Yogurt/Kefir

Yogurt and kefir are made by lactic-fermentation, where lactic bacteria turn the milk sugar, lactose, into lactic acid. Yogurt and kefir add enzymes and good bacteria into your system.

Kefir will add a greater selection of different organisms, which will move into your gut permenantly and build colonies that will help your digestive and immune systems, and indeed your whole health.

Yogurt

  • 1 litre full cream milk
  • 1 tsp starter. Once you have made your own, you can use a teaspoon of your previous batch.
  • A thermometer, (Binn Inn cheesemaking section, brewing shops)

The first time you make it, use a plain unsweetened acidophilus type yogurt.

It is best to heat the full cream milk in a bowl, in a saucepan for a water bath. It will stop the milk from burning on the bottom. If you don’t mind heating it slowly and stiring continuoulsy, you can heat it directly on the element.

Scald milk by heating it to 85*C. As it gets close to this temperature use a ladle to scoop the milk up and let it fall back into the bowl, this helps to remove water vapour, and helps to thicken the finished product.
Alex, who taught me this method, said the Nepalese people scald milk three times but we haven’t found the need to do that.

Cool on the bench, or in a sink of cold water until it gets down to 43 degrees. If you add the yogurt bugs when it is too hot, they will die.

If you cool it too far, simply heat it up to 43 again.

Add a SMALL teaspoon of starter, only ONE teaspoon! and stir in. The bug doesn’t like to be crowded

Put in a jar in a warm place with the aim of keeping it between about 35 and 40 degrees.
I use a chilli bin, or a bigger cardboard box, in a nest of towells or blankets with a hot water bottle to one side.

The yoghurt will be ready in 7 to 12 hours depending on temperature. It must stay below 43 degrees. The yoghurt is ready when it forms a solid curd.
The longer you leave it the more sour it will be as the bugs are converting the lactose to lactic acid.
The cream will come to the top and can be used separately as a type of sour cream, or can be mixed into the yoghurt for a full cream flavour.
If a little whey comes to the top, spoon it off or mix it in.

Beat the yoghurt until smooth and then add natural flavoring like chopped fruit, maple syrup, ground nuts.

Make a smoothie with some raw milk, yogurt and kefir and a little maple syrup with fruit.

Keeps for weeks in refrigerator.

Kefir

To make kefir, you need to get milk kefir grains from someone else. Try Deb Gully at www.diet.net.nz

Kefir grains are a symbiotic community of good bacteria and yeasts in a gelatinous matrix.

Making kefir is far simpler than making yogurt.

  • Put some full cream milk, preferably raw milk, into a
  • jar.

  • Add some kefir grains (about a desertspoon) and leave at room temperature.
  • Cover with a towell or saucer to keep dust out.
  • Leave until the kefir is thickened and slightly sour to taste.

It may take 5 or 6 days.
Strain through a seive.
Put the strained kefir drink into the fridge.
Start your next batch by putting the grains into a new jar of milk.

My standard breakfast is a glass of whole kefir.

It keeps me going until lunchtime. :-)

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