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Feel the Probiotic Love (yogurt, kefir, etc) April/May

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 
I have TONS of grains already! and my house is cold! I love this. However, dh bought fat-free milk...I put my grains in...was this a bad idea? I am going to buy whole milk today.

I am starting to make enough to have extra so I will be baking soon! I am going to print out some recipes and make my own kefir recipe book! :LOL
post #2 of 57
Woohoo tofumama! I can't wait for those recipes!

Your grains should be fine in the milk. But I'd get the whole milk too -- it's better for the grains and you.
post #3 of 57

Thanks tofumama for starting the thread.

Still making my youghurt/cheese weekly from whole unhomo. milk.

Taking a break from Kefir currently while I finish my Candida cleanse.

post #4 of 57
Hi... I'm new to this whole kefir thing! I'm really excited because I'm getting my water grains tomorrow. I can't wait to try it out.

I'm still looking for milk grains in my area... hopefully I will find some soon.
post #5 of 57
i'm thinking about having the grains shipped from the momma who posted like 10,000 recipes here. i'm feeling out friends beforehand so i'll be able to share the love...az is warm and i anticipate the grains will multiply quickly. i'm loving what i'm learning through the posts here. can't wait to take the plunge
post #6 of 57
Thread Starter 
Gale force, :LOL, when I said the 'recipes', I meant all the ones Xenabyte put up!

Mountain mom, why can't you have kefir on a candida cleanse? Just curious....I'm just learning about kefir as of late
post #7 of 57


My milk Kefirs are actually finally multiplying. I think the strainer I was using was too big and I was losing some grains before. I am using raw milk with them and hope eventually to find some water Kefir. I would really love to try that especailly with summer coming on.
I tried marinating chicken in Kefir last night and it turned out really good, but I am not sure if I got much benefit from it. I am going to try to drink it daily, but I think if I want to get any in my family, I will have to bake with it or stick to smoothies a few times a week. They are rather resistant.
I am currently using the health by stealth method, and am hoping to find more ways to incorporate the Kefir.
Karen in WA :
post #8 of 57
Ok, kefir mamas, more questions from a kefir newbie

I've had my grains for a little over a month. A friend gave me three lumps of grains, which have been growing for me - in fact, I just passed one of the lumps on to a friend who was wanting some, since I found I was making kefir much faster than I could drink it and she was very eager to make her own.

Now, my first question is: should I leave these large lumps as large lumps, or should I break them up somewhat? I mean, clearly what is inside them isn't making contact with the milk.

Second, I was very frustrated with the strainer I was using. The holes would immediately clog with grains and curds of kefir, which I couldn't get out either to return to the kefir jar or to the finished product. Since it was all clogged, the kefir didn't drip through and I'd end up fishing the lumps of grains out with a spoon. I've taken to just fishing the large lumps right out of the jar with a spoon, since I find they float and are easy to find, and skimming off any floating grains I can find and moving them to another jar. But, I'm sure a lot of grains are being left behind in the finished product. On one hand, I understand the grains are marvelously healthful, so I don't feel I'm wasting them by drinking them - at least I'm not wasting them washing them out of the strainer anymore. On the other, it would be nice to grow them a little faster so I could start drying some. (I could have dried the ones I passed on to a friend, I know, but she was so eager to get some.) So, what are thoughts on this? Can anybody recommend a better strainer? Does anybody else fish the grains out with a spoon rather than strain? Has anybody tried tying them up in cheesecloth so they can just be lifted out?

I also wanted to say, I've been using goat's milk for the last week and a half for my kefir, and I it. I like cow's milk kefir... but I adore it with the goat's milk. I'll be out of goat's milk after tomorrow's batch, and just might have to take a road trip to go buy some more... Alas, that farm is no longer on my usual hunting-and-gathering route, and it's fairly distant.
post #9 of 57
Hey, thank you for starting the April/May thread. I was meaning to get around to it...just been busy with new projects around here...

So, regarding strainers. If you have some 'mesh' from buying garlic or even lemons or onions...you could put that over the top of your brew jar, and band or tie it down (a tight rubber band usually works well) and then pour the kefir through that.

Fishing them out with a spoon is ok, but you do loose the baby ones and then your kefir grains won't grow as fast in bulk, but it's not a bad thing, esp if you are ingesting them.

I like this little 'cup' strainer made of mesh, designed for brewing tea in. I use a silicon (baby) spatula to stir small amounts of the brewed kefir into another jar. It makes the curds break down and makes the kefir super creamy and smooth, no matter how 'clumpy' it was in the original brew jar.

Then I put the grains into another jar as I'm doing this, so the cup doesn't get too full. I keep adding 'brewed kefir' to the cup and stirring, then dump the grains into the new brew jar. Eventually I have a jar with smooth, creamy Kefir (to use or drink) a new jar with the grains (ready for milk or whatever) and the old brew jar. This way I just wash the old jar, and add milk or coconut milk to the new jar with the grains.

I have ALOT of grains at the moment. If anyone is interested, PM me.
post #10 of 57
I have gone back to the archives and looked thru the many recipes that Xenabyte has listed. I am very interested in more recipes like the meat recipe with cumin and Kefir. Do you have anymore recipes for things like that for using bulk amounts of finished Kefir?
post #11 of 57

When making yogurt - can I use any probiotic powder as a starter or does it have to be a "yogurt starter" such as Yogourmet? I have some Udo's Infant/Toddler blend probiotic powder and was wondering if I could just use that instead of buying a seperate yogurt starter??

(I know I can use some yogurt from a previous batch but I always forget to save some)
post #12 of 57
Yes, you can use the powder. I haven't had any luck with it though :
I am not sure how much to use and if I do it right, but then again I have lots of problems with making my yogurt. Good luck.
Oh and if you don't know how much to use there is a big discussion on probiotics in Health in healing I think by Goodpapa. (Don't have time to link or I would). Hope it turns out.
post #13 of 57

I have made yogurt from some probiotic powder I had on hand. My "first generation" batch was always runny and clumpy but a second generation yogurt -- started with some of the first generation -- was much thicker and smoother. I used, I think, 1/2 tsp ... maybe 1 tsp? probiotic powder to 1 pint milk for the first generation, then 1/2 c of that yogurt to 1 qt. milk for the second generation.

I use some mesh that my dish scrubbies came in to strain my kefir -- I hold it over the mouth of the jar with a rubber band.
post #14 of 57
Hi, as a newbie to this I'm wondering who's got water kefir grains on the go and what's in the mix? I just got mine on the weekend and the man who gave them to me had just some organic raisins and sugar in the water with them. I bought some organic dried apricots and will give that a try in a week or so.

This morning I drank the water and it tasted like not much, just slightly sweet and sour at the same time. I added a dash of lime juice and that made it a bit more paletable.

Is there anything in particular that people like to do with the water grains?
post #15 of 57
Ok, so I've got two batches going now, one is just "regular" water kefir with sugar and raisins, which I mixed with frozen berries this morning and drank just sort of like a fruit juice. The second is a mix made with DH's favourite ginger tea. I haven't tried that one yet, but I am optimistic.

One thing though, I'm worried about the alcohol content of my kefir. DH and I don't drink at all (and I'm pregnant) so I really notice the slightly alcoholic taste and the past two mornings after drinking the kefir I've felt really mellow. Is this safe for me to be drinking during pregnancy? I've read that the milk kefir is really good for pregnant women, but nothing about the water kefir... but I have seen mentions of people feeding the water kefir to their children, so I assume it's ok?
post #16 of 57
ex-stasis, I think the amount of alcohol is less than that of non-alcoholic beer and wines. I drank grape-juice kefir and milk kefir (at one time I was drinking a quart milkkefir smoothie--maybe that's why I can't drink it anymore!!) all through my pregnancy, I figured it was better than drinking the one glass of wine they say you can have. ALso I think the longer you brew it the more alcoholic it can get, so maybe don't brew it so long (I brew mine way too long cuase I forget kwim?) Oh, and my brother gives it to his kids all the tiime.
post #17 of 57
Anyone have a soy yoghurt recipe? Ds is off dairy and I bought some soy yoghurt yesturday and he loves it. However, at $3/2cups it's very pricey.
post #18 of 57
Here is the page with the Kefir Chai info, and some other 'Smoothie' Ideas if you have Kefir coming out your ears....

The Kefir Smoothie


A word about using Kefir in beverages: Kefir should be used only in cold or room temperature beverages, as it curdles if added to hot tea or beverages. It adds a delicious richness and a bit of a zing to beverages, as you'll see below. Many of these recipes can be enjoyed by children and adults alike!

Spectacular Kefir Drink
1 cup Kefir (Plain or Vanilla)
1 tsp. of unrefined flax seed oil
Lecithin, which aids fat digestion, to taste
Fiber, such as Nutri-Flax or fresh ground flax seeds
Natural flavorings or herbs such as stevia, nutmeg, cinnamon, non-alcoholic vanilla or natural fruit flavoring
Fresh or frozen organic fruit of choice

Blend together for a delicious, nutritious breakfast, lunch, or snack and enjoy!

Iced Kefir Chai
1/4 cup favorite liquid Chai, refrigerated
3/4 cup Plain or Vanilla Kefir, depending on desired sweetness

Stir together, or place together in a shake-cup and shake. Play around with relative amounts of the beverages to get flavor, texture and sweetness to your liking. Enjoy as is, or over ice. 1 serving

Creamsicle Kefir Drink
1/4 cup Orange Juice
3/4 cup Vanilla Kefir

Stir together, or place together in a shake-cup and shake. Play around with relative amounts of the beverages to get flavor, texture and sweetness to your liking. If you lean toward a less sweet/more invigorating taste bud, this recipe is delicious when made with Plain kefir instead of Vanilla. Enjoy as is, or over ice. 1 serving

Sunrise Latte
Here is a creative way to eat your vegetables! You can juice your own, or purchase fresh or frozen carrot juice for the recipe.

1/4 cup Fresh Carrot Juice
3/4 cup Vanilla Kefir

Stir together, or place together in a shake-cup and shake. Play around with relative amounts of the beverages to get flavor, texture and sweetness to your liking. Enjoy as is, with a dash of nutmeg, or over ice. 1 serving

Purple Kefir Cow
Did you know that Concord grape juice has been shown to help lower systolic blood pressure in men with high blood pressure?

If you prefer a drink that's sweeter and more like a milkshake:
1 Tbsp frozen 100% Grape Juice Concentrate
1 cup Vanilla Kefir


If you prefer a drink that's a little bit tart and has a thinner consistency:
1/4 cup 100% Grape Juice (not the concentrate, but the juice)
3/4 cup Plain Kefir

Using the recipe you prefer, stir the two ingredients together or place together in a shake-cup and shake. Enjoy as is, or over ice.

Dreamy Sweet Creamy
If you aren't familiar with Organic Sucanat (Rapadura), you're in for a treat. Organic Sucanat is organic sugar cane that is harvested by squeezing out the juice. The juice is filtered and evaporated to remove excess water, then crystallized. The result is a natural sugar crystal that has a gentle molasses flavor and maintains vitamins and minerals of the original plant.

1 cup Plain Kefir
2 tsp Organic Sucanat (Rapadura)

Stir together, let stand for 5 minutes, and stir again (time can vary depending on whether you enjoy the burst of flavor from sucanat specks or prefer that they dissolve completely before drinking. Enjoy as is!

Maple Cream
Easy to mix and a lovely maple flavor – this is a great way to sweeten Plain kefir!

1 cup Plain Kefir
1 Tbsp Pure Maple syrup

Stir together, or place together in a shake-cup and shake. Play around with relative amounts of the beverages to get flavor, texture and sweetness to your liking. Enjoy as is, or over ice.

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
Another great way to enjoy your vegetables, pumpkin is rich in Vitamin A! Kids and adults love this one!

1 cup Vanilla Kefir
2 TBSP Organic pureed pumpkin
Pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg

Blend ingredients together and enjoy as is or with a dash of cinnamon-sugar sprinkled on top.

Cranberry Jazz Smoothie
Antioxidants abound in this tangy smoothie! Refreshing, invigorating and darned healthy too!

1 cup frozen cranberries
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
Juice of one small lemon
1 cup cranberry juice
2 cups Vanilla Kefir

Blend the frozen fruit and juices together until fruit is pureed smooth. Add Vanilla kefir, blending enough to stir in completely. Serve as is and enjoy. Serves 4

Favorite Breakfast Smoothie
1 cup Kefir
1/2 cup frozen fruit (strawberries, peaches, raspberries, cherries or blueberries work well)
1/2 banana
6 ice cubes

Puree ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour and enjoy! Serves 1

Watermelon Smoothie
Particularly great on a warm summer morning or for a summer afternoon cooler.

3 cups watermelon chunks, seedless
2 cups Kefir
3/4 cup Ruby Red Orange Juice

Puree watermelon in blender until smooth. Add juice and Kefir, blending enough to stir in completely. Serve as is or over ice and enjoy! Serves 4

Apple Pie Smoothie
This recipe makes a great after-school treat!

1/4 cup Frozen or chilled Unsweetened Applesauce
3/4 cup Vanilla Kefir

Blend together, and serve with a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg. If the applesauce is very fine, this recipe can just be stirred. Serves 1

Tropical Smoothie
1/2 cup crushed pineapple with juice, chilled
1 banana, frozen and sliced into chunks
1/2 cup coconut milk, frozen in an ice cube tray
2 cups Vanilla Kefir

Puree fruit and coconut ingredients together in a blender until smooth. Add Vanilla kefir, blending enough to mix in completely. Serve as is and enjoy. Serves 3

Chocolate Kefir
Wonder why you can’t buy chocolate Kefir? The answer is the process would require pasteurization of the chocolate, which affects its flavor. A far better way to enjoy Chocolate kefir is to make it yourself – that way you can find the taste that's just right for you! Good dark chocolate is getting great press these days for its antioxidant content. Not only food for the soul, but nourishment for the body as well! Two chocolate recipes follow, depending on whether you prefer Chocolate Syrup or Hot Chocolate Powder.

1 Tbsp Chocolate Syrup
1 cup Vanilla Kefir

Stir together and enjoy!

Cocoa Kefir
1 Tbsp of your favorite HOT CHOCOLATE POWDER*
1 cup Vanilla Kefir

Whisk ingredients together, or place together in a shake-cup and shake. To develop a richer flavor, let the mixture stand at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before drinking, then stir and enjoy!

*Ghirardelli Double Chocolate cocoa mix is rich and chocolaty, not very sweet, and made to be mixed into milk (so it don't contain milk powder).

‘Pump You Up’ Protein Smoothie
1 cup Kefir
1/4 cup water, milk or juice
1 scoop favorite protein powder, whey or soy

Place ingredients in a shake-cup and shake vigorously. If you prefer more of a smoothie, go ahead and blend the powder, kefir, liquid and some fresh fruit in the blender. Creativity is the name of the game here!

Kefir ‘n Flax
For the Plain kefir purist, there is possibly nothing more delicious than the combination of Plain Kefir and freshly ground flaxseed! It's not sweet, but it's quite a treat and flax adds insoluble dietary fiber, lignans and vegetable omega-3 essential fatty acids.

1Tbsp finely ground Organic Flaxseed
1 cup Kefir

Stir together, or place together in a shake-cup and shake. Let stand at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before drinking. The flax absorbs some of the liquid from the kefir, and imparts a wonderful nutty flavor to the drink.

Kefir Banana Smoothie
1 cup Kefir
1 ripe banana
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon honey

If you have blender, combine ingredients in a blender
and process until no further lumps are noticeable.
Serve chilled or at room temperature.
For a real treat, add whipped cream
and nuts for decoration.

Kefir Nog

1 cup Kefir or Vanilla Kefir
1 organic egg
pinch nutmeg
two pinches cinnamon
1 Tbs Rapadura or white sugar (to taste)

Blend and top with more fresh ground nutmeg. Enjoy! Feeling really decadent…top with whipped cream.
post #19 of 57
Thread Starter 
A question for the Kefir Queen
What about kefir ice cream?
I'm thinking summer....
post #20 of 57
Depending on the thickness of your Kefir, you can definitely substitute the 'milk' called for in ice cream with kefir'd milk/cream.

The cold will not hurt the probiotics. As you eat the frozen goodness, it will melt and the 'probiotics' will thaw and reactivate in your tummy! But either way, the milk will be 'cultured' and have more nutritional value than using just regular milk. You could soak rice or almond milk with the grains, and use this instead of milk too.

Cathe has some good 'ice cream' substitute recipes in her book. (I have the kid's one). You could use frozen fruits (even avacado, like she uses in a recipe), and blend with thickened Kefir in a food processor to make basically a 'soft serve', that is instantly edible and super yummy!
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