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Fermented Foods

  • InDairy-Free, Fermented Foods, Real Food

    Blueberry Kombucha Probiotic Popsicles

     

    Did somebody say popsicles?! We love a good homemade popsicle.

    We have several family members with food intolerances who need help healing their intestinal lining, so we try hard to incorporate as many fermented, probiotic foods into our diet as we can.  And since we always have kombucha on hand, it's super easy to whip up a refreshing, probiotic-filled treat that everyone will love!

    Ingredients

    Directions

    1. Bring one cup fresh organic blueberries and honey to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, then let it cool.
    2. Mix kombucha and blueberry syrup, then pour about 4 oz into each mold.
    3. Place the lid over the mold (don't try to seal it – the fizzy kombucha will cause the lid to pop off during freezing).
    4. Freeze and enjoy your healthy probiotic treat!

    Recipe for Blueberry kombucha popsicles

    More Probiotic Popsicle Recipes Than You Can Shake a Stick At

    P.S.  Is It Okay to Use Stainless Steel Popsicle Molds with Kombucha?

    I love my Onyx stainless steel popsicle molds, but I've gotten several questions about whether they should be used with Kombucha.  I've researched that point pretty heavily because I really love stainless steel cups, and it's my understanding that so long as you're using good quality stainless steel container (not aluminum, and not one only coated in stainless steel), it should be fine. And I especially don't worry about using stainless steel cups/containers once the kombucha is finished brewing.

     

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  • InFermented Foods, Real Food

    3 Simple Steps to Homemade Kefir

    3 Simple Steps to Homemade Kefir

    Who knew it was so simple to create a fermented, probiotic-filled drink?  I love the fresh, tart taste and smooth, creamy texture.  I really wish I would have done it sooner!

    Some Background on Kefir

    In the not-so-distant past, food preservation was done using lacto-fermentation.  But the introduction of mass food production factories eventually led to alternative methods like pasteurization in order to help standardize the system.  The bummer is that we've lost so many of the advantages of traditionally fermented foods.  That's why my sisters and I have begun a journey back to the ways of our grandmothers, in hopes of rejuvenating our children's digestive and immune systems.

    The Difference Between Kefir and Yogurt

    Kefir and yogurt have similar tastes and both contain live and active probiotic cultures.  But Kefir is a drink that contains many more probiotic cultures than typically found in yogurt (around 10) for  greater digestive and immune system benefit. Kefir is also 99% lactose-free too.

    Serious Eats describes kefir as “slightly thinner than yogurt with a tangy, somewhat sour and yeasty flavor.”  Some even refer to it as “the champagne of milk” due to its slight effervescence.  It may not be for everyone, but it's certainly worth a try.  Especially when you can make it using farm fresh milk – so refreshing!

    The Many Benefits of Kefir-ing (is that a word?)

    • Besides containing highly beneficial bacteria and yeasts, kefir is a rich source of many different vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids that promote healing and repair.
    • Kefir contains high levels of thiamin, B12, calcium, folates and Vitamin K2
    • The complete proteins in kefir are already partially digested, making them more easy to use.
    • And like many other dairy products, kefir is a great source of minerals like calcium and magnesium, and phosphorus.

    Kefir Grains by thesoftlanding.com

    3 Simple Steps Homemade Kefir

    I did some research, talked to some friends, and ended up ordering my kefir grains from an online source who uses raw milk to grow her grains (you can also find Kefir grains here).

    1. Toss 1 tablespoon of your new kefir grains into fresh, raw milk (if you don't have access to raw, go for grassfed organic).  I use a quart-sized mason jar about 2/3 full.  Be sure to stir the kefir grains into the milk with a plastic or wooden spoon.
    2. Cover it with a coffee filter (or cheesecloth), secure with a rubberband and let it sit out on the counter for about 24 hours or until it starts to thicken and separate.  You can play around with the timing as you begin to figure out how you like your kefir to taste.
    3. Strain the kefir grains out with a stainless steel strainer, rinse them with water and toss them into your next batch.  Or if you'd rather take a break, rinse and store the grains in the fridge with enough milk to keep them alive.

    That's it!  The kefir grains will multiply so you'll have plenty to share with friends.

    You too can become a homemade kefir master!  My favorite way to drink it is in my morning smoothie with fresh blueberries and little bit of stevia.  It's a perfect balance of sweet + tart = YUM!

    3 Simple Steps to Homemade Kefir

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