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#91 of 582 Old 11-01-2004, 04:12 PM
 
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After reading all this I'm excited to try making my own, but where do I get the grains??
I have a local supply of fresh organic milk and have recently started using sour milk for soaking. I'm dying to try the kefir bread.
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#92 of 582 Old 11-01-2004, 05:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So far, I know for sure Gale Force and I mail them out. You just need to PM one or both of us to check status. Others have grains, but they might still be 'fattening them up' or the ones I know that probably have extras, I haven't seen online lately

Also, at the Dom's website, there is a 'obtaining grains' list that you can search for someone locally. You can just google it.

Here are the problems me and Gale currently are having:

Gale is having postmaster troubles and you will need to contact her to be sure she can get them mailed out.

I'm low on grains, as I've been mailing them out ALOT. I should have enough this coming Monday, Nov 8th, if you or anyone else needs some, and Gale doesn't get to you before me.

You will love the bread! I ONLY make bread with Kefir in it now...it's so much softer and fluffier. The Kefir is like having a 'gentle' yeast added to it that really helps in baking.
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#93 of 582 Old 11-01-2004, 05:28 PM
 
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I have grains!!!!!

Please someone take some spare grains. I'm making more kefir than I can use!
My grains have been used in locally raised hormone free milk. Once I put them in soy milk.

PM me if you'd like some grains! All I ask is that you pay for shipping.
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#94 of 582 Old 11-02-2004, 05:48 AM
 
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I sent an e-mail from Dom's site to see if there is anyone local who can send me some, otherwise I will take you up on your offer to send them.
Are they heavy? Shipping to Switzerland is outrageous.
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#95 of 582 Old 11-03-2004, 09:59 AM
 
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Dominic charges 25 Euros to send them out. Yikes! Ok, he sends a booklet too, but it's too expensive.

Parthenia, I will gladly pay you shipping plus some if you will send me some of yours.
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#96 of 582 Old 11-03-2004, 12:06 PM
 
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OK-I am game. I just bought some grains at the local co-op. Xena, would you mind posting the sheet that you send about growing the grains, straining, etc..

Thanks so much! I am looking forward to trying this!
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#97 of 582 Old 11-03-2004, 01:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaos_pie
OK-I am game. I just bought some grains at the local co-op. Xena, would you mind posting the sheet that you send about growing the grains, straining, etc..

Thanks so much! I am looking forward to trying this!
Here is the dom's site about doing just that:


http://ftp.newave.net.au/~dna/Makekefir.html

I will get my sheet info later posted. Basically to a glass jar, add your grains and about 1-2 cups milk, depending if you have alot of grains or a tiny amount. Put a lid on loosely, let sit on counter for 24 hours. You might need to adjust your brew time depending on the flavor you are looking for.

The dehydrating and making back up grain info (curtesy of the dom) is on page 3...a MUCH edited down version...refer to his website for more indepth info.

I'm expecting a repair man any minute, but have a LOT of stuff I need to post after he fixes my dish washer.
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#98 of 582 Old 11-03-2004, 05:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Here is an exact copy of the first page I send. I send some detail info sheets also regarding stuff like the dehydrating of grains for back up, etc:

KEFIR INFO SHEET

Here are your LIVE Kefir Grains. They have been shipped in a bit of whole, organic milk. The milk will be ‘Kefir’ by the time you get it. It might be on the ‘strong’ side, so I suggest gently straining off the Kefir milk, discarding it and placing your grains in a fresh jar of milk, following the below instructions.

Brewing Directions:
In a clean, wide mouth glass jar (ie, a mason jar is wonderful), place these grains and 1-2 cups milk (whole, 2%, skim, pasteurized or not, homogenized or not – organic is preferable, though). Start with the smaller amount of milk, you can increase it over a few days time, as your grains grow.

Place a lid on the jar or a layer or two of paper towel or a piece of cloth over top (secured by a rubber band). Leave sitting on your countertop, out of direct sunlight for 24 hours. During the brew time, gently swirl the jar to make sure the grains are ‘bathed’ with the milk and this will help feed them and convert the milk to Kefir.

12 - 24 - 48 hours later, depending on milk to grain ratio and ambient temperature in your kitchen, you will have ‘real’ Kefir. It will be a bit tart and tangy. You will need to adjust the ‘brew’ time to get it to taste best for you. Less time will be less tart and more ‘yogurty’, longer will be sourer tasting.

Just prior to straining, the jar is gently shaken (swirled) or the contents are stirred to redistribute the curds back with the layers and pockets of clear-whey. This makes straining a little easier. You may not have curd/whey separation, if you brew for a shorter time period; no worries, it’ll just be more like yogurt.

Straining: Use a non metal strainer (I took a piece of the plastic mesh bag my garlic comes in, and cut it to fit over the lid of my mason jar, then secured it with a rubber band. This works well for keeping the grains from slipping through and it’s easy to clean. If you must use a metal strainer, try to avoid as much contact with the grains as possible. The acid content of the grains/Kefir can cause minute electrical currents that can harm the grains.
After straining, the grains are placed straight back into a pre washed fermenting vessel, without rinsing the grains. Fresh milk is added to the grains to prepare the next batch. As a buffer, a portion of fresh kefir from the previous batch, may be left [or added] in the fermenting vessel with the fresh milk plus kefir grains. This is how kefir was prepared traditionally in the Caucasus region. [I now use a nylon mesh strainer that was a kid's bath toy...hehe...it works great!]

The strained kefir is either consumed fresh, or poured into a sealed container and stored either in the refrigerator or stored at room temperature to ripen for a few days.

Every few days I usually place the grains in a little cup with some Kefir and give the ‘brew jar’ a thorough cleaning with mild dish soap and hot water (and rinse VERY WELL in fresh water). Do not add your grains back into a hot jar, it will kill them. The ‘Dom’ says this isn’t necessary, but it makes me feel better to give the brew jar a good wash occasionally.

Eventually you will notice the grains increasing in mass, and you can add more milk to the jar for brewing or remove some of the grains to give away or make a ‘back up’ copy.

The following website (The ‘Dom’s’ Kefir Site) is FULL of great info and a few recipes for using up Kefir.
http://users.chariot.net.au/~dna/kefirpage.html
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#99 of 582 Old 11-03-2004, 06:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I made these this morning:

Banana Kefir Waffles

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 Tbs Rapadura sugar (or use brown or white)
3/4 tsp sea salt
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups Kefir
3 Tbs grapeseed oil (or oil of choice)
1 cup (3 medium) mashed, very ripe bananas

In one bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and soda and salt. In another bowl, mix the eggs with a fork, then add the sugar and mix to 'dissolve' the sugar, add in the mashed bananas. Add the vanilla extract and Kefir, and the oil and blend until smooth. (I used a hand mixer to make it a really smooth batter.) Add in the flour mixture and blend again until a smooth batter forms, but don't beat it too much. I let this mixture sit while I heated up thr waffle iron. I 'oiled' the waffle iron lightly with coconut oil. The batter will seem kinda thick, so I used a scant 'half cup' for each half of the waffle iron. This made about 14 waffles. I froze the extras and they toast up nice!
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#100 of 582 Old 11-03-2004, 10:39 PM
 
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can u make it with almond milk??

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#101 of 582 Old 11-04-2004, 12:09 AM
 
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Got any kefir recipes that dont call for flour? (besides smoothies) We are gluten-free here.....
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#102 of 582 Old 11-04-2004, 01:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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
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#103 of 582 Old 11-04-2004, 01:35 PM
 
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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"?
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#104 of 582 Old 11-04-2004, 01:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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!
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#105 of 582 Old 11-04-2004, 02:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
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#106 of 582 Old 11-09-2004, 12:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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
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#107 of 582 Old 11-09-2004, 01:39 PM
 
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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!

Mommy of 3 super charged kiddos
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#108 of 582 Old 11-09-2004, 04:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
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#109 of 582 Old 11-09-2004, 06:48 PM
 
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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.

Mommy of 3 super charged kiddos
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#110 of 582 Old 11-11-2004, 03:31 PM
 
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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.
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#111 of 582 Old 11-11-2004, 04:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
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#112 of 582 Old 11-11-2004, 09:53 PM
 
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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.

Cathe Olson, author The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook, Simply Natural Baby Food, and LIck It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love.  
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#113 of 582 Old 11-11-2004, 10:25 PM
 
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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.

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#114 of 582 Old 11-12-2004, 12:20 AM
 
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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?
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#115 of 582 Old 11-12-2004, 01:09 PM
 
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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.

Amanda Rose, author, Rebuild From Depression: A Nutrient Guide. Don't miss this opportunity to build a business telling friends about probiotic foods and grass fed meats: Beyond Organic Review.

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#116 of 582 Old 11-12-2004, 01:20 PM
 
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I have GOT to get some of these grains and see them for myself!!

dust.gif
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#117 of 582 Old 11-12-2004, 04:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
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#118 of 582 Old 11-16-2004, 04:24 AM
 
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Does anyone still have any grains? The more I read this post the more I feel I have to get some! Thanks...

Tracy
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#119 of 582 Old 11-16-2004, 01:12 PM
 
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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!
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#120 of 582 Old 11-16-2004, 02:10 PM
 
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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.

Amanda Rose, author, Rebuild From Depression: A Nutrient Guide. Don't miss this opportunity to build a business telling friends about probiotic foods and grass fed meats: Beyond Organic Review.

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