Creme Fraiche, Buttermilk, Kefir recipes

Thursday, August 17, 2006

I strongly urge you to read this article about The Top Ten Things Food Companies Don't Want you to Know. It will only take about two minutes. And it will make you a more savvy consumer.

I've been promising to post this Crème Fraiche recipe, so here goes:

Put 1 tbsp. whole-milk buttermilk, good-quality commercial buttermilk, or Crème Fraiche from previous batch in 2 cups of heavy cream in wide-mouth mason jar. Place on the counter in a warm place until it thickens (about 24 hours). Place in fridge. Will keep for quite a long time. Use as a replacement for sour cream--it's better for you, and tastes better, too!

To make Whole-Milk Buttermilk:

Put 1/4 cup good-quality commercial buttermilk or buttermilk culture (leftover from making butter) into 4 cups whole milk and leave on counter at room temperature for approximately 12 hours until it thickens. Stir and put into fridge. Will keep for a long time.


First of all, what is kefir?

Discover the Incredible Health Benefits of Kefir: "Kefir, which means 'feel good' in Turkish, is an ancient cultured, enzyme-rich food filled with friendly micro-organisms that help balance your 'inner ecosystem' to regain health and rebuild immunity. Kefir's tart and refreshing flavor is similar to a drinking-style yogurt, but it contains beneficial yeast as well as the friendly 'probiotic' bacteria found in yogurt. When used regularly, the naturally occurring bacteria and yeast in kefir combine symbiotically to replenish our intestinal flora and boost our immunity. Among its many restorative powers, kefir will:

* provide supplemental nourishment for pregnant and nursing women
* contribute to a healthy immune system and help fortify patients suffering from AIDS, chronic fatigue syndrome, herpes, and cancer
* promote a tranquilizing effect on the nervous system and benefit many who suffer from sleep disorders, depression, and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)
* help relieve all intestinal disorders, promote bowel movement, reduce flatulence, create a healthier digestive system -- and is an absolute must after the use of antibiotics to restore balance to the digestive tract
* curb unhealthy food cravings by making the body more nourished and balanced

What if I'm Lactose Intolerant?

Unlike yogurt, the lactose in kefir is all digested by the time it is ingested, and some of the proteins have been broken down -- so even those with sensitivities to milk can use it."
There are a couple of ways to make kefir. I have not found another site on the internet that makes it the exact way that I do, but my way still works.

How I make it:

Originally, I started with powdered kefir culture. You can also start with kefir grains. Stir 1 pkg of powder into 2 quarts of whole milk in glass jar; cover. Leave on counter for 12-24 hours, until curds begin to form. Stir and place in fridge for 8 hours to stop the process.

After this, and because we go through so much at a time, this is what I do:

Put 3-4 cups kefir in 1-gallon glass jar. Fill with whole milk; cover. Leave on counter for about 24 hours, stir and place in fridge. We go through one of these every day and a half.

If the kefir separates into curds and whey, no problem--just mix it together before serving. It just means it was either left longer than necessary, or that the place it was fermenting was a bit warmish.

If you find your kefir is watery, you are probably not using milk with enough cream in it. I found this to happen when I was using some Holstein milk that had been skimmed. If you are using store-bought whole milk, this shouldn't happen, or if you make sure you do not skim your raw milk.

For more about how to make kefir, and it's benefits, and to order some kefir starter, please visit this page.

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  1. Thanks for the link to the article. Very helpful (and disturbing). And thanks too for the Crème Fraiche and other recipes! Thank you. No, thank you.

    In closing, thank you.


  2. Colleen - Should I fill in my half of the conversation? "No, thank you. No really, thank you."

    Glad they helped. You make me laugh.

  3. And you, dear Talena, help me keep getting up and trying again in regards to taking charge of my eating habits. So (and in all seriousness) THANK YOU. I'm not sure I'd still be hanging in there if it weren't for your consistency.

    (and yes I'm the one who keeps deleting my own comments. HA!)

  4. Hey, Colleen, what's really funny is I get comments mailed to my inbox, so I get to see all the versions! (Doh! Betcha didn't know that!) I liked the "Blessed (<--2 syllables)". "Bless-ed" is fun to say. And so encouraging, too.

    Luv ya!

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. I did not know that. Hmmm. Now I do. What should I do with this information? Hmmm. Let me ponder on this. Hmmm. I actually erased "Blessed (<--2 syllables) for a VERY SILLY REASON. I think I left an extra space between the "s" and the parenthesis and it irked me. The other delete was also something just as silly. I CONFESS MY NERDINESS TO YOU ALL IN THIS PUBLIC FORUM. Amen.

  7. You are so friggin' funny, my cheeks are starting to hurt.

    I think I'll be laughing all the way to the grocery store. Whilst I try to think of some kind of clever reply. Must go now...

  8. Hey and Thank you for friendly helpful informative site. I recently started using kefir and try to use it in recipes. I made a wonderful vegan cornbread I want to share. Using store bought fast rising cornmeal-all you have to add is a liquid-I add kefir instead of milk or buttermilk. I omit the eggs and I use extra virgin olive oil. Bake directions are same as on your cornmeal package. The cornbread is light and fluffy- very nice for a change. Enjoy

  9. This is my first attempt at making Kefir. I heated 1/2 gallon of whole milk to 86 degrees then added 1/2 T. Kefir grains and mixed them into 1/2 gallon of whole milk in a large glass jar. This mixture is now sitting on my kitchen counter for 12 hours. What do I do with it when the 12 hours has ended?
    Thanks for your help.

  10. Hi, Linda Sue!

    When you're kefir is as thick as you want it (can take longer than 12 hours, depending on the temperature of your room) you need to strain your kefir through a sieve or a cheesecloth to remove the grains. Put the kefir in the fridge to use, and put the grains in a glass of milk in the fridge to keep them fresh and alive for your next use.

  11. Good Afternoon,
    Thanks for the info. I appreciate your quick response.
    So, my kefir is as thick as buttermilk now. I started it at 6:30 last night and at noon the grains still look a little finer than coarse ground sea salt. (Same as they did when I put them in last night)
    I had to use my jelly bag to strain them and I'm still not sure I have them all. The strained kefir milk is in the fridge and I left the jelly bag with the grains in it on the counter with a cup of milk poured over them to see if they'll ever start looking like little cauliflowerettes. Any suggestions?
    Linda Sue


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