Author Topic: Yogurt & Kefir: Recipes & Hints  (Read 167789 times)

Offline ForeverGirl

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Yogurt & Kefir: Recipes & Hints
« on: April 25, 2006, 12:42:12 PM »
Hi ladies,
I'm working on an article and need two tried and proven, and fairly simple, recipes for;

Yogurt (goat or cow)

Kefir (goat or cow)

Thanks a bunch! If you want the credit for your recipe, PM me your name as well!

Rebekah Anast
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Offline Maria/NHM

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Re: Yogurt & Kefir: Recipes & Hints
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2006, 01:07:32 PM »
I try to make yogurt a couple times a week and always use this simple recipe.

Heat one quart milk to 180 F stirring frequently ( you don't have to heat the milk but it makes for a thicker yogurt)
Cool the milk to 110 F

Set aside a small portion of milk and add one tablespoon yogurt. Mix very well and pour back into remaining milk. Too much starter will result in a sour watery yogurt.

Pour into a quart size canning jar and screw the lid on very tight.
Place canning jar in a preheated insulated cooler ( I use a small insulated water jug) and fill with warm water. I like to wrap the container in towels to help keep it warm.

Check the yogurt in 8-12 hours. if it isn't thick add more warm water to the jug and let set 4-8 more hours. You can also add more starter if it doesn't set up. Save some yogurt for your next batch. As your starter gets stronger the yogurt takes a little less time to "set".

 I used this recipe for years but Just recently received a Yogourmet yogurt maker for my birthday. I like that I can make a half gallon at a time now.

Happy yogurt making!
« Last Edit: March 29, 2008, 11:55:38 AM by Ella »
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Offline ForeverGirl

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Re: Yogurt & Kefir: Recipes & Hints
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2006, 01:11:46 PM »
Thank you Maria,
That's exactly what I'm looking for!

Now for kefir....
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Offline healthybratt

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Re: Yogurt & Kefir: Recipes & Hints
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2006, 01:56:55 PM »
Do I have to use a special starter?  or would Dannon (or generic) plain yogurt work as well?

What kind of milk do you use?
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Offline Maria/NHM

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Re: Yogurt & Kefir: Recipes & Hints
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2006, 02:16:02 PM »
I use plain yogurt although I have used vanilla in a pinch. As long as the yogurt says "contains live cultures" it should work. I have used both whole and 2% milk. At the moment I can't afford raw organic milk so I use 2%. I have been told that alot of of the hormones are in the fat. If I could buy better milk I would stick with whole milk, preferable goat.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2008, 11:54:56 AM by Ella »
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Offline healthybratt

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Re: Yogurt & Kefir: Recipes & Hints
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2006, 04:03:20 PM »
I use plain yogurt although I have used vanilla in a pinch. As long as the yogurt says "contains live cultures" it should work. I have used both whole and 2% milk. At the moment I can't afford raw organic milk so I use 2%. I have been told that alot of of the hormones are in the fat. If I could buy better milk I would stick with whole milk, preferable goat.
Maria

Don't you skim the fat off raw milk before you make yogurt? 
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Offline dara

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Re: Yogurt & Kefir: Recipes & Hints
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2006, 03:44:23 AM »
This is a yogurt recipe for the culinary artist; the kind of people who don't like bubble holes in their bread, 'texture' in their cheesecake, or lumps in their gravy. It is more precise than "nessesary", but yields pretty consistent results. (The credit goes to my gourmet cook sister-in-law) You can use any milk, store bought, or raw...

Freshly wash in very hot water, and dry:
-1 quart container (quart jar, or "tupperware"...)
-measuring cups and spoons
-sauce pan for scalding

In saucepan, scald 1 quart milk (scald means heat until it turns bright white, has bubbles around the edges, and is steaming. Do NOT boil.). After removing from heat, add 1 tea. plain gelatin, using a wire wisk. Cool to lukewarm (110 degrees, or until you can touch comfortably). Add 1 T. yogurt culture (I prefer full fat plain), 1/4 c. powdered milk, 1/4 c. sugar or 1-2 T. honey or maple syrup, if desired, 1/2 t. vanilla or 1T. molassas, if desired. Wisk in well. Pour into container, and incubate (in warm water (110-120 degrees) filled cooler for 4-6 hours. Do not disturb during incubation, and refridgerate before opening (to set gelatin). This is "just like" store bought yogurt in consistency. You can also add 1-2T. instant coffee to the warm mixture, and that's yummy too.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2006, 04:10:39 PM by dara »
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Offline Pure

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Re: Yogurt & Kefir: Recipes & Hints
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2006, 08:11:44 AM »
I use goat's milk for yogurt and kefir.  I buy Kefir Starter from Body Ecology at
www.bodyecologydiet.com.  Here is my yogurt recipe:
 
1 cup milk
2 Tbs. plain yogurt (either commercial or from my previous batch)

Warm milk on stove to 100-110 degrees.  Add yogurt, and put into a glass canning jar uncovered.  Keep this at a tempurature around 90-100 degrees for 12-18 hours.  I do this by placing the jar in the oven, turning on the oven light, and keeping it on all night.  By the next morning I have yogurt.  Refrigerate.

Offline ForeverGirl

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Re: Yogurt & Kefir: Recipes & Hints
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2006, 10:01:33 AM »
Thanks everybody!  :D

I found a kefir recipe that looks pretty good - infact the website has tons of info on kefir and recipes. The color of the website is hard to look at, so be prepared. Here's the basic recipe for Kefir:

Milk Kefir by Dominic Anfiteatro

INGREDIENTS AND UTENSILS
For culturing 1 to 2-cups of kefir:
   •    1 to 2 tablespoons of Kefir grains. (Purchase online or at your health food store.)
   •    3 to 4-cup glass jar with lid. (quart jar)
   •    Nylon or stainless steel strainer and spoon.
   •    A suitable container with wide open mouth for straining the kefir into.
   •    1 to 2-cups of fresh milk [Most milk-types are acceptable, including whole milk, fat-reduced, non-fat, pasteurized and homogenized. Although I personally prefer and enjoy fresh, Certified bio-dynamic whole cow's milk or Goat's milk to culture kefir].

THE COMMON METHOD FOR CULTURING MILK-KEFIR
   •    Pour fresh kefir grains in glass jar and fill the jar 3/4 full with fresh milk [Do not fill any fermenting jar more than 2/3 - 3/4 full].
   •    Place a loose fitting lid on the jar and let sit at room temperature out of direct sunlight for about 24 hours, or until the milk has coagulated or has become sour.
   •    Pour the contents into a strainer and strain the kefir into a suitable container to separate the grains from the liquid-kefir. The strained liquid is kefir ready for consumption.
   •    Wash the jar, then place the kefir grains left in the strainer back into the pre-washed jar.
 Note: To avoid damaging kefir grains, never add kefir grains to a hot jar after washing the jar with hot water! In this case, it's best to add cold milk in the jar first, before adding any kefir grains.


This simple process is repeated for each following batch. Many great kefir recipes and ingredients are available at this link:
http://users.sa.chariot.net.au/~dna/Makekefir.html
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Offline healthybratt

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Re: Yogurt & Kefir: Recipes & Hints
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2006, 01:16:21 PM »
Don't you skim the fat off raw milk before you make yogurt?   Cow or goat?
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Offline ForeverGirl

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Re: Yogurt & Kefir: Recipes & Hints
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2006, 01:39:11 PM »
Usually, yes. But I remember my mom just shaking the milk up real good and making whole yogurt.
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Offline healthybratt

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Re: Yogurt & Kefir: Recipes & Hints
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2006, 02:28:05 PM »
Usually, yes. But I remember my mom just shaking the milk up real good and making whole yogurt.

Thanks.  I don't have any access to raw milk right now, but I think making skim yogurt might be more cost efficient and even healthier than commercially made yogurt.  If I understand the process correctly, you get higher bacteria population "per capita" with each new batch you make, plus I can get skim for about $2.85 gal, but a gallon of yogurt would be over $5.00.  Any other thoughts or comments?
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Offline healthybratt

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Re: Yogurt & Kefir: Recipes & Hints
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2006, 07:30:40 PM »

I thought I'd share our absolutely favorite kefir smoothie recipe with y'all.  My 3 little daughters LOVE this stuff.  If I make a smoothie without kefir they're bummed!  It has a great sour-ey zing to it...reminds me of sherbet a little bit.

There's no measuring when I make this, so what follows is purely an estimate.  Tweak it to your own tastes OK?  ;)

3 cups kefir (preferably the homemade from grains kind! so much better!)
1 frozen banana
1 cup frozen berries (we use 3 berry blend from Costco)
2 T. Maple syrup (or more if you want sweeter)

Whiz this up in your blender until smooth (about 45 seconds)

In the meantime, melt about 1/4 cup coconut oil then pour slowly into the blender as it is whizzing the smoothie up.  Keep blending for another 30 seconds. 


This is a staple around here.  We honestly have it almost every morning.

Speaking of which...I need to go drain my kefir right now!   ;D

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Offline 4myhoonie

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Re: Yogurt & Kefir: Recipes & Hints
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2006, 07:59:31 AM »
hey Rebeka--i called my health food store and they want to know what kind of grains, do they have another name?   :-\  the lady was new and didn't know.  thanks!
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Offline FaithAcre

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Re: Yogurt & Kefir: Recipes & Hints
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2006, 06:48:27 PM »
hey Rebeka--i called my health food store and they want to know what kind of grains, do they have another name?   :-\  the lady was new and didn't know.  thanks!

You will not find Kefir grains at your health food store.  They are something you need to get from someone who has their own grains.  That link that Rebeka posted earlier to Dom's Kefir site...is the best around!  I suggest reading there and then trying to find someone who is willing to mail you some grains. 

I would, and I was asked by someone earlier, but....currently my grain-y babes are growing in regular store-bought milk and I feel the quality is just not right.  once I get them back on their preferred diet of raw milk, I may have some to share when they get growing nice and heathly!

Hope that helps!

And as to the orginal purpose of this post...I came to post my kefir smoothie recipe, but found that someone had already posted it for me! Right on Sister  8)

Oh and I make yogurt too out of raw goats milk(when I have it)..but it looks like you've already got the info needed for that :)
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Offline healthybratt

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Re: Yogurt & Kefir: Recipes & Hints
« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2006, 07:55:28 PM »
okay, so you throw these rocks in some milk and voila, you've got liquid yogurt.   ;D  So what exactly are kefir grains anyway ???
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Offline FaithAcre

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Re: Yogurt & Kefir: Recipes & Hints
« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2006, 05:13:44 AM »
okay, so you throw these rocks in some milk and voila, you've got liquid yogurt.   ;D  So what exactly are kefir grains anyway ???

Funny!  That's almost how it works...but there's a bit more involved!

Want to know more about Kefir grains??  Go here: http://users.sa.chariot.net.au/~dna/kefirpage.html#what-is-kefir
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Offline Julie G

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Re: Yogurt & Kefir: Recipes & Hints
« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2006, 03:26:54 PM »
Well, I finally made some homemade yogurt this morning.  It sat in some lidded canning jars in my open crockpot all day and I took it out after 10 hours of "cooking."  I have a couple of questions for you yogurt connoisseurs.....

1.  Can I use slightly soured milk?  I didn't today, but I had some that was starting to have a very faint sour taste to it, (hubby is on a health kick since his Master Cleanse and he was the main milk drinker).

2.  Why does my yogurt look watery?  When I shake it up it looks kinda coagulated, (sorry best way I could describe it). ;)

3.  When I was trying to regulate the temp in my crockpot it got to 115 degrees, (this was at the beginning of the process.  Did I kill my culture? 

4.  Is there a way to make sure my yogurt is good?  Will I be able to tell by taste, if it's rancid or the culture was killed?  I tried to be very careful but the 115 degrees thing has me concerned.

Thank you everyone....hubby is quite impressed with the whole yogurt thing....

BTW  I used some very good quality plain yogurt with live acidophilous in it and the standard skim milk.  (Trying to reduce the amount of milk fat because of the whole homogenized milk thing)  Still live in the city and don't have any goats or cows yet. ;)  Can't find raw milk to save my life :'(.
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Offline bizymum

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Re: Yogurt & Kefir: Recipes & Hints
« Reply #18 on: May 21, 2006, 03:30:14 PM »
I can't wait to hear what all the experienced yogurt makers have to say!!  I hadn't tried making my own yet since I thought you had to have raw milk.  I would love to make my own yogurt.  My whole crew loves it!  They go through it quicker than I can bring it home!

Offline Traci Bowron

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Re: Yogurt & Kefir: Recipes & Hints
« Reply #19 on: May 21, 2006, 03:36:10 PM »
To sweeten our kefir we use:

1/3 c. pure juice (we use POM blueberry found in your grocer's produce section)
1/4 c. raw honey
1 quart kefir
« Last Edit: May 21, 2006, 03:47:08 PM by lily »
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Offline advancewithcourage

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Re: Yogurt & Kefir: Recipes & Hints
« Reply #20 on: May 21, 2006, 03:40:22 PM »
Hello,
I have been making yogurt for 4 years now - about one gallon a day for my yogurt loving family. 

Here are a few tips:

1. Always use Dannon for a starter. The organic brands with many different types of bacteria in them contain a bacteria that research has shown to cause immune system troubles - wish I could remember the name of the bacteria in question

2. Crock pots are always too hot unless they are malfunctioning.

3. I used to use a Yogurtmet machine and now use my Excalibur dehydrator. An Excalibur will make up to 4 gallons of yogurt at a time. We eat alot of it in my large family.

4. If money is tight, you can use an insulated box that refrigerated medical supplies come in. You may be able to obtain one from someone who has these shipped to their home, or from a feed store that recieves animal vaccine shipments. Bring your milk to 115 degress, add culture and place in insulated box.

5. Yogurt will be runny if...... You do not add enough culture - about one cup per gallon of milk; Your culture temp is too high, you use anything but whole milk; You are using goat milk.

6. I know my yogurt is spoiled when it smells yeasty or alchoholic.

Hope this helps.

Offline advancewithcourage

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Re: Yogurt & Kefir: Recipes & Hints
« Reply #21 on: May 21, 2006, 03:46:32 PM »
Oh, forgot. Never consume store bought skim milk. THey add powdered milk to it and that stuff is highly toxic. In order to powder it the milk is heated at super high temperature, rendering the fats toxic and carcinogenic. Whole milk is always the best option. Call your local 4-H and ask for the goat club leader and you should be able to find someone who will sell you raw milk.

Don't forget to sterilize your milk, then cool it before adding starter. Yogurt cannot be made from raw or store bought milk without this sterilization.

You can make kefir from storebought kefir by adding it directly to raw or storebought milk, and it will ferment sitting on your counter. So if you cannot purchase a machine or find a insulate box, you may want to try this delicious beverage. Tastes great. I use Lifeway plain kefir for starter. I have digestive issues and do much better on kefir. I think it is far superior to yogurt for digestive health and disease prevention. I like the taste better too. I sweeten mine with stevia, vanilla, and cinnimon - YUM!

Offline dara

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Re: Yogurt & Kefir: Recipes & Hints
« Reply #22 on: May 21, 2006, 04:16:54 PM »
You can use a regular picnic cooler to incubate in. Just pre-warm the cooler with hot water (tap is fine), and then dump and refill with warm water up to the neck of your jar(s). If your milk is skim (and I don't know which of the store-bought milk is best or worst- I just don't drink it by the glass anymore anyway), you have a couple options for thickening it. You can measure your starter carefully (some say more than 2T. per qt. will make it runny, but you'll prob. have to experiment between 2-4 T. to see which works best with your milk), and if you want, you can add a little gelatin (like the recipe I posted in the yogurt recipe section) and or powdered milk. I don't like to incubate longer than 6 hours, maybe 8 in the winter. Oh, and refridgerate it before you shake it up to see if it is runny or not. It sets a little in the cold, and if you shake it before it's cold, you unset it a little. That doesn't hurt it, but I like yogurt to have the thick, store bought, custardy consistency. It is naturally sour, but tasting it will still prob. tell you if it is bad or not. You don't want a winey smell or taste. I have never heard of a yogurt bacteria that is bad for your immune system. I'd like to see a source for that information. Anyway, hope that helps! Good Luck!
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Offline 4myhoonie

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Re: Yogurt & Kefir: Recipes & Hints
« Reply #23 on: May 21, 2006, 04:19:30 PM »
I use goat's milk for yogurt and kefir.  I buy Kefir Starter from Body Ecology at
www.bodyecologydiet.com.  Here is my yogurt recipe:
 
1 cup milk
2 Tbs. plain yogurt (either commercial or from my previous batch)

Warm milk on stove to 100-110 degrees.  Add yogurt, and put into a glass canning jar uncovered.  Keep this at a tempurature around 90-100 degrees for 12-18 hours.  I do this by placing the jar in the oven, turning on the oven light, and keeping it on all night.  By the next morning I have yogurt.  Refrigerate.

hi Pure!  i have a couple questions.....

i did your method last night and used skim milk and generic walmart brand plain yogurt.  i know it's probably not a good idea, but it's all i had.  i read some of what people said and it sounds like i should go get non homog. reg milk instead of skim.  what i'm wondering is, i left it in the oven for about 12 hours cuz i had to leave.  it was somewhat watery, if i left it longer would it be thicker?  i put it back in the oven this evening and am trying to make it more thick.  or should i have added another T of yogurt?  thanks for this really easy recipe!  just my kind!  i hope i can get it to work and use it often!   ;D
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Offline dara

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Re: Yogurt & Kefir: Recipes & Hints
« Reply #24 on: May 21, 2006, 04:23:35 PM »
fivewiddletids- check the  homemade yogurt question thread.
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Offline Julie G

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Re: Yogurt & Kefir: Recipes & Hints
« Reply #25 on: May 22, 2006, 02:09:36 AM »
Thank you guys, you've been very helpful...a couple more things I should mention....

My crockpot has 3 settings, low, high, & warm.  When I have it on warm with lid off it filled with water it maintains a temp of 105 degrees.  I checked it many times throughout the day and it was very consistently maintaining that temperature.  My jars had lids on them so as to incubate the yogurt....does my setup make sense?

I heated my milk to 185, then let it cool to 110 and added my culture, I did add a little bit of powdered milk to make it thicker, (had another recipe on hand that I went off of).

As far as the skim milk goes....I really feel like we have to weigh all of the health risks on either side.  If I was to buy whole milk that has all the homogenized milk fat I'd have to deal with those issues... ??? right now for our family the store-bought skim milk is the best option of the few we have available.  I'm still looking for raw milk but in the mean time this is the best we can do.

I'm listing the ingredients that is in my "fancy" yogurt....I'd like to do some more research on them but right now I just list it for anyone out there who is overzealous on finding the information on the harmful bacteria.  ;)  Thank you guys....I appreciate your input.


White Mountain Bulgarian Yogurt

Ingredients: 
   Grade A Pasteurized Whole Milk
   Live Yogurt Cultures:
      L. Acidophilus
      L. Bulgaricus
      S.Thermophilus
      B Bifidum

There may be better yogurts out there for homemade yogurt making...this is such a simple yogurt, I've been giving it to my daughter for months now.  With it costing over $3.00 a quart I was hoping to duplicate it at home, (now that I think of it, it's not that expensive...but milk is way cheaper and the idea that I can thicken it and sweeten it from the start is very appealing to me.)  Okay, that's all for now....thank you again
« Last Edit: May 22, 2006, 02:21:17 AM by Julie G »
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Offline natural

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Re: Yogurt & Kefir: Recipes & Hints
« Reply #26 on: May 22, 2006, 02:07:17 PM »
I have read that  you can keep the kefir grains for "generations" so what do you do with it in between uses..refrigerate it?
--Sandra
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Offline Hope64

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Re: Yogurt & Kefir: Recipes & Hints
« Reply #27 on: May 22, 2006, 03:02:35 PM »
I noticed that the replies in the kefir thread said, "leave out for 24 hours".  That's too long for me.  Too tart.  About 12 hours is right for our family.  You can still taste the "sweetness" of the milk.  But, you get the tartness of the kefir.  Also, I rinse my grains in between uses.  I know that there are different thoughts on whether you need to do this or not.  But, I was told by a "veteran kefirer" that she rinses her's in between uses.  After you make a batch of kefir, if you know you will be gone for a few days, just put the grains in a small container with a tablespoon or two of milk.  It will keep in the fridge.  For longer term storage, put it in the freezer for up to a month.  Kefir is pretty hearty stuff and can survive pretty well.  Use in smoothies, or in homemade whole wheat pancakes (think sour dough pancake taste), or just take a deep breath and drink it straight.  Nope.  The kids don't do this.  But, I will.  Tastes tart like yogurt - but "yeasty" also. 

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Offline Sanya

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Re: Yogurt & Kefir: Recipes & Hints
« Reply #28 on: May 22, 2006, 03:12:18 PM »
I have read that  you can keep the kefir grains for "generations" so what do you do with it in between uses..refrigerate it?
--Sandra

You can find info on how to store grains at http://users.chariot.net.au/~dna/Makekefir.html#resting-kefir-gains.  I use the Baby Sitting Method mentioned there sometimes.  I've even frozen some before.  But now we just eat the extra grainsin our smoothies...even more probiotics!   ;)
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Offline mishy

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Re: Yogurt & Kefir: Recipes & Hints
« Reply #29 on: May 22, 2006, 03:21:31 PM »


1. Always use Dannon for a starter. The organic brands with many different types of bacteria in them contain a bacteria that research has shown to cause immune system troubles - wish I could remember the name of the bacteria in question



Could you find out what this bad bacteria is?  I am not using an organic brand but it has all the bacteria listed by Julie. 

Thanks!