A few weeks ago I caved in and purchased a Milk Kefir Starter Kit from Cultures for Health. Let me say that I am so glad I did! After several months of buying quart after quart of store-bought milk kefir, I started to wonder about the benefits of making it from scratch. While I’m generally biased toward homemade processes anyway, my research into the benefits of homemade milk kefir over store-bought has exceeded my expectations. The list continues to grow, but for now, here are my 8 reasons why homemade milk kefir is better than store-bought:
1. You’ll Save Money!
A quart of store-bought milk kefir can cost upwards of $5. By making it from scratch you can reduce you cost by at least 50%! For example: a half gallon of organic, grass-fed milk costs $5 and yields 2 quarts of milk kefir…that’s $2.50 per quart! Use the milk you already have on hand and you’ll be making fresh milk kefir for less than half the price of store-bought! Furthermore, keep in mind that you only have to buy the milk kefir culture one time, since it can be reused over and over (see reason #4)!
2. You’ll Create Less Waste (i.e. Be Green)
I hate buying plastic. It is polluting when recycled, takes forever to break down in landfills (when not recycled), and inevitably winds up in the ocean. Bleh! I’m always trying to find ways to reduce my plastic consumption. By making homemade milk kefir I am eliminating all those plastic quart-sized bottles from our recyling bin and from the planet. Try culturing homemade kefir in wide mouth quart-sized mason jars!
3. Eliminate BPA and Plastic Toxins
We know by now that plastic leeches into our food and drinks. By culturing and storing homemade milk kefir in glass jars you can avoid unwanted exposure to BPA and other plastic toxins!
4. Buy It Once, Make Milk Kefir for Life!
When you buy milk kefir grains (not technically a grain, just what the culture is called) you can make an unlimited supply of milk kefir! By buying a Milk Kefir Starter Kit one time, you can make homemade kefir for the rest of your life! Milk kefir is the ultimate reusable culture. To learn more about the process of making milk kefir, click here!
5. You Can Make as Much or as Little as You Need
When you have your own milk kefir grains you can make only as much homemade milk kefir as you anticipate needing. If you want a few cups for a recipe, you can make just that much. If you need a half gallon, no problem. I can make as much milk kefir as I see myself using in a week and then make more fresh kefir when I’m ready for it!
6. Dairy allergies? No problem!
Another excellent thing about homemade milk kefir is that you get to decide what milk you use to make it. Milk kefir grains are quite versatile and can be used to culture cow milk (raw or pasteurized), goat milk, soy milk, or coconut milk, giving folks with lactose sensitivities plenty of options!
7. Homemade Kefir is Fresher
When your food doesn’t have to take a truck, train, or airplane to arrive in your fridge it is undoubtedly fresher! Make you own homemade milk kefir and you’ll get the freshest product possible. This also means that it’ll to me more rich in probiotics since some yeast and bacteria will die or weaken during the long trek that store-bought milk kefir must take to arrive at your grocery store.
8. Homemade Kefir is Richer in Probiotics
For the sake of consistency and shelf-stability, store-bought kefir is cultured using a powder starter which usually contains 7 to 9 strains of probiotic yeast and bacteria. Kefir grains, which are used for making homemade milk kefir can contain more than 50 strains of healthy yeast and bacteria! That’s a whole lot more than 7, folks. To be specific, homemade milk kefir is over 7 times more probiotic-dense than store-bought!
So there you have it! My 8 reasons why homemade milk kefir is so much better than store-bought. But don’t take my word for it. Try it for yourself with a milk kefir starter kit from Cultures for Health. Buy one HERE!
Curious what the process of making homemade milk kefir looks like? Check out this helpful video from Cultures for Health. Here’s a hint: you add the kefir grains to milk and let it sit out on the counter for a while….it’s that simple!