Kefir, known in various names such as kephor, talai, mudu kekiya, kewra, and bulgaros, is a slowly-growing milk food product. Originally from the Caucasus region’s mountainous areas, its most basic form is grains fermented in milk. Kefir grains will ferment milk from various types of mammals, cattle is particular.
The grains will continue to multiply and grow in the mammal’s milk. Some of the most common mammalian milk used for fermentation are cow’s milk, goat’s milk, and sheep’s milk. The nutritional and chemical composition of kefir will then vary according to a lot of factors, one of which is the type of mammalian milk used to ferment it. New methods of fermentation have sprung in recent years. People are finding out that kefir grains can be fermented in other liquids besides mammalian milk. Some of these liquids are soy milk, coconut milk, rice milk, even fruit juice, coconut juice, and ginger beer.
Basically, kefir grains can be fermented and can grow anywhere if all the growth conditions and requirements are fulfilled by the liquid. Sugar in milk is not a requirement for the formation of the sugars in the kefir itself. Rice hydrolysate can be used as a good alternative for milk sugar. Soy milk shows a good fermentation environment for kefir grains. The proteins that could help in the synthesis of the nutrients affect how the kefir grains will grow in size and change in appearance. The yeast in kefir makes it an ideal component for sourdough bread too. It can be used as buttermilk substitute for baking. Kefir has become a staple ingredient in some dishes all over the former Soviet states. It can also be used as a milk substitute for cereal and granola.
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