This raspberry kefir cream cheese is so tasty! Made from the best probiotic source, kefir cheese is your healthiest treat from parties to breakfast.
This raspberry kefir cream cheese will help improve your gut flora and is easy on the digestive system. Full instruction below to make this wonderful kefir cheese recipe from scratch using real milk kefir grains.
Is Kefir Cheese Good for You?
Considering the poor digestibility of milk by many people and the high amount of calcium in dairy that could work against building strong bones if over consumed, I do believe in eating our dairy in moderation. Growing up in Asia, I didn’t consume as much dairy in my traditional diet as now living in Canada.
Most of us in the western world are getting more than enough dairy in our regular day to day foods. I figure when we prepare our own foods at home, we should use our “dairy tokens” on the most nutritious forms possible. In my family, the dairy we consume most regularly are the home-made milk kefir foods. Fermented, milk kefir has more nutrients available to our body than milk, is a better source of probiotics than yogurt, and is beneficial for our digestion.
Although cheese is often a fermented dairy, not all cheese we buy from grocery stores contain probiotics. Also we have no way of finding out how many strains of beneficial bacteria was used in making the cheese. The home-made kefir cream cheese however, contains the same profile of beneficial bacteria that present in the milk kefir grains. That is typically 30-50 strains of probiotics, which is super awesome!
Kefir cheese is good for us. Many people with lactose-intolerance can consume kefir cheese. In addition, kefir cheese is a great source to introduce more probiotics into our diet.
How to Make Kefir Cheese
Kefir cheese is made from separating and straining the milk kefir curdle away from the whey.
I know some people make their milk kefir with a powdered starter. But keep in mind the powdered stuff contains only 10-12 strains of good bacteria, and that’s often what we get from the grocery store milk kefir. Therefore using milk kefir grains makes a big difference!
For those who are already fermenting milk kefir, this kefir cream cheese is fairly easy to make. The recipe below includes a method using real milk kefir grains, assuming the readers already have the basic knowledge of milk kefir making.
The following images illustrate how to strain milk kefir to make kefir cheese. I wrap the milk kefir curdle inside a cheese cloth and let it hang over a bowl.
How to Flavour Kefir Cheese
Once you strain the kefir to achieve the cream cheese consistency you want, you can then add mix-ins.
In this kefir cheese recipe, I used honey and raspberries to make a sweet spread. However, there are endless ways to flavour your kefir cheese. For a savoury kefir cheese, try garlic and herbs with a pinch of salt.
Can I Make This Recipe without Kefir Grains?
Yes. If you don’t have milk kefir grains, you can still make kefir cheese using store bought milk kefir. It will just take longer to filter out the whey.
Related: More Milk Kefir Recipes You Will Love
- Superfoods Kefir Maca Smoothie
- Mango Kefir Ice Cream w/o Ice Cream Maker
- Probiotic Kefir Tzatziki Dip
- Kefir Avocado Green Goddess Dressing (Keto, GAPS, Vegan)
- 3 Ingredient Strawberry Kefir Popsicles (GAPS, Gluten-Free)
- Kefir Fermented Honey Thyme Sourdough Cornbread
- Kefir Cheese Smoked Salmon Wrap (Probiotic Sushi + Brain Food)
- Overnight Banana Spelt Pancakes: Fermented for Better Nutrition and Digestion
Raspberry Kefir Cream Cheese Spread
- 2 tsp milk kefir grains
- 4 cups whole milk, organic
- 1/2 cup frozen raspberry (approx. 50g per 1/2 cup)
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp raw honey
- Place the milk kefir grains in the milk in a glass jar. Either close the jar with a lid or cover with a breathable cloth. I prefer closing the jar with a lid, because I will shake the jar a few times during fermentation to help the milk kefir culture spread in the milk.
- Let the jar of milk and culture sit at room temperature for about a day. The timing could vary depending on how fast the milk is being cultured. Making kefir cheese is not as time-sensitive as making milk kefir in the way that milk kefir should be collected as soon as done for a creamy texture.
- When the whey starts seperating in the bottom of the jar, remove the milk kefir grains. They are usually sitting on top of the cultured milk. I pick them out with a pair of chopsticks or plastic forks. If you have lots of grains all over in the milk kefir, use a mesh strainer to seperate the kefir grains.
- Let your milk kefir ferment a few more hours longer until the milk curdles and a lot of whey is separated in the bottom of the jar.
- Filter the finished product with layered cheese cloth or a coffee filter to separate the whey from the curdled milk. Because we let a lot of whey collect in the bottom of the jar in step 2, it’s fairly fast to filter out a good amount of whey at this point, just be gentle not to stir the whey back into the kefir while filtering. If the milk kefir wasn’t fermented longer until the whey separated, it would take much more time to strain the whey out of the milk kefir. Save the whey for other use.
- The curdled milk is still too wet right now for cream cheese. A longer straining is needed to achieve the right consistency. I use 4 layers of cheese cloth wrapped around the curdled milk and hang on the knobs of my kitchen cabinets. Place a bowl underneath to collect the whey. You can also let the curdled milk strain in the fridge using a coffee filter. This process may take a couple days or more, until you get the cream cheese texture you desire.
- I use frozen raspberries, because I can apply a little finger pressure to break the raspberries into tiny drupelets without crushing them. The 1/2 cup measurement is based on whole raspberries; once they are broken down into little drupelets, they measure about a 1/4 cup.
- Place the kefir cream cheese, honey and cinnamon in a bowl and mix evenly. Fold in most of the raspberry drupelets to create a white-and-pink marbled look. Sprinkle rest of the raspberry drupelets on top to decorate. Serve immediately with fruity crisps or store in the fridge to consume within a week.