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.
Emer, that’s a great idea. I never thought of it for a Christmas nibble but you’re right, it would be. I like making up a Mezza platter type dish with this, adding olives and carrot and cucumber sticks, different crackers and breads and a few other things depending on what I’ve got around. It’s great that way.
I have been making my own raw milk kefir for over a month now and my grains have multiplied so much that I’m ready to make kefir cheese! I’m going to start tomorrow, thanks so much for the recipes and wonderful website!
Thank you Sheree! Let me know how your kefir cheese turns out and what flavor-creations you come up with.
Omg! This was awesome! I had to modify a little so here are my changes: I used toasted pecans instead of walnuts. I ran out of fresh galic so I used a bit of organic garlic powder. It was still a bit sour so I added raw honey! My husband thought it was cheese I bought at the store! Thanks for the great recipe!
Oh yes, the cheese was better the next day after the flavors were allowed to mix.
This was very tasty!! I will use a little less rosemary this time, and a smaller clove of garlic. My family gobbled it down, and at least one brother-in-law wants to start making his own kefir to make this cheese! Thanks for the recipe.
Thank you Catherine! That’s awesome that it inspired your brother-in-law to start making his own kefir. Wow. Thank you for posting that great news back here 🙂
I tried several times to do the kefir cheese using my own kefir. But each time it was too sour for my taste. When I drink kefir I am OK with it being sour. If it is too sour I mix it with some milk or cream (organic whipping cream). But I’d like the cheese to be less sour. I don’t like adding any sweetener. But I love to drink the whey that remains from cheese separating. It is so refreshing!
It is interesting as I also did some cheese from buttermilk kept for approximative 24 h at 37 Celsius (yoghurt maker). That result was awesome. The cheese was creamy and not sour at all.
I don’t know what to do with the kefir cheese to be less sour.
Hi Sabrina. I’ve never had that problem, but I understand. I’d say… keep the kefir in the fridge when you are straining/draining the whey off through the cheesecloth. This will slow down the fermentation process considerably, and it’s the continuing fermentation that makes it sour. What if you mix some buttermilk into the cheese before you start straining it through the cheesecloth? You might want to give that a try, it should offset the sourness some.