This is a beautiful, tangy, silky-soft cheese perfect for spreads and dips. With just a few simple ingredients, it’s very quick to make up if you have already strained the kefir through cheesecloth to make the cheese. Since it’s made from milk kefir, it has all the healthy probiotic benefits of kefir, but the cream cheese-like consistency makes it so much more versatile. It would be a great dish to bring to potlucks and picnics. It’s a delicious and refreshing addition to sandwiches, on crackers or as a dip for vegetable sticks.
4 cups milk kefir (approx 1 cup kefir cheese)
handful of fresh rosemary (about 1 tablespoon very finely chopped)
1 small clove garlic
5-6 whole walnuts
pinch Himalayan sea salt
You’ll need to have some kefir already made. Here’s the recipe for making kefir.
Make the kefir cheese in advance by lining a plastic strainer or colander with cheesecloth. Sit the strainer or colander into a bowl or jar so that there will be enough room for the whey to drain off into the bowl/jar without touching the bottom of the strainer/colander. Pour the kefir into the cheesecloth and let it sit in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours to drain. You may have to experiment with the cheesecloth to see what works best, a single or double thickness. You may want to use a double thickness of cheesecloth if the kefir is a very thin and runny consistency. If the kefir is quite thick, with clots already forming you may be able to use a single thickness of cheesecloth.
The kefir should make around 1 cup of kefir cheese by the time the whey has drained off and it’s reduced down. If you end up with more or less just adjust the amounts of the other ingredients to suit.
Once the kefir cheese is ready, scrape it from the cheesecloth into a glass or ceramic bowl. Remove any hard stems from the rosemary and chop it as finely as you can. Try to get it as close to a powdered texture as possible. Add to the kefir cheese. Remove the husk from the clove of garlic and crush it through a garlic press or chop it as finely as possible. Add to the kefir cheese. Roughly chop the walnuts and add to the kefir cheese, along with Himalayan sea salt to taste.
Mix by hand until all the ingredients are well blended, and serve.
I spread some of this kefir cheese on some apple-cinnamon flax crackers I had, and on seaweed rice crackers garnished with new alfalfa/kale sprouts. The flax crackers were soft and sweet, the rice crackers salty and crunchy, the kefir cheese was beautiful with both of them.