Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Meeting 5b: Making Kefir

 Milk Kefir:
Taught by Jeannine Tripp

1.    Transfer the kefir grains to up to 4 cups of fresh milk
2.    Cover with a coffee filter or cloth secured by a rubber band
3.    Place in a warm spot, 68-85 degrees, to culture
4.    Culture until milk is slightly thickened and aroma is pleasant, generally 24 hours
5.    After culturing is complete, separate the kefir grains from the finished kefir
6.    Place the kefir grains in a new batch of milk.
7.    Store the finished kefir in the refrigerator.

Second Ferment:
The first fermentation takes place when milk kefir grains are added to milk and culturedfor 12-24 hours.
A second fermentation takes place after the grains are removed. Fresh milk kefir is cultured at room temperature for another period of 8-12 hours, with flavoring additions ifdesired.
fermenting the kefir a second time, with added ingredients, can mellow the flavor of thefinished product somewhat. With so many choices available, milk kefir can be enjoyedas a sweet treat or savory snack.
B vitamins are said to increase, and the minerals calcium and magnesium are said tobecome more bio-available to the human body when a second fermentation is performed.
What flavor may be added for the second fermentation?
The sky is the limit! Because the kefir grains are removed before the secondfermentation there is no risk of contaminating or harming the grains in any way. Here are some flavoring idea:
               citrus fruit zest
               chopped fruit
               vanilla + cinnamon
               cocoa powder
               pumpkin pie spice
               garlic or onion (for use in savory kefir dip)

Pleas note: If adding ingredients that contain sugars, like fruit or honey, the finishedkefir may become more carbonated. To avoid a fizzy finished product, add sweeteners just before consuming.

How to use:
               add to your favorite smoothie
               strain and use instead of sour cream or cream cheese (here is a link for making kefir sour cream. http://busy-at-home.com/kefir-sour-cream-recipe/)
               use instead of buttermilk in recipes
               use in homemade ranch dressing
               drink plain with a little salt

               pick one brand of milk and stick with it. Kefir loves consistency and will taste way better.

               use plastic or stainless to strain and mix. Plastic is best. 

Homemade Ranch Dressing
1 cup some combination of: sour cream, yogurt, homemade mayo, buttermilk or kefir(I use 1/2 cup mayo & 1/2 kefir)
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 cloves crushed fresh garlic (or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder)
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
1/2 teaspoon dried chives
a few shakes cayenne pepper
black pepper to taste, preferably fresh ground
salt to taste

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