where you live. Surely most natural food stores offer kefir (I hope !!). My Fred Meyer/Kroger supermarket carries fruit-flavored kefir in their natural food section. Yummmmmmmm !!

      Rinny 🙂

  • sherri

    For those in Canada – check on your local kijiji – I have found many , many people giving them away on there.

  • colleen

    I am wondering if I can make kefir with almond milk or does it have to be dairy.thank you.

    • lynn

      yes you can, my niece make kefir with almond milk,and rice milk ( you buy it at Trader Joe). sometime she soaked raw almond overnight, then she puree in to liquid , this will make almond milk.

      • Mina

        Sugar makes the kefir ferment, so I imagine that you can use it in about anything, as long as it’s non-alcoholic.

  • Elena

    Dairy kefir can be made from just one ingredient, – beautiful raw, organic milk from pastured old-fashioned cows! It tastes great on its own, but is even better with a pinch of pink sea salt and a touch of Grade B organic maple syrup. It is a good start for those who are new to kefir making. Good luck to all who are discovering this wonderful, ancient healing brew!

    • Elle

      I disagree with the statement that milk kefir can only be made from raw, organic milk. I use 1% milk or skim milk to make our kefir, and it comes out just fine. I’m lactose intolerant so I let the kefir ferment for 2 or 2.5 days. After that, I sweeten an 8oz glass with honey, a little pure vanilla and a packet or two of Splenda. If a banana or some other fruit are around, I toss it all in a blender. The benefits of kefir are absolutely amazing.

    • Andrew

      Hi Elena, we have the one ingredient but don’t know what to do, can you help? Andrew

      • B

        Are you getting any benefit when not using RAW milk to kefir? We kefir young Thai coconut water and love it, but I’m tempted to try kefir with some other bevies…

  • Lillian Stern

    Were can I buy kefir in Canada

    • Terri

      Save-on Foods; Buy low and just about any organic grocery store

    • Linda

      Loblaws Superstore

  • Lillian Stern

    Were can I buy this in Canada

  • Mike UK

    1 glass kefir made from raw organic milk
    1 organic egg yolk (my chickens provide more than I can eat)
    1 tablespoon fermented cod liver oil, (or orange/lemon flavoured oil)
    Pinch of Tumeric
    Pinch of Cayne pepper

    • Elena

      You ROCK, Mike! GREAT recipe! Keep drinking this awesomeness!!!

  • claudia


    Liquid Ingredients
    1 egg
    1 cup kefir
    3 tablespoons olive oil (suave)

    Dry Ingredients
    3/4 cups whole wheat flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)

    First blend all liquid ingredients for about 15-20 seconds. In separate bowl mix dry ingredients with fork. Once all dry ingredients are mixed pour dry mixture into wet ingredients and blend together for another 15 seconds. Makes about 12 small pancakes. Top with real Maple syrup, butter, fruit, etc. Double the recipe to make more. It’s that simple and healthy.

    • Sike Mullivan

      Doesn’t cooking the kipher kill the cultures? If so, I see no point in making pancakes with it.

      I’ve actually made french toast and topped it with kipher instead of syrup and it was amazing. This is also my shake every morning.

      strain kipher into your blender
      3 tbl spoons of coconut milk
      1 tbl spoon of Stevia in the Raw
      (optional) open and pour 4 pills of Garden of Life’s Primal Defense Probiotic into the mix
      Half cup of Old Fashioned Oatmeal
      Half cup of Kashi
      tbl spoon of ground Flax Seeds
      good handful of whatever fruit you like…. I do pineapple, pear, strawberries, mango, peaches, and blueberries

      I haven’t been sick once since I’ve been drinking this every morning. My wife and son have been sick multiple times over the summer and she still refuses to join in on the fun. : )

      • Elene

        Sike, healthy belly bugs are surely your winning team for immunity!

    • Elene

      or use buckwheat flour for buckwheat pancakes with no oil and more eggs. Claudia’s method of blending all wet ingredients in the blender before stirring into dry ingred. makes very light cakes. We like ours with pecans and blueberries cooked inside and then drizzle on maple syrup. I’m just going to use keifer any way I’d use buttermilk like in cornbread. The keifer bacteria would be killed BUT would raise the pancakes nicely AND not upset tummies that can’t digest milk that is not fermented (mine)