Hemp milk kefir has a life of its own and needs a good amount of attention. This isn’t the kind of kefir that you make right before going on vacation or make and push to the back of refrigerator. This is the queen of kefir, the oh so spoiled one.
The good news is that hemp kefir will pay you back in many ways with its bubbly probiotic aliveness and the right touch of sweetness.
I was introduced to unsalted, probiotic food in 2010, when I started The Body Ecology Diet (B.E.D) to heal a chronic case of Candida (yeast overgrowth). These fizzy, sour foods helped to bring my inner ecosystem back into balance and conquer my food cravings and digestive issues (i.e. bloating, constipation).
Soon, I was cracking coconuts for young coconut kefir; shredding cabbage for cultured vegetables; sourcing raw milk for milk kefir, and churning cream into cultured butter. I was h-o-o-k-e-d. These foods opened a door to greater health and now, all these years later, it’s rare that I go a day without them. I make other probiotic-rich food, like amasake kefir, jam kefir, and this recipe for the hemp queen herself.
Hemp Milk Kefir
Yields: many batches
Gently warm hemp milk in pan until 92 degrees F (skin temp). Do not overheat or living flora in starter be hurt.
Pour into a sterilized one cup-size Mason jar, leaving about an inch for expansion.
Screw the lid on tightly and gently shake.
Kefir about 3 days at 72-75 degrees F until bubbles rise and has life in it (Oven Kit to maintain consistent temp.)
- As it kefirs, the probiotics in the starter will wake up and feed on the hemp milk.
- Once done, the kefir should be slightly sour, fizzy, and will separate a bit.
Store kefir in fridge.
Feed kefir every day or so with a bit of fresh hemp milk or ½ tsp of EcoBloom.
Reserve up to 1/4 cup to start a subsequent batch (see below).
The above recipe is #1 starter batch; to make another batch (highly recommended), follow these instructions:
- Transfer 1 1/2 Tbsp of #1 starter to new 1-cup Mason jar of warm milk (3 Tbsp. to pint/4 Tbsp. per quart).
- Follow above instructions to kefir new batch; only exception is to kefir it overnight only and not 3 days.
- This is now your #2 starter, drink it and save some to make another batch.
- On you go using some of each previous batch of hemp kefir to get a new batch going.
- If a batch spoils for some reason, you must start fresh again with a new packet of starter.
Tips & Tricks
- Pacific brand, original flavor works best to make this recipe. The unsweetened version DOES NOT work, has to have sweetener, in this case it’s brown rice syrup. Don’t worry though, as the flora in the starter use that sugar as their food and will leave behind a sugar-free, probiotic drink.
- Some say to use the starter to make 7-10 batches, but I find that if you take good care of this starter it will make great kefir for many months. Take care of it by “feeding” it on a regular basis and keeping your jar clean and sterilized.
- Once this kefir gets going you might find that a subsequent batch kefirs up in as little as 4 hours. So, watch carefully until you get the hang of things. I like to feed my hemp milk starter and put it right in the fridge (instead of leaving on the counter for a bit) because it will kefir in the fridge, just at a slower pace.
- If you’re in the initial stage of healing on stage 1 of B.E.D. then it’s best to start with a fresh packet of starter after 7 batches.
- You can use this recipe to start amasake kefir.
- Delicious with vanilla extract, drop of stevia, and sprinkle of nutmeg.
I asked my son “do you want a cup of hemp kefir?” and his reply …. “who wouldn’t mom??” ~ Thomas, age 8
May all bellies be happy!