Lacto-fermented Dairy and Beverages

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Lacto-fermentation enhances beneficial properties in the beverage to make the nutrients more available to the human body.  These beverages supply lactic acid, enzymes and lactobacilli to the intestinal tract.  There have been numerous "healings" in people consuming lacto-fermented beverages and foods, my family and friends included.  With the overdosing of antibiotics common today these lacto-fermented foods are more critical than ever.  Antibiotics kill intestinal flora and create unhealthy digestive systems.  Keep viruses at bay by consuming lacto-fermented beverages, especially kefir.

Kefir:

Beneficial for boosting immune system, eliminating acid-reflux, reestablishing intestinal flora, and reported to be anticancer among other benefits too numerous to list.  Pasteurized kefir from stores is not the same and should be avoided.

I prefer 48 hours culturing for our kefir-leave on counter for 48 hours covered with loose jar lid, cheesecloth or coffee filter.  Don't use metal utensils in the process.  I keep two jars of kefir going, alternating every other day, so we can have it everyday but still maintain 48 hours of culturing.

You can use kefir in place of buttermilk in recipes. You can make "kefir cheese" by draining in cheesecloth, similar in consistency as cream cheese.  Add spices as desired.

The following web site is excellent for information about kefir and the taking care of kefir grains.    http://users.chariot.net.au/~dna/Makekefir.html

Question and Answer area:    http://users.chariot.net.au/~dna/kefir-faq.html

Kombucha:

Another beverage with many health benefits including anticancer, immune system booster, supports liver function, detoxifying, gall bladder discomfort relief and fights many other degenerative diseases.    http://www.geocities.com/kombucha_au/

Recipe is in Nourishing Traditions for making kombucha.  I use green tea which is allowed in other published recipes.  I also prefer to use gallon size glass jars instead of a bowl.  Kombucha can be purchased in health food stores but it is so cheap and easy to make it at home.

3 to 4 ounces of kombucha should be consumed each day for health benefits.

Fil Mjolk:

My new "favorite"--can be used for so many things such as vegetable dip, salad dressing, (add spices).  If drained of whey in cheesecloth you can make into a cream cheese spread by adding spices.  You can use Fil Mjolk in place of buttermilk in recipes.  When made with cream it makes crème fraiche.

Mix 1 tablespoon of Fil Mjolk to one cup of raw milk in a glass jar.  Larger amounts can be made proportionally.  Leave on counter cloth for 24 hours.  Make a new batch each week to keep it fresh.  New Fil Mjolk must be cultured each week to keep culture active!

 

Buttermilk:

Buttermilk can be made very easily with raw milk and a starter.  Buttermilk can be made from store-bought buttermilk used as the starter.  Buttermilk used as a starter should be from cows free from hormones and antibiotics.

Mix ¼ cup of buttermilk in 1 Qt. of raw or healthy milk.

Leave on counter for 24 hours.

Buttermilk can be used for awesome buttermilk pancakes, soaking grains, tenderizing tougher cuts of meat, great biscuits, and muffins.

Yogurt:

It is very easy to make yogurt from a starter if you have an oven that will hold at 100degrees.  If not, there are other methods such as using an insulated cooler and keep it warm inside for 24 hours with hot packs, etc.  There are other creative ways to maintain 100 degrees.  Store-bought organic plain yogurt can be used as a starter.   Use an organic plain yogurt with active cultures.

Heat 1 quart of raw milk to 160 degrees

Cool

Add ½ cup of yogurt to 1 cup of cooled milk.

Add remainder of milk and stir well.

Cover and maintain at 100 degrees (can drop down to 90) for 24 hours

Place in glass jar and keep in refrigerator.

There is an excellent yogurt article in 'Weston A. Price Foundation Spring 2005 Quarterly' about various methods to make yogurt.  Go to www.westonaprice.org for details. 

Whey:

Whey comes from of many dairy products you will be making with raw milk; kefir, fil mjolk, buttermilk, yogurt.  Whey is a yellowish thin liquid and full of vital nutrients. You can get whey from all these cultures by straining through good quality cheesecloth.  Get cheesecloth with fine holes, not too open a weave.  www.leeners.com has good quality cheesecloth.  Nourishing Traditions says to use a towel, but cheesecloth is best; towels soak up too much whey.

Line cheesecloth in a bowl, pour in fermented dairy product, tie up ends and hang over the bowl to catch the whey.  Allow to drain for at least 8 hours.  The whey will be in the bowl and a thicker fermented dairy product in the cheesecloth; kefir cheese, fil mjolk cheese or yogurt cheese.  Use this as a spread.  Add garlic, chives, onion, spices or fruit for new flavors.

Don't throw away whey as it separates from all these fermented dairy products.  It is highly nutritious and important for soaking grains.  Use whey for many recipes in Nourishing Traditions, bread making, soup, etc.  Anywhere a recipe calls for water, substitute whey if you have plenty.

Store whey in a glass bottle in the refrigerator for soaking grains and other uses; sometimes I make cheese just to get whey!  Cheese making produces tremendous amounts of whey.

Whey is important for soaking oatmeal.  Soak thick rolled or steel cut oatmeal overnight with a tablespoon of whey along with enough water to cover the oats.  (Recipe in Nourishing Traditions Cook Book.)  Cook next morning using butter or coconut oil, cinnamon and maple syrup for a highly nutritious delicious breakfast; an important start to for a successful day.  (If constipation is a problem, oatmeal and ground flaxseed will help.)  Add raw milk right at the end so you don't expose it to too much heat.  Soaked oatmeal takes far less time to cook and the body can utilize more nutrients from soaked grains.

 

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