Author Topic: Making Kefir: Recipes, Tips & Tricks  (Read 257273 times)

Offline natural

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Making Kefir: Recipes, Tips & Tricks
« on: May 23, 2006, 08:31:18 AM »
Okay, I went to the health food store today and she didn't have a kefir starter. So I bought a bottle of Kefir. Could I use a 1/4 cup of that as a starter? It is vanilla flavored that id the closest she had to plain. How exactly would I do that?

Sandra
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Offline Maria/NHM

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Re: Making Kefir: Recipes, Tips & Tricks
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2006, 09:28:32 AM »
I'm just getting started so I'm no expert on kefir but everything I've read says you need to have the kefir grains. I just ordered some off ebay. I got one cup of grains for $10.00.

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Offline natural

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Re: Making Kefir: Recipes, Tips & Tricks
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2006, 10:33:22 AM »
Okay, i am confused...I see what you are talking about on Ebay it looks like big hunks of cottage cheese...but I found some other packet type kefir starter mixes on another site yourgormet.com and amazon...these look like a powder starter...What is the difference...I would almost rather buy from someone with the packets for sanitary purposes ??? :-\

Thanks and let me know how yours turns out when you get it from ebay seller.

--Sister Sandra
4 yo Maciah: Mamma I am scared the wind is howling.
Me: Go to sleep Jesus will protect you.
4 yo Maciah: (stretching his chin to chest) But, but I can't see Jesus my head can't reach into my heart.

Offline Maria/NHM

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Re: Making Kefir: Recipes, Tips & Tricks
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2006, 10:58:31 AM »
I found some other packet type kefir starter mixes on another site yourgormet.com and amazon...these look like a powder starter...What is the difference...I would almost rather buy from someone with the packets for sanitary purposes ??? :-\

Thanks and let me know how yours turns out when you get it from ebay seller.

--Sister Sandra

I actually already bought the powdered yorgourmet for the same reason but then I read that it's not reusable :-[. It never makes any kefir grains. I also read that the powdered stuff isn't as good for you as making real kefir. It don't have all of the good bacteria just a strain or two. Anyway, just what I've learned so far. I'll let you know how things turn out.

Maria
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Offline Sanya

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Re: Making Kefir: Recipes, Tips & Tricks
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2006, 11:20:13 AM »
Okay, I went to the health food store today and she didn't have a kefir starter. So I bought a bottle of Kefir. Could I use a 1/4 cup of that as a starter? It is vanilla flavored that id the closest she had to plain. How exactly would I do that?

Sandra

I've used plain before, but never tried the flavored.  2 T to a cup of milk would probably work.  My plain worked for a few batches, but fizzed out after that.  You could either keep getting more kefir from the store or get some grains that lasts generations.
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Offline TruthSeeker

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Re: Making Kefir: Recipes, Tips & Tricks
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2006, 12:50:29 PM »
What does kefir taste like and what is it's consistency?  I am a big wimp. :-[  I can't even eat plain yogurt without putting something in it to take the bitterness away, but I want to eat healthy.  :-\ I am really interested in kefir.  Do you think a wimp like me would like it? ???

Offline FaithAcre

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Re: Making Kefir: Recipes, Tips & Tricks
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2006, 03:46:11 PM »
Kefir tastes like fizzy, tangy plain yogurt.  I whip mine up every morning in a smoothie with berries and maple syrup. 

REAL Kefir is made from grains that you keep in milk.  They need to be strained out and given fresh milk every 24-48 hours.  The liquid you strained off is the kefir that you drink.

Yes, the grains sort of look like big hunks of cottage cheese.  They feed off the lactose in the milk and their "byproduct" is what ferments the milk.  The usual ratio is about 2 Tbsp grains to 2 cups of milk.  This can differ for everyone though.  But for me this has been the ideal ratio. 

Grains usually need to be purchased from a person.  A health food store is not likely to carry them, unless they are dried or frozen and then they can only keep for a few months. 

Kefir Grains are like a little baby.  You need to take care of them and change them everyday.  You cannot let them just be for more than 48 hours.  They will die.  They need fresh milk (lactose).  Once they have eaten all the lactose, they will start "starving" so to speak.   Taken care of properly, they will flourish and multiply(grow) rather quickly.  This is how people are able to sell and share them.  For now, I just take any surplus grains and throw them in my smoothie. 

My grains are pretty good.  Unfortunately they are in store bought milk right now, as my raw goat milk supplier has dried all her goats until after they kid.  You can do a search on google for people selling kefir grains.  You will find them.  I am considering selling some of mine as I get a surplus.

I got mine from my friend who also sells me goat milk.  She got them in the mail from another lady that has great grains! 

Hope this answers some questions. 
~Tara~
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Offline Dalyn

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Re: Making Kefir: Recipes, Tips & Tricks
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2006, 06:12:55 PM »
The real grains will last forever! On my website is instructions, and pictures if that's helful to anybody.
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Offline FaithAcre

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Re: Making Kefir: Recipes, Tips & Tricks
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2006, 03:09:04 AM »
The real grains will last forever! On my website is instructions, and pictures if that's helful to anybody.

Thanks Dalyn!  You're always good at making sure I don't leave anything out  ;D.
~Tara~
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Offline healthybratt

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Re: Making Kefir: Recipes, Tips & Tricks
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2006, 12:54:19 PM »
I got a new kefir culture and I've been feeding it for 3 days.  It tastes like really sour lumpy milk.  It's GROSS.  Did I do something wrong?  It doesn't taste spoiled.  It tastes like really sour yogurt and the consistancy looks really nasty.  I couldn't get my kids to drink this if I tried.  I didn't even really want to taste it and when I did, I wasn't impressed.  I thought it was supposed to taste sweeter than yogurt and look like thickened milk.

 :-X :-X :-X

I'm wasting milk (I'm using skim for lack of a better source) and I'm ready to throw the little creatures in the trash bucket.
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Offline mishy

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Re: Making Kefir: Recipes, Tips & Tricks
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2006, 01:50:50 PM »
I have grains and it took a couple of days for me to get it right.  At first the consistency wasn't right, but I found that mixing it as it is culturing helps.  I also mix it up before I strain it (but I guess you don't do that).  NO it is not sweeter than yoghurt.  Yes, it is definitely more sour!  Add fruit and honey.  It should look like thick milk and mine has no lumps. 
Hope you figure it out! :)

Offline healthybratt

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Re: Making Kefir: Recipes, Tips & Tricks
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2006, 02:44:42 PM »
I have grains and it took a couple of days for me to get it right.  At first the consistency wasn't right, but I found that mixing it as it is culturing helps.  I also mix it up before I strain it (but I guess you don't do that).  NO it is not sweeter than yoghurt.  Yes, it is definitely more sour!  Add fruit and honey.  It should look like thick milk and mine has no lumps. 
Hope you figure it out! :)

I mixed it quite a bit actually and it looks like thick milk with cottage cheese floating in it even after I strain it.

If yogurt tastes better and I have to babysit these silly grains and waste milk getting them to culture properly then why on Earth would I want kefir?  Why not just keep making yogurt?  Everyone keeps raving about how much better it tastes.  I don't have to sweeten the yogurt for my cereal, but this kefir stuff, eeeeeeew!  So far, I'm not getting the draw - please enlighten me.  :-\
« Last Edit: June 26, 2006, 02:46:37 PM by healthybratt »
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Offline Chickory Chick

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Re: Making Kefir: Recipes, Tips & Tricks
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2006, 04:35:43 PM »
I got a new kefir culture and I've been feeding it for 3 days.  It tastes like really sour lumpy milk.  It's GROSS.  Did I do something wrong?  It doesn't taste spoiled.  It tastes like really sour yogurt and the consistancy looks really nasty. 

I think you have been culturing it to long.  I find in warm weather that it only takes 12 -24 hours to get it to a nice consistency.  When it sits longer than that it gets lumpier and tastes more sour as opposed to tangy.   At first I liked it mixed with fresh fruit and a tad bit of sweetener, now I can drink it straight!  And dont throw the "ruined" batch away, use it in baking, it makes a great sub for sour cream or buttermilk in baking!  :)
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Offline natural

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Re: Making Kefir: Recipes, Tips & Tricks
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2006, 04:42:19 PM »
I use Kefir in my pancakes and waffles and have tried it in pudding and I think chocolate pudding would be better than lemon.

My kefir turns out thicker than my yogurt at the present because I have not perfected either yet. I also use a tea ball to make kefir and the grains are multiplying quickly. Dom's Kefir site does say there may be some down sides to using metal to make kefir, but I find my stainless tea ball to be wonderful ---no straining, just transfer the tea ball to another quart of warm milk.

I bought my grains from Ebay at a store called Healthy Cultures...here is her quote that helps put into perspective, kefir, in relation to yogurt...

Kefir VS. Yogurt :
 

    Both kefir and yogurt are cultured milk products, but they contain different types of beneficial bacteria. Yogurt contains transient beneficial bacteria that keep the digestive system clean and provide food for the friendly bacteria that reside there.  But kefir can actually colonize the intestinal tract, a feat that yogurt cannot match.  

    Kefir contains several major strains of friendly bacteria not commonly found in yogurt, Lactobacillus Caucasus, Leuconostoc, Acetobacter species, and Streptococcus species. It also contains beneficial yeasts, such as Saccharomyces kefir and Torula kefir, which dominate, control and eliminate destructive pathogenic yeasts in the body. They do so by penetrating the mucosal lining where unhealthy yeast and bacteria reside, forming a virtual SWAT team that housecleans and strengthens the intestines. Hence, the body becomes more efficient in resisting such pathogens as E. coli and intestinal parasites.

     Kefir's active yeast and bacteria provide more nutritive value than yogurt by helping digest the foods that you eat and by keeping the colon environment clean and healthy.

     Because the curd size of kefir is smaller than yogurt, it is also easier to digest, which makes it a particularly excellent, nutritious food for babies, invalids and the elderly, as well as a remedy for digestive disorders.  
 

 

KEFIR GRAINS is reputed to help with many health problems such as:

 

Allergies, Cures heart, Liver problems, Dissolves gallbladder stones, Cures peptic ulcer, Serves as an antibiotic for internal inflammations, Detoxicates, Reduces blood pressure, Slows development of cancerous cells, Reduces tiredness and aging, Cures periodontitis, Slows calcification of blood vessels. I'm not sure how much of this has been scientifically proven, as it seems to cure almost everything.
4 yo Maciah: Mamma I am scared the wind is howling.
Me: Go to sleep Jesus will protect you.
4 yo Maciah: (stretching his chin to chest) But, but I can't see Jesus my head can't reach into my heart.

Offline healthybratt

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Re: Making Kefir: Recipes, Tips & Tricks
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2006, 06:45:45 PM »
Thanks.  I think I'm going to give it away. :-\
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Offline mishy

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Re: Making Kefir: Recipes, Tips & Tricks
« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2006, 08:38:13 PM »
Oh- I missed the 3 day thing!!!!!  Wow, yea, I only let mine culture for 24 hours.  The first batch I made was NaaaaaAAAAsty, but now I can drink it straight- yum!!  It is tangy, but so healthy!!  Come on healthybratt!!  You can do it!  :)

Offline healthybratt

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Re: Making Kefir: Recipes, Tips & Tricks
« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2006, 09:24:04 PM »
Oh- I missed the 3 day thing!!!!!  Wow, yea, I only let mine culture for 24 hours.  The first batch I made was NaaaaaAAAAsty, but now I can drink it straight- yum!!  It is tangy, but so healthy!!  Come on healthybratt!!  You can do it!  :)

I didn't culture it for 3 days straight.  I strained it and gave it fresh milk every day.
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Offline mishy

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Re: Making Kefir: Recipes, Tips & Tricks
« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2006, 09:46:32 PM »
I always make sure it sits for at least 24 hours.  Otherwise it is too yeasty. 

Offline sarajane

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Re: Making Kefir: Recipes, Tips & Tricks
« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2006, 05:35:17 AM »
Okay, so I am really ignorant here so bear with me. I think we need a "Kefir for Dummies" thread or something for people like me.  ;D

I know Kefir is good for you and I buy it at the grocery store all the time and really like it. As far as whey goes, I have no clue whatsoever. Never even seen the stuff. Anybody up for telling me more, well actually, for telling me everything about Kefir and whey.  ???  :D

I have been looking up every thread on here about Kefir and see many of you make your own. How do you do this? Do you have to have raw milk to make it? Is the store bought stuff just as good as homemade? (I know probably not, just hoping) So, elighten me.  ;D Thanks!

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Offline Chickory Chick

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Re: Making Kefir: Recipes, Tips & Tricks
« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2006, 06:12:25 AM »
  When you let milk (or kefir) sit out after a while it separates (remember curds and whey from the "Little MIss Muffet" poem).  The liquid part is called whey and the solid is the curds and can be made into cheese.   I dont know if this will work with the storebought kefir, but when you make kefir at home it happens around 36 hours (sooner or later depending on the temperature).  Sometimes when you buy storebough yogurt (plain or vanilla)  You will see  a little bit of yellowish liquid on top.  This is also whey.  Hope this helps!
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Offline healthybratt

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Re: Making Kefir: Recipes, Tips & Tricks
« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2006, 07:13:52 AM »
There's also a thread called Yogurt and Kefir (recipes & hints)
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Offline hedy

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Re: Making Kefir: Recipes, Tips & Tricks
« Reply #21 on: July 28, 2006, 06:21:47 AM »
I guess I am admitting to being a cheater here, but I use the powdered starter. Although I have read that this type of kefir is not "reproducible," I have cultured new batches with it countless times, with both raw and pasteurized milk. All you do is pour a little of your kefir (1/2 c.) into a quart jar with new milk and leave it out on the counter overnight. I tried grains once, but I didn't like messing with them. If any of you other lazy people have found easier ways to use the grains (freezing?), let me know. I'd be game to try again.

My kefir does get a little lumpy sitting in the fridge but a good shaking makes it nice and smooth.

Offline ForeverGirl

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Re: Making Kefir: Recipes, Tips & Tricks
« Reply #22 on: July 28, 2006, 07:31:06 AM »
In this warm weather, my kefir has been setting up in less than 24 hours - more like 18. I've noticed that stirring or shaking the jar a couple times helps it set up more quickly. I also have a lot of grains and should probably separate them - about 3 tablespoons of grains for a quart.

If I leave it a full 24 hours or longer, it totally separates into thick cheese curds (top) and clear whey (bottom).

I prefer the taste of kefir over yogurt in a smoothie, but haven't tried it plain yet.

Smoothie

3/4 quart of kefir
2 bananas
2 tablespoons honey
frozen berries until desired consistency

Blend and serve. If there is some left over, I pour into popsickle molds for a kid-treat later.

Rebekah
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Re: Making Kefir: Recipes, Tips & Tricks
« Reply #23 on: July 28, 2006, 09:53:36 AM »
I do the same, our popsicles are always kefir/fruit smoothie leftovers!  We don't add honey though. 

You use 3T. grains per quart???  I use 1t. to 1T. and get kefir in about 24 hours, whey and curds separated and everything.  Just wanted to let people know they can find 1t. of grains and that would be sufficient to start.

Also, goat milk makes way smoother kefir. 

Rebekah, we LOVE your Ends of the Earth tape.  Off subject, but we were just listening to it.  The kids love it. 

Nickole

Offline hedy

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Re: Making Kefir: Recipes, Tips & Tricks
« Reply #24 on: July 28, 2006, 03:34:57 PM »
That popsicle idea is great. But I never have leftovers!  :)

Offline lotsaboys

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Re: Making Kefir: Recipes, Tips & Tricks
« Reply #25 on: August 01, 2006, 07:22:58 AM »
I guess I am admitting to being a cheater here, but I use the powdered starter. Although I have read that this type of kefir is not "reproducible," I have cultured new batches with it countless times, with both raw and pasteurized milk. All you do is pour a little of your kefir (1/2 c.) into a quart jar with new milk and leave it out on the counter overnight. I tried grains once, but I didn't like messing with them. If any of you other lazy people have found easier ways to use the grains (freezing?), let me know. I'd be game to try again.

My kefir does get a little lumpy sitting in the fridge but a good shaking makes it nice and smooth.

You're not the only cheater! :) I asked my hubby if I should find grains as that seems to be more "authentic" or something, or keep ordering the starter and he said we have enough stuff fermenting, brewing, etc. that we don't need something that requires more care.  :) I'm perfectly fine with that!!

Offline ForeverGirl

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Re: Making Kefir: Recipes, Tips & Tricks
« Reply #26 on: August 01, 2006, 10:20:49 AM »


Rebekah, we LOVE your Ends of the Earth tape.  Off subject, but we were just listening to it.  The kids love it. 

Nickole

Thank you  ::)  It's always nice to get positive feedback! The funny thing is how unmusical I am! Someday I'm going to take music lessons. Just goes to show that God uses those that are willing.

Thanks for the info on the kefir grains  - I guess I'll start making 2 quarts a day now!

Rebekah
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"JOE!!! You DOUGHNUT COCONUT COCONUT COCONUT!!!"

Offline SHERRI REEL

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Re: Making Kefir: Recipes, Tips & Tricks
« Reply #27 on: August 01, 2006, 10:50:26 AM »
Is cultured buttermilk the same as kefir?
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Offline Chickory Chick

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Re: Making Kefir: Recipes, Tips & Tricks
« Reply #28 on: August 01, 2006, 02:23:23 PM »
Is cultured buttermilk the same as kefir?

No its not exactly the same thing, but I have used kefir sucessfully in recipes that call for buttermilk.
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Offline amom3boys

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Re: Making Kefir: Recipes, Tips & Tricks
« Reply #29 on: August 01, 2006, 06:13:02 PM »
Okay, so I posted yesterday about wanting to start eating healthier.We took atrip to the health food store today and I saw that they sold Kefir smoothies. I bought one and we loved it!!! This one was strawberries and cream and I thought me and my boys would fight each other for it.Hubby won't try it. He doesn't like yogurt.Me and the kids love it!
Now I'm so excited. I want to start making my own,but I'm scared that I won't know how to do it. I looked at alot of posts on kefir and I'm learning,but there's just soooo much out there.
Anyway,just wanted to say we love kefir!