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Got Kefir? - Page 6

post #101 of 582
Got any kefir recipes that dont call for flour? (besides smoothies) We are gluten-free here.....
post #102 of 582
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rainys~mama
can u make it with almond milk??
I assume you mean, Kefir? Then yes, you can put your grains in the almond milk, however, I would not do it long term (on a continual basis) IF you wish to continue making a 'milk' Kefir. Just alternate days if you want to keep them working in cow/goat milk. Kefir grains are usually raised in some type of milk (cow or goat) and prefer that to keep all the various components happy and active (reproducing).

You can wait until you have enough extra to experiment with in the almond milk or just go for it with them all, if you don't want to use any cow or goat milk. The worst possible thing that would probably happen, is that they will probably stop 'reproducing', but will continue to ferment the almond milk like with 'Kefir d' Aqua' (this based on a conversation with the Dom). So you would just end up with a specific amount of grains that can continually ferment the Almond Milk to add in the bacterial and good yeast components and provide you with a 'probiotic' product! This is NOT a bad thing, if you don't want to be bothered with reproducing grains and what to do with them.

If I didn't love the 'buttermilk' benefits of having milk Kefir around for baking with, I'd probably convert mine to 'Kefir d' Aqua' grains, as I usually prefer lighter drinks. But the smoothies are something I also like having in the mornings. If I ever low carb (like post holiday binging and post BFing) I might just drink some milk Kefir in the mornings, as it removes most of the lactose and the sugar in the milk, plus all those bacteria will help digest the increased fiber and meat products.

Sorry such a long response, but I was feeling perky today
post #103 of 582
Heather,
Does anyone know how long is too long to keep your grains in something else and still expect to be able to bring them back to milk and have them to resume producing?

Say water, can you alternate your grains from milk to water back and forth AND keep them growing? Would your water get "milky"?
post #104 of 582
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrea
Got any kefir recipes that dont call for flour? (besides smoothies) We are gluten-free here.....
More importantly, do you have any gluten free recipes that call for milk, sour cream or yogurt? If you do, then just substitute them with the Kefir in equal amounts. Then all your favorite gluten free recipes will be still usable. A tip: I add ~ 1/2 tsp baking SODA per cup of added Kefir, if it's a yeast-free bread product, to help it have 'lift'. If the recipe already calls for baking soda, I don't add more, but just use the original amount. If it's yeasted, I just add the Kefir in and let the yeasts mingle and do their thing....

I don't bake gluten free, (so I'd be 'taste challenged' and clueless) so anything I would type up, would just be a converted recipe from a box or bag I might see.

Anything you already have and use would be FAR superior to anything I might be able to come up with, trying to figure out what you like (as far as gluten free) and tastewise!

Supposedly, you can just substitute a gluten free flour for anything that calls for 'wheat flour', however we all know it don't taste the same and usually takes ALOT of tweeking to get a good texture! (I have tasted some gluten free products and went, YUCK!) Since there is no way for me to know what your personal 'taste tolerance levels' are, it'd probably be easier (and taste alot better) for you to just try substituting what you use in any recipe calling for wheat flour.

I DO know (From low carbing years and years ago) that you can make a DARN tasty nut based pie crust, and fill with a variety of creamy and yummy fillings. (So that's an area to look into and then the two pie recipes would work for you). I know they have a ton of new products to help with gluten free baking, but I've not looked into that area of cooking in much detail.

Really, all I do is take recipes I use and love, and find a way to put some 'leftover' Kefir in it...sometimes it helps with the flavor or texture, and sometimes it's just a way to use up excess Kefir! :LOL

If you have a particular recipe you'd like converted and are having problems trying to convert it, let me know the recipe (post it here). I'd be happy to try to trouble-shoot it. But I'm warning you, I'm gluten free challenged and you will have to tell me which flour substitutes you already use and like (or that are safe to consume). Better yet, perhaps another mom who cooks gluten free might have some better suggestions!
post #105 of 582
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bellafinn
Heather,
Does anyone know how long is too long to keep your grains in something else and still expect to be able to bring them back to milk and have them to resume producing?

Say water, can you alternate your grains from milk to water back and forth AND keep them growing? Would your water get "milky"?
For clarification, there are two situations for them being in water

1) A water 'fast' when you put them in pure water and let them sit in the fridge so they don't need to be babysat. The Dom has info on that, and my info sheet (the long one) has some of his info distilled down (page 3 of this thread, I think).

2) When making Kefir d' Aqua. The Dom says, once you put them in the sugar water solution, they pretty much should be dedicated to that. You can probably get them to convert milk to 'Kefir' or something close to what you were making, but if you brew them in Kefir d' Aqua more than a few times in a row, or repeatedly over the course of time, you might find they stop 'RE-producing (growing)', though they can still convert the medium they are in, to a 'Kefir-like' product. So you take all risk..I'm not gonna guess! :LOL

I would just assume 'dedicate' a few milk Kefir grains (a minimum of 1 TBS) to just use as 'Kefir d' Aqua' grains. The milk ones are easy enough to get, if someone has extras, but why risk the entire 'stash' of grains.

The Dom says that you might be able to brew in milk again, but you WILL be missing some components that flourished in milk, and starved in the 'Kefir D' Aqua'. So again, I've not personally experimented with brewing in water, then back in milk. I'm just going on what the Dom says, and he's experimented ALOT.

Oh, regarding the water getting milky: No, you are supposed to gently rinse your milk grains under cool, non cholrinated / florinated water before adding to your sugar water solution for making Kefir d' Aqua. This removes any milk curds clinging to them and they will appear a translucent, grainy looking mass that is 'kinda rubbery' to touch. You will know the curds, as they dissolve to the touch or in the water and will be easier to rinse away. You could 'water fast' them first, to make sure the milky parts are gone.

They grains will be slow at first to convert to the sugar water solution, as the yeast component will need time to 'fatten up', but then they should start making 'Kefir water' faster. (Dom has instructions on his site) ...if I get around to it, I might type up an abbreviated recipe for doing Kefir d' Aquas' here, for the convenience of us all.
post #106 of 582
Thread Starter 
Off to a Yoga class, but found this website, and it has some gluten free kefir recipes and lots of other lacto fermented stuff!

http://www.rejoiceinlife.com/recipes/index.php
post #107 of 582
Even though I've read this whole thread, I'm still a bit Kefir ignorant. I have a few questions.

My son has MSPI (milk soy protein intolerance) though he can handle soy protein now, but not milk proteins - they make his intestines bleed. Kefir is made from milk proteins right? So if I wanted to give it to him, I'd have to do the soy kind. Do you know where I can find that? (I'm going to check out the link you posted earlier in a minute.) Here I was thinking I was doing a good thing by giving him soy, but is there something bad about it? I do buy him a bottled flavored smoothie drink that he loves, but that I think tastes awful so I'd like to make him something that may taste a bit better. They have both the dairy and the soy kind, I get the soy. He won't drink soy milk of any flavor so when he drinks this at least I know he's getting something from it.

Thanks for any help, I appreciate it!
post #108 of 582
Thread Starter 
CJ's mommy,

Kefir grains are a symbiotic 'colony' of bacteria and yeasts that can culture or lacto ferment milk, or milk like products.

Kefir, the drink that is formed from it, is /usually/ cow milk based, but can be from a variety of milks or milk like products.

These 'grains' can also ferment 'sugar water' or juice solutions, and make a drink often refered to as "Kefir d' Aqua". There are also special 'Kefir grains' designed to 'live' in the sugar water solutions (called Water Kefir grains).

It sounds like your son's allergies (sensitivities/condition) have a pretty serious affect on him, so I'd avoid any milk (cow, goat, etc).

That being said, yes you can 'culture' soy milk, coconut milk, juice, almond and rice milk. Here is the Dom's link on making those things, with very detailed instructions: (first link is overview, second link has soy and nut or seed milk recipes, third link has some general brewing instructions)

http://ftp.newave.net.au/~dna/kefirp...ternativekefir
http://users.chariot.net.au/~dna/vegmilk.html
http://users.chariot.net.au/~dna/Mak...#Kefir-d-acqua

Here is a website I just found that has ALOT of recipes for making lacto fermented beverages.

http://www.rejoiceinlife.com/recipes/index.php

The main reason to ferment these products is to increase the 'good' bacteria and yeasts in your digestive system. So, if you find that making or buying these products isn't your thing, remember, there are good capsule forms of probiotic suppliments you can buy for your son.

I think they would benefit him, sans milk and I would say, sans soy, as it's been argued it can cause some of the symptoms your son is having. If your son is eating whole wheats, nuts or seeds in any form, I would also suggest you look into 'soaking' them to help digestability and remove ANY forms of intestinal irritations.

I'm not a doctor, it sounds like his situation is pretty serious, so I'd suggest you also consult with your pediatrician or a child's nutritionist to find some other good (AND SAFE) ways to introduce these beneficial bacteria into his digestive system. I not familiar with MSPI and would hope that the 'capsule form' of probiotics would be ok for him to consume....sometimes even things 'grown' in a known irritant (cow milk) can cause a reaction. So please check with your doctor.

:HUG and best wishes. I hope you find a form of probiotic that's safe for him to eat/drink. It might actually help rebuild and restore his digestive system enough to be able to better tolerant some other milk forms down the road. I know some mom's have said their child could NOT drink cow milk from the store, but raw milk was fine. I've no experience here...but it might be worth looking into.
post #109 of 582
Thank you so much Heather!

He was pretty bad there for awhile but now he's doing great in regard to the MSPI. Once we found out what it was when he was 4 months old, I cut soy and dairy from my diet and in 2 weeks he was a different baby. He nursed until he was 18 months old (he's almost 2 now) and since then is when he's been on soy products. He's been eating soy yogurt for awhile now and drinking the smoothie drink with Kefir for a couple of months. He's been tested there has been no trace of occult blood in his stool so the Gastro doc thinks it's ok. Like you said, we want to get something good going on in his system so that's why I'm trying it. He'll probably grow out of the milk protein part soon, but then he'll more than likely be Lactose Intolerant. UGH! I have no idea other than stool testing to figure out if he's outgrown the protein problem and is now lactose intolerant so I'm still staying away from both to be safe. His poor system has been through enough!

We do give him wheat but no nuts yet.

From what I understand, the milk proteins and soy proteins are similar that's why some people have trouble with both. A lot of people misinterpet that and think it's Lactose Intolerance problem, but they are two completely different things. Thankfully Connor seems to have outgrown the soy part of the MSPI, it's so much easier to feed him now!

Thanks for the link, I'm off to figure out what a Lacto fermented beverage is and if it contains Lactose.
post #110 of 582
Ok, I just read all 6 pages and am jonesing to start some kefir in my kitchen! Does anyone have grains they want to share or should I check my market for a starter? Thanks.
post #111 of 582
Thread Starter 
I 'owe out' two batches atm, so it'd be a solid week or so before I can ship to another. But Gale Force should have extras, and a few other moms might be ready to start shipping, as they have babies of ours.

You could PM Gale or I will post a note when I have them 'grown fat enough' to send again.

and welcome to the world of Kefir.
post #112 of 582
I just read Wild Fermentation and I am dying to start making some kefir - but of course I need grains. If anyone has some to send, please pm or email me.
post #113 of 582
I've got two cups of grains so I imagine I'll be giving them out forever. Just send me $3.85 for priority shipping or $1.75 California. Email me for my paypal account (can't accept cc, just not hooked up yet) or you can send me a check. I'll mail out this Tuesday and then won't be able to until after Thanksgiving.
post #114 of 582
did I kill my kefir. I just got going on my kefir. We left for 2 days and I left it here by itself. I covered it with milk, but some evaporated while we were gone. the top part of it looked a little dry when we got back. how can I tell if it is still good?

also, how do you get it to grow into larger amounts? I have some people I want to give some to, but dont know how to get it to grow. do I just have to wait and it will grow by itself, or do I have to do anything special to it?
post #115 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamacarey
did I kill my kefir. I just got going on my kefir. We left for 2 days and I left it here by itself. I covered it with milk, but some evaporated while we were gone. the top part of it looked a little dry when we got back. how can I tell if it is still good?
My guess is that it's fine. Strain it and try again. If the grains dry up or start to stink, you've got a problem. But they are very resilient. Your batch that sat for two days will taste very sour but it's still good (and lower in lactose). Blend it with fruit in a blender (and with stevia or another sweetener) and it will be fine.

Quote:
also, how do you get it to grow into larger amounts? I have some people I want to give some to, but dont know how to get it to grow. do I just have to wait and it will grow by itself, or do I have to do anything special to it?
You can get it to grow faster by increasing your milk to grains ratio. When I first got my grains I put a tbs grains in with 3/4 gallon milk in a gallon jar. In two weeks I had enough grains to culture a gallon a day. Or just wait and they will grow on their own if they are happy.
post #116 of 582
I have GOT to get some of these grains and see them for myself!!
post #117 of 582
Thread Starter 

New Recipe

Ok, here is one to help use up extra 'Kefir or Yogurt' Cream Cheese, and it's not heated, so all the probiotics are alive and kickin!

Chocolate 'Probiotic Cheese' Pudding or Pie Filling

3 oz Yogurt or Kefir Cream cheese
2/3 cup sugar (haven't tried it with Rapadura or Honey or Stevia yet)
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup milk or thinned Kefir/yogurt (Kefir/yogurt thinned with any extra whey on hand)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup heavy or whipping cream

Beat cream cheese and sugar in bowl until smooth. Stir in cocoa, milk (kefir or whey) and vanilla. Beat unitl very smooth. Whip the heavy cream in a large bowl until stiff; fold into the chocolate mixture. Spoon into individual serving size bowls or one large bowl. Cover, chill until firm (you can freeze to help it set faster...just don't forget about it in the freezer, or you will have chocolate 'pudding pops', in a bowl. Great garnished with fresh fruit.

This can also be used in a pre-baked pie crust.
post #118 of 582
Does anyone still have any grains? The more I read this post the more I feel I have to get some! Thanks...

Tracy
post #119 of 582
well I dont think I killed it. I had a very good smoothie the other day with it. I added raspberries, banana, and avacado to the kefir. Yummy!
post #120 of 582
Quote:
Originally Posted by danielsmommy
Does anyone still have any grains? The more I read this post the more I feel I have to get some! Thanks...
I will have grains until Jesus comes back. My husband and I just ate a couple of tablespoons each yesterday to keep from having a ridiculous amount. I won't be mailing again, though, until Nov 30. And I'll be gone for a week starting this Friday so I probably won't be able to check PMs.
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