Our family has been drinking goat milk, in one form or another, for years now. If you’ve never had fresh goat milk, then you might think it tastes funny. As someone who was skeptical after a lifetime of cow’s milk, trust me when I say that fresh goat milk tastes great. Commercially produced goat milk is a whole other entity, and not one that I necessarily enjoy. We’ve always had great access to local farmers producing top-notch fresh goat milk and for that we are thankful. We’re even talking of taking on some dairy goats ourselves, once a few other homestead projects are out of the way. One of the reasons it makes sense for us to get a dairy animal is because two of the six members of our family don’t seem to tolerate pasteurized milk very well. Fresh cow or goat milk? No problem! Pasteurized milk or products like cheese or yogurt made from pasteurized milk? Then they don’t feel so good. So, now that we’re in milk again, I’m excited to be starting up these milk kefir grains. Having kefir on hand allows me to make many of our favorite foods Here’s a few things I’m looking forward to feeding all of the members of our family.

Kefir Salad Dressing. I make some version of this pretty often when we have kefir, and usually with no additional sour cream. Garlic, herbs, and lemon juice or vinegar make an excellent dressing or dip. Shakes. We don’t often use a blender for smoothies, but we do like to make shakes with our fresh milk and kefir. We add some fresh egg yolks, a flavoring and sweetening, and maybe even some greens powder for a refreshing and nutrient-dense breakfast. Kefir-Based Dips. By straining the whey from the kefir I am left with a soft cheese that I can then mix herbs, salt, and other flavorings into. With summer upon us, this makes a great addition to lunch along with whatever veggies are coming out of the garden and a sourdough flatbread. Kefir Ice Cream. We have a small solar freezer that we can use to make a kefir soft serve when we mix up kefir, raw honey, and any fruit or flavorings we might have around. There are many delicious ways to enjoy kefir ice cream and this is a real treat when normally you have to pass up the offer for a cold, creamy treat. My kefir grains have just finished rehydrating and are nearly ready to start churning out these dairy-based goodies we can all enjoy.