Category Archives: Cultured Food

Love cheese – but can’t digest it?

I have been allergic to cow’s milk my entire life, but since the doctor discouraged my mother from breastfeeding and I was born before baby formula was invented, they had no idea what else to do but to feed me milk. And so my health suffered until I was an adult and finally realized I was allergic — and therefore addicted — to milk.

But there is something in the body that yearns for dairy and for cheese – perhaps a need for the probiotics. There are valuable digestive enzymes in cultured products, so it was a wonderful day in my life when I learned an easy way to make raw, dairy-free sunflower seed cheese. This is what I do…

I use organic sunflower seeds. You can test them to make sure they are organic by rinsing them, soaking them overnight and then giving them a day or two to begin to sprout. If they sprout, you can safely assume they are organic and safe for you to use to make cheese. If a lot of “dirt” is in the soak water and they don’t sprout, don’t use them for this cheese.

Briefly grind a cup or two of rinsed, organic sunflower seeds in a coffee grinder or blender. I don’t grind them long because I like the little chunks in my cheese. Then I put the ground seeds in a bowl and add water to a thick milkshake consistency. Finally, I put the bowl, uncovered, on the counter and stir the mixture two or three times daily.

In two to four days (depending on the weather), when the mixture is “airy” — light and full of bubbles — it will taste tart, like cheese. At that point, I like to add kelp granules and dried dill weed.

The longer it sits out, the more cheesy it will be, but you don’t really want to overdo it.

Store in the refrigerator. Cover lightly; do not tighten the lid. The culture needs air to breathe.

Sunflower seed cheese is great in a wrap, on crackers, bread, or as part of a salad.

Once, I put it in the back of the frig and forgot it for months. It got REALLY “ripe” and when I scraped off the black and tasted it, it reminded me of roquefort cheese. It was delicious on my salad.

You can also add the contents of a probiotic capsule to make your seed cheese cure faster… or use nuts, like almonds, rather than sunflower seeds.

My wish is that you will try this and enjoy it. I inspired myself… on the way now to the kitchen!

How to Make Authentic Milk Kefir

Milk Kefir (pronounced keh-FEER) is a wonderfully delicious slightly carbonated fermented milk beverage similar to yogurt (or buttermilk). Kefir is simply milk that is fermented at room temperature with kefir grains for about 24 hours. It has many wonderful health benefits, a great flavor and is also usually tolerated well by the lactose intolerant. It’s much easier to make than yogurt – no heating or incubating involved, and kefir has a much larger spectrum of probiotics than yogurt. The reusable, sustainable grains also make it more economical.

Kefir has gained in popularity lately, due to interest in eating more responsibly and locally, as well as more economically, combined with a greater awareness of the health benefits of probiotics from cultures and whole foods.

But with that popularity has come a load of misinformation and deceiving products on the web. Authentic kefir can only be made by real kefir grains, not from any kind of packet or powder (or from incubating store-bought kefir). Kefir available at the stores are simply imitations. This is due to regulations on consistent products with known ingredients, bottling procedures and packaging and shipping standards. As with most nutritious foods, real kefir can only be made and experienced at home.

Milk Kefir originated roughly 2,000 years ago in the Caucasian Mountains between Europe and Russia, which makes kefir one of the oldest milk ferments in existence. If you have more questions you can check out Yemoos Nourishing Cultures to see photos, FAQ’s, health benefits and other information on milk kefir.

Now, lets get started!

via How to Make Authentic Milk Kefir.

Yemoos Nourishing Cultures | Milk Kefir or Water Kefir

Milk kefir seeds

When you’ve used antibiotics or if your diet has included a lot of wheat, meat and sugar, you may need to restore the friendly bacteria in your intestines. Kefir is a powerhouse cultured probiotic drink you can make at home. It’s fun!

You can make milk kefir with milk kefir “grains” or water kefir with water kefir “grains”. Yogurt pales by comparison. People who love kefir, love it. Those who don’t, probably haven’t had really good kefir. Animals love it. There is also wonderful information on the Yemoos site about water kefir, kombucha and ginger beer.

This is their introduction to milk kefir:

  • What is milk kefir?
  • What other names does kefir go by?
  • How are kefir grains different to powder starter (such as Body Ecology’s products) or store-bought kefir?
  • What’s the difference between dried and fresh/live kefir grains?
  • What is the advantage of taking kefir instead of a probiotic supplement?
  • Why is kefir generally tolerated by the lactose intolerant?
  • Is Kefir a good option for those with Candida?
  • What strains of bacteria and yeast are found in kefir grains (and kefir itself)?
  • Can you make your own kefir grains or get kefir from just milk?
  • What milks or other liquids can you ferment with kefir grains?
  • What about raw milk?
  • Does Kefir contain alcohol?
  • What does milk kefir taste like?
  • What should kefir grains look like?
  • Are all kefir grains the same?
  • How long do active kefir grains last?
  • Do kefir grains need to be fed every day?
  • What other uses does milk kefir have?

Read more about these questions and much more at  Yemoos Nourishing Cultures | Milk Kefir FAQ.