Milk Kefir: Counter Culture

This understated star of fermented foods has been around for centuries, providing extraordinary bacterial assistance to the human microbiome.

If you’re into living, probiotic foods and you already have a sourdough starter bubbling away on your kitchen bench or a kombucha ‘mushroom’ gracing a dark shelf, then dairy kefir will need no introduction. Known as dairy kefir, milk kefir or simply kefir (pronounced kef-fear), this unlikely fermented food is thought to have appeared many thousands of years ago in Central Asia, when people began domesticating and milking animals.

While the culture itself looks like innocuous little cauliflower florets, it packs a big punch in terms of probiotics, with a list of beneficial bacteria and yeasts as long as your arm, far outweighing anything you will find in the highest-quality commercial or homemade yoghurt.