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- Dish type
Make your own yogurt, adding kefir for a probiotic boost in this simple recipe that produces delicious results.
22 people made this
- 1L milk
- 2 tablespoons skimmed milk powder, or more to taste
- 120ml plain kefir
MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:4hr5min ›Extra time:2hr chilling › Ready in:6hr15min
- Preheat a yogurt maker or slow cooker on Low.
- Whisk milk and milk powder together in a saucepan over medium heat until almost boiling, about 4 minutes. Cool milk to lukewarm, about 45 C.
- Gently stir kefir into milk mixture until just blended. Pour mixture into yogurt containers or slow cooker. Cook on Low.
- Cook on Low until desired level of tartness and yogurt consistency is reached, 4 to 10 hours. Chill yogurt in the fridge, at least 2 hours.
Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(1)
Reviews in English (1)
This was so easy and totally delicious - loved how creamy it turned out, and it was perfect with my usual nuts and honey. I cannot believe I just made my own yogurt-22 Nov 2015
When you talk about cheese, how many people do you know that can say that they make their own cheeses? Throughout the years, it has become one of those rare skills that no one seems to have. We&rsquore not about to let that skill fade into obscurity, however. If you&rsquove ever wondered how difficult it is to become a cheese maker at home, the answer is that it isn&rsquot difficult at all.
Do you know what is in your commercial cheese, yogurt, kombucha or kefir? Look and you are going to find that there are a lot of official coloring and additives. When you make cheese at home, you are opening the door to decide which ingredients you use. Pick quality ingredients that taste good!
Yes, there is a science to cheese making, but it is also an art form. Since it is a craft, you can take your cheese making recipes and alter them in different ways according to taste and preference. All you need to start off is rennet, lactic starter and the determination of a cheese maker. We have compiled lists of our favorite making cheese at home recipes to help you on your cheese-making journey. Do not be afraid to play around with the recipes and ingredients.
To start off this kef-venture, you’ll need to get your hands on some kefir grains. Kefir “grains” are the engine of this whole process, containing all the yeasts and bacteria needed to ferment the milk into creamy kefir. (The gluten-free folks don’t need to worry – these aren’t true grains, but rather rubbery, cellular structures).
They’re like what the SCOBY is to kombucha, only instead of looking like alien pancakes they look like cauliflower! But unlike kombucha, you cannot grow your own kefir grains and will need to acquire them somewhere.
Where do you get kefir grains? Unless you have a friend who makes kefir, it’s easiest to get your grains online. I recently bought my new grains from Alles Voor Kefir (Dutch), but our U.S. friends can find them on Amazon.
Once you have your kefir grains, you won’t have to buy them again. They will grow and continue to ferment many batches of kefir.
7 Delicious Recipes That Prove Gut-Healthy Kefir Deserves a Permanent Spot in Your Fridge
For example, did you know you can use kefir to make homemade tortillas? What about salad dressing and ghee? You can also use it to make probiotic-rich ice cream and cake. The recipes with kefir included here show you exactly how it’s done. Keep reading to get the goods.
Homemade milk kefir
If you&rsquore unfamiliar with milk kefir, you&rsquore probably wondering why you should consider adding it to your diet.
Milk kefir is fermented milk that has a slightly tangy taste and consistency of a thinner yogurt.
It is usually made using whole cow&rsquos milk. Milk kefir grains are added to the milk and allowed to ferment at room temperature for about 12-36 hours. The longer they ferment, the tangier the flavor.
In the beginning, it is best to taste the milk kefir after 12 hours for desired tanginess. Typically, we allow ours to ferment for about 24 hours. And sometimes when life is extra busy, I allow it to ferment for about 36 hours.
You&rsquore generally safe for up to 48 hours of fermentation time.
After the milk kefir is finished with the first batch, you can strain off the kefir grains and reuse with fresh milk to continuously make your next batches. So, as long as you properly care for your grains, you&rsquoll have fresh homemade milk kefir for life!
What are milk kefir grains?
Grains are the term used to describe the texture and appearance, but they are not true grains like wheat grains.
Kefir grains are the symbiotic culture of bacteria that is used to turn the milk into beneficial probiotics.
When combined with whole milk and a specific amount of time, they create beneficial bacteria.
They look fluffy and kind of reminiscent of large cottage cheese. Some describe them as looking like cauliflower, but I&rsquom definitely sticking with cottage cheese reference here.
And let me just say, these milk kefir grains multiple super fast. You can increase how much you&rsquore making regularly. Or you can share your extra grains with friends & family!
Benefits of homemade probiotic drinks
There are many wonderful benefits of making your own homemade probiotic drinks. They contain essential healthy bacteria, proteins, and vitamins. Learn more science based benefits here.
It is much less expensive than store bought.
And it only takes 2 ingredients &ndash milk & kefir grains.
Here&rsquos what you&rsquoll need:
Whole milk &ndash you can use fresh milk, raw milk, or whole milk from the grocery store. Organic milk is best.
We typically only use cow&rsquos milk, or coconut milk to make ours. I have not used soy milk, but for a coconut milk kefir, it would follow the same recipe as this cow milk recipe. You can also use goat&rsquos milk if you prefer.
But it is also recommended if making regular batches of non dairy milk kefir, to refresh your kefir grains with whole cow&rsquos milk periodically.
Kefir grains &ndash (not water kefir grains). Those are a great option for making water kefir, but you&rsquore looking for specific milk grains. Here&rsquos where I buy mine. I&rsquove tried the dehydrated versions from other companies and these live kefir grains work the best! I highly recommend this brand.
Equipment: Nothing too fancy is required to make your own fermented milk kefir drink. However, some of these simple tools are essential:
- clean glass jar, such as a mason jar & lid for storage
- fermenting lids or cheese cloth & rubber band, coffee filters also work well.
- nylon mesh strainer
- wooden spoon or silicone spatula
Flavoring kefir &ndash second fermentation
We typically use our fresh kefir in a fresh smoothie, one of our favorites is this Blueberry & Banana Smoothie &ndash just sub the yogurt with homemade kefir.
But you can also flavor your milk kefir by putting it through a second fermentation. Try adding fresh fruits like berries or whatever is in season that you prefer. A little goes a long way for flavoring and experimentation may be needed to find your preferred flavoring combination.
Allow it to sit at room temperature for 1-2 days.
Second fermentation creates a bit of carbonation, so it is important that you are allowing for about 1 inch of headspace during this process.
Storing grains between uses:
If you don&rsquot plan on making continuous batches of milk kefir, they should be stored in a glass container, covered with pasteurized milk for up to one week.
But if you&rsquore needing a bit of longer term storage, they need to be fed more often. I would simply strain off the kefir and refresh the milk for longer term storage.
Serve the kefir in a homemade smoothie or like you would eat yogurt, however, the consistency is a bit thinner than yogurt.
Here are a few more ideas:
- add in fresh fruit
- mix with granola
- stir in honey or maple syrup
- drink alone or mixed as your favorite smoothie drink
How to make milk kefir
Add the milk and milk kefir grains to a large clean Mason jar. Cover with a fermenting lid or cheese cloth or coffee filter and rubber band.
Let the milk and kefir grains sit out on the counter or in a pantry where it is out of direct sunlight for 12-48 hours. The timing depends on the texture and flavor that you prefer. I typically allow mine to ferment somewhere between 24-36 hours for each batch.
Strain the kefir through a cheesecloth or fine mesh nylon sieve. It is normal for the milk to separate. It is also helpful to help press the kefir through the sieve slightly. Be careful not to break up the grains, I just use a silicone spatula and stir it a bit to help it through the sieve when straining it off.
Place the finished milk kefir in the refrigerator with a lid for up to two weeks. Use the strained off grains to make a new batch of kefir.
If making a second ferment, you will do so here after you&rsquove strained off the grains.
How to make Frozen Kefir/Yogurt Bark
First, line a large sheet pan or tray with parchment paper.
Next, add two cups of plain kefir or yogurt to a medium-sized bowl. Add several tablespoons of honey or maple syrup to taste, plus a splash of vanilla extract. Stir together thoroughly.
Pour the kefir or yogurt mixture into your prepared tray, spreading evenly.
Slice strawberries or other desired fruit.
Top kefir/yogurt mixture with fruit pieces and a sprinkle of nuts, if desired.
Freeze for at least 2 hours to allow to set. Break frozen yogurt bark into pieces and enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
At What Temperature Should I Incubate My Yogurt?
Conventional yogurt culture is made of good bacteria called “thermophilic” bacteria. This means that they need gentle and constant heat to do their job.
The target temperature for fermentation is between 40 and 45°C. If the temperature is lower, the yogurt will not ferment. If it is higher, the heat will kill the good bacteria in the yogurt. The ideal temperature for making yogurt is 42°C.
There are yogurt makers on the market that keep the yogurt at a constant temperature. Some pressure cookers also have pre-programmed “yogurt” functions.
How to Make Yogurt Without a Yogurt Maker?
You don’t have a yogurt maker? Place jars in your oven with the oven turned off but keep the oven light on to create a low source of heat. Monitor the temperature during fermentation: if necessary, open the oven door, or place a bowl of boiling water in the oven.
You don’t want to worry about keeping your yogurt wrapped up? Consider using viili or matsoni cultures.
These “mesophilic” cultures don’t need a yogurt maker or heat to ferment. You’ll be making your yogurt at room temperature, on the counter! To learn more about it, read our article on mesophilic yogurt.
Why Is My Yogurt Liquid?
Yogurt can be liquid if it was not heated up to 82°C before the inoculation. Indeed, heating the milk will modify the milk proteins to allow the yogurt to become creamier and thicker.
Liquid yogurt can also come from a weak culture. If you backslop your yogurt with the same culture over several recipes, it may have weakened. Test with a new strain.
How Can I Get a Thicker, Creamier Yogurt?
To get a thicker yogurt, use whole milk, or replace some milk with cream. You can also add powdered milk or gelatin before heating the milk.
If your yogurt hasn’t set, don’t be discouraged! You can let it drain in a cotton bag to remove some of the whey. This is also how you get Greek yogurt or labneh!
Why Is My Yogurt Sour?
If your yogurt tastes very sour or has split into two parts (one white and the other translucent), don’t panic!
The most common cause is a fermentation that took too long or at too high a temperature. Bacteria have created an excess of lactic acid, which explains its sour taste.
Too much acidity can even cause the milk to curdle and separate it into two distinct layers: curd and whey. Simply mix the two layers with a whisk or immersion blender. If you want to mask the sour taste, just add a little more maple syrup!
Sour yogurt may be the result of weak yogurt culture. If you’ve used a commercial yogurt, try another brand, or switch to powdered starter cultures.
Why Is My Yogurt Grainy?
Yogurt texture can be affected if the milk is heated too quickly. A temperature that rises too quickly can alter the milk proteins. Milk proteins will clump together instead of forming a thick yogurt, creating small, unpleasant pieces of curd.
To deal with this problem, strain the yogurt through a blender or sieve.
What Kind of Milk Do I Use for My Yogurt?
The milk used will influence the taste and texture of the yogurt.
Pasteurized cow’s milk is the most common choice. The higher the milk fat content, the creamier the yogurt will be.
Lactose-free milk can work and give good results. However, the firmness of yogurt may vary depending on the brand of milk used.
Sheep or goat milk has a different composition from cow’s milk and gives a more liquid yogurt.
Can I Make Yogurt With Plant-based Milk?
It is possible to make vegan yogurt with plant milk. However, depending on the milk used and its composition, results may vary. Here are a few tips for making successful vegetarian yogurts.
14 Creative Ways to Cook and Bake With Kefir
I'm a big fan of dairy products with live cultures from all around the world, whether it's German quark, Icelandic skyr, or Greek yogurt. So when I first heard about kefir, a fermented dairy drink from Eastern Europe that's touted as a source of probiotics, tastes like yogurt, and has a sippable texture, I knew I had to get my hands on some.
Kefir has been consumed all over the world for centuries for it's alleged health benefits, and it's become really popular in the U.S. over the past few years. About those supposed health benefits: A 2017 review published in the journal Nutrition Research Reviews notes that while there are many potential health benefits of kefir, thanks to the microbes (bacterial and yeast) and variety of vitamins and minerals it contains, more research needs to be done to determine how it may impact the gut and as a result, improve health in any specific way. Most studies, while promising, have been done in vitro (in a lab) or in animals, so the study authors note that more research needs to be done in humans before we can really know if kefir makes any meaningful impact on human health.
While the jury's still out on the benefits, kefir typically has the same amount of protein as a glass of milk (but with less lactose) and is a good source of calcium, potassium, and magnesium. It also contains a variety of B vitamins and vitamins A, K, and C. When I finally did have the chance to try it, I found that while I loved the sour, tangy flavor, I wasn't a huge fan of it's texture. So I started to search for other ways to work with the ingredient so that I could enjoy the taste in a different way.
I didn't have to look for long, because, as it turns out, there are so many creative ways to cook with kefir. It's sourness makes it a great source of acid for things like salad dressings and marinades. And its texture becomes silky and soothing when you heat it up for a soup. You can even use it to make sourdough bread (no sourdough starter required).
If you spot kefir on your next grocery shopping trip, add a bottle to your cart and use it in these 14 recipes. Muffins, oatmeal, popsicles, and more will prove that you don't need to actually drink kefir to enjoy it.
To make yogurt at home you do not need special equipment. Some people invest in yogurt maker, however it is not necessary as you can use one of incubators you already own like thermos, cooler or a conventional oven. I prefer using my conventional oven. Simply all I do is place yogurt in jars, put them in the oven and leave the oven light on for 8 hours.
Making yogurt requires around 30 minutes of your time plus around 8 hours to incubate. I suggest making the yogurt before going to bed and letting it incubate overnight.
Once you make your first batch of yogurt you can use your own homemade yogurt as a starter culture for all your future batches.
On the other hand, if you decide to make yogurt regularly, yogurt maker is a worthwhile investment. It makes the process foolproof and you can also make your yogurt into small sizes and portions for serving.
Yogurt cultures are temperature sensitive, so you may want to get an instant-read thermometer if you don’t have one already.
You also need a small saucepan or small pot and some glass mason jars to store the yogurt.
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What you need
Yogurt is simple to make and contains only two ingredients: milk and a starter culture. You'll also need a few pieces of equipment such as a saucepan, thermometer, yogurt maker, strainer or cheesecloth, and a whisk.
- Milk. Milk can be skim, 2%, or whole milk. You can use any traditional dairy milk including cow, goat, or sheep. You can also turn raw, pasteurized, or UHT milk into yogurt however, because milk is scalded first this recipe does not make a raw yogurt. I recommend using whole, grass-fed cow's milk for best results.
- Starter culture. Your starter culture can be any plain, additive-free yogurt that you like the flavor and texture of, including a store-bought yogurt. However, I recommend picking up an heirloom yogurt starter, for best flavor.
- Yogurt maker. Keeping a steady, even texture is essential to making good yogurt which is what yogurt makers are designed to do. While not strictly necessary, they are extremely helpful - especially for newcomers.
- Strainer. Straining yogurt gives it a thick, luscious texture. You can strain it through a square of folded cheesecloth, or use a reusable yogurt strainer equipped with a very fine screen.