I came across this site and it answered all my questions & then some! Kefir is a substitute for milk and yogurt (and sometimes sour cream) as it is high in calcium with a greater value in phosphorus and B12 vitamins. It holds the beneficial bacteria and yeasts for our digestive tracts and, even though milk is used in the process, it is lactose free with a high content of folic acid (this actually increases with over-ripening).
Here is my set up for 'kefiring'. I use a glass bowl set out in the kitchen:It sits and ferments (about 1 cup of milk for every tbsp. of kefir grains) until it becomes thick and frothy - like curds and whey. Then it is strained in a sieve, letting the 'whey' go down the drain:Then the 'curds' or kefir remaining is sifted into my refrigerator container:Until just the kefir grains are left in the sieve: Then I place the grains back into the bowl and refill it with milk to ferment again. The grains do grow as they feed on the milk and eventually there is enough to share with someone else who wants to give it a try or simply eat them - some people scramble them up with eggs, but I prefer to blend them and add to recipes along with the kefir liquid.
I use the kefir liquid in a multitude of recipes - specifically, most times when milk, yogurt or sour cream is called for, I substitute kefir.
Most of the time I make my breakfast smoothie with it. These are the final products - one pumpkin smoothie (think pumpkin pie in a glass) and one banana smoothie. Now, the pumpkin smoothie is just because I had some canned pumpkin left over from Thanksgiving.
The banana smoothie has become my traditional breakfast and occasionally I add other fruits for variety, e.g. any fruit in the house that is getting too ripe or if I happen to get a good deal on something in groceries.
There is alot more you can learn about kefir if you google the word - including other nutritional values and also the history behind it. It is a very cool product that gives me some peace of mind about the vitamins, minerals and probiotics my family is getting from it and it has cut both yogurt and sour cream out of my grocery budget!
For more show and tell go here.