Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The House around the corner - Kefir

 Kefir Recipes

I have had a great response to my plea for kefir recipes.  More are WELCOME (OK, I am begging... this is kind of a stretch).  Check back and I will add them on here as they come in.  If you would like to revisit the kefir directions, they are here.

Kefir is a type of yogurt made with "beads"  Arleen and I both have some and will share, if you are local.  (mine are from Arleen who has been a believer in kefir for a couple of years now).

Why would anyone use kefir?  A couple of reasons... one) to preserve your expensive raw milk, and 2) for the wonderful properties it brings to your gut and 3) Arleen uses it to culture her regular organic milk (not raw) to incorporate the live enzymes back into the milk.  This notches up the nutritional value.

Kefir is full of the stuff you need to work on your healthy gut flora.  It is so important to have a large variety of lacto fermented foods in your daily diet - milks, root vegetables and vegetables.  This is another one to add to the mix, and it is a good one.  Kefir beads are unique things they are unable to make in a lab.  They have been around for a long, long time.  The Kefir story is interesting, and you should read it some time.  This one is kind of cute.

Sadly, it is apparently an acquired taste... better to be acquired early in life.  However, that does not mean we cannot take advantage of the health benefits without sending our taste buds to the curl up place.  Here are a couple of articles which should be read... I think they are short.  Remember, you should have some knowledge of why you are doing what you are doing.  Don't overwhelm yourself, just set yourself the task of acquiring some knowledge.

This one has a pop up add, but if you close it, it has a nice list of benefits.
Kefir Benefits

Last, but not least, while I was schlepping around the internet looking for the kefir story in a readable format, I came across this on young, green coconut kefir.  Someone else will have to try it.  I am at my limit for trying new kefir products :)

Now for some recipes (not for the coconut stuff - never heard of it before today):

From Melissa:
Besides smoothies, many times after lunch, Evy & I will mix up "a little kifer drink" as we like to call it.

1/2 c. chilled kifer each
dash or vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, alspice or whatever you have.
1 tsp sweetener (Since honey is thick & does not mix well with cold things, I premix a jar of 3/4 honey to 1/4 water & shake until combined. You can then pour it & it mixes nicely.)
It's a nice dessert-ish snack after lunch.

Another way I sneak it in is:

Winter Salsa

2 c. shopped green cabbage
1/2 c. chopped cillantro
4-5 chopped canned jalapenos
1/2 c. vinigar from canned jalapenos
2 tbsp kifer
2 tbsp sour cream
salt & pepper to taste
From Jamie:
In a blender mix:

1/2 cup kefir
1 cup yogurt
cinnamon, nutmeg, a pinch of salt, some vanilla
frozen berries
a banana - frozen or not

Blend and drink.  The spices will kill some of the taste. 

Note.... Jamie has also made some kefir cheese and made a quiche out of it.  She also suggested adding it to your sourdough sponge.  I did and it was good.  I have not had time to try the cheese yet, but look forward to a recipe hitting my inbox with pictures :)

From Chara:

I put my kefir together in the evening, let it sit overnight and in the morning throw it into a smoothie with whatever I have in the house... This morning it was bananas, kefir, raw milk, a few liquid supplements and a maple yogurt. I use coconut milk, all different kinds of fruit (whatever is in the fridge), yogurts- plain, vanilla, maple, mostly I use kefir in smoothies...
From Jamie:

Breakfast Pie or Quiche if you skip the potato crust and just use a regular pie crust.
For the crust you'll need:
3 potatoes
2 tablespoons self-rising flour
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red and black pepper blend
For the filling you'll need:
6 strips good smoked bacon, cooked crisp and chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup grated cheese
6 eggs
1/2 cup kefir
1 clove garlic minced
1/4 teaspoon red and black pepper blend
pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350
Grate the potatoes into a colander and rinse thoroughly with cold water, set aside to drain.  Beat one egg well with onion powder and pepper blend.  Heat a 10 inch cast iron skillet over medium high heat until pan is hot.  Use whatever oil you prefer, I used olive oil.  Toss grated potatoes with two tablespoons self-rising flour.  Mix floured potatoes with egg mixture thoroughly and place in hot skillet making sure to cover the bottom evenly and push the potato mixture to the edges of the pan and almost two inches up the side.  Lower heat to medium.  Don't turn the potatoes, you're only trying to get the bottom good and browned.  Shouldn't take but maybe 10 minutes tops depending on whether or not you use gas or electric stove.  Once potatoes have browned remove from heat.
Blend six eggs with kefir then add remaining ingredients.  Pour into potato crust in  cast iron skillet and put into preheated oven for approximately 20 minutes.  If it doesn't look pretty enough for you sprinkle some grated cheese over the top and run under the broiler for a couple minutes.
There you go, a meal in one pan.

More to follow......

The House Around the Corner - Success Stories

Some Stories Shared

We had a great day yesterday with the sourdough class.  Sampling lots of different kinds of bread as everyone develops their recipes is something to look forward to.  It is so fun to see each bread recipe "tweeked" to fit the house that it is being made in.

Really, what is sourdough bread?  Starter, flour, salt, oil and a little sweetner.  You can add other things, change the process, shape it to suit you, sour it to suit your families taste and learn to appreciate an art from yesteryear. 

Ultimately, we are a community, sharing ideas.  Our community is comprised of strangers and friends, old and young, and every spectrum of world views you could ever hope to find.  I love it :)  The stories, ideas and tips on sourdough bread that have been coming in are helpful, encouraging and all sound so good.  This page is listing out some of the stories. 

I have lost the wonderful sourdough cinnamon roll recipe Becky sent me, but she is sweet and will probably just send it again.  The rolls were a lot better than my first try.  Mine had the consistency of... I don't know... a brick?  They were OK dipped in coffee.  One of Becky's got hidden to have with a cup of coffee at choir practice.  So good Becky.

My friend Sherri has sent in not just a recipe, but a history of sourdough starter and some of her memories.  It can be found on her blog.  She has lots of other ideas from another era.  She loves to study how things were done in another age.  I think you will enjoy her story.  It is refreshing to go visit her "keeping room"

Vanessa made her first batch of sourdough bread, and some butter with it.  What is so fun is that she used Bobbi's recipe and pictures as her guide.  I still need to try the egg wash.

Melissa is now an old hand at sprouting wheat, making bread and coming up with clever, non-plastic storage ideas.  She is also trying the butter.  She shared her pictures and knowledge here recently.  She is in the middle of the butter adventure.  

Finally, Jamie has been sending in a lot of good ideas, pictures and clear directions.  She is a wonderful researcher and writer and has been trying so many ideas, writing about them and getting them to me.  Hopefully she will just fire up her own blog soon.  Gotta do it Jamie! (Why don't you already have one?)

Our church community has been trying hard to change a lot of our old habits.  Pot lucks now have a lot of nutrient dense foods there.  We are doing a meal tonight for the young couple's group of a very dense soup (chicken, rice, quinoa, veggies and broth), salad and sourdough bread...oh, and latte's made with some really good milk.  I will take pictures and post them soon.  It should be another fun evening.

Be blessed and healthy.  Make wise choices for your family.  Is there one change you can make today?