Guess Who We Ran Into?

I was delighted to run into Sandor Katz Thursday evening while we were setting up our display at the Weston A. Price WISE Traditions conference! He is one of the top experts in fermentation, and I promised a customer I would ask him a question about natto spores and where they come from.

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Rosalyn

Rosalyn

Rosalyn has homeschooled both of her children, now grown, and continues to teach classes to homeschool groups and do homeschool consulting. She is also a nutritional coach, and enjoys helping people learn about healthy foods and how to prepare them. She is an avid cook and likes to experiment with new ways of putting together whole foods and cultured products. Kombucha is a favorite, in many flavors. Summer finds her kitchen full of fermenting vegetables, and year-round she makes yogurt, milk and water kefir, buttermilk, and sour cream.

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Blogging Live from the WAPF Conference!

Here at the annual Weston A Price WISE Traditions Conference in Santa Clara! This is my second year attending this show, and if it is anything like last year, we are in for a great time and a busy exhibition! We’ve brought almost all our product line, and there are four of us at the table to answer questions, greet people, sell products, and talk about cultured foods. Many of the presenters use our products, and we always get a huge rush of customers right after the workshop sessions.

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Rosalyn

Rosalyn

Rosalyn has homeschooled both of her children, now grown, and continues to teach classes to homeschool groups and do homeschool consulting. She is also a nutritional coach, and enjoys helping people learn about healthy foods and how to prepare them. She is an avid cook and likes to experiment with new ways of putting together whole foods and cultured products. Kombucha is a favorite, in many flavors. Summer finds her kitchen full of fermenting vegetables, and year-round she makes yogurt, milk and water kefir, buttermilk, and sour cream.

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Why Greek Yogurt Contains More Protein

All yogurt begins with two simple ingredients – milk and beneficial bacteria. The type of milk can vary, from full-fat to non-fat, but these two simple ingredients remain.

So, why, you might ask, does a full-fat Greek yogurt contain more protein than other full-fat yogurts? The process of making Greek yogurt starts out exactly the same, but Greek yogurt adds one more crucial step.

In making Greek yogurt you take your cultured “regular” yogurt and strain the whey out of it. That is the only difference between Greek and regular yogurt. Here is how the nutritional profile of Greek yogurt changes due to this one simple process.

The whey contained in yogurt contains amino acids, calcium, lactose (if there is still some left after culturing), small amounts of protein, and B vitamins.

When you strain your yogurt through a towel or sheets of cheesecloth you are, in effect, removing the nutrients in the whey and concentrating the nutrients in the “curd” of the yogurt. The “curd” of the yogurt is where all of the milk solids lie, and therefore almost all of the milk protein.

Let’s say you strain two cups of yogurt and end up with one cup of whey and one cup of dense yogurt. This yogurt now has a much more concentrated protein content than a cup of yogurt that has not been strained since that cup still contains the nutrients in the whey as well.

Greek yogurt also tends to be slightly less tangy since the whey contains a considerable amount of (beneficial) acids. So Greek yogurt is more favorable for those who prefer a less tart yogurt.

The downside of straining out the whey is that you do lose the calcium found in the whey. You can, however, consume that whey in another food product (such as soaked grains, in baked goods, or drunk straight up), and enjoy thick, higher protein Greek yogurt.

Shannon

Shannon is a mama to four small children, homesteader, freelance writer, and picture-taker. She lives with her husband on their off-grid homestead where they make and eat kefir, kombucha, sourdough, and fermented vegetables.

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Exploding Kefir!

Who knew fermenting some sugar water would be a source of science, health, and entertainment?

It was like any other week in our kitchen. It started a few days prior, with some beautiful little water kefir grains and sugar water. The batch of water kefir had cultured perfectly – the color was lighter than 48 hours prior, and it smelled of that funky, yet alluring, water kefir smell. And like always, we prepared for the second fermentation by removing the kefir grains and adding just a few tablespoons of lime juice to the finished water kefir. The flip top was secured on the bottle, and off to the side it was put to culture for a few more days.

Since we were new to water kefir, the excitement was high and we couldn’t wait for the next two days to go by. A warm week had been predicted, so we looked forward to water kefir chilled by frozen blueberries. But, as life would have it, we neglected the water kefir – in fact, we forgot about it until the middle of Day 3. My poor daughter! Had we known, I surely would have dressed her in rain gear!

My daughter had just grabbed the bottle of water kefir and barely pried the top off when an incredibly loud “Pfffffffoof”was heard, followed by the golden retriever running out of the kitchen just in time for my son to run into the kitchen and watch his sister get drenched as a yellow geyser shot 3 feet (seriously, I kid you not) into the air, spraying my counter, the cupboards above and below, and the tile floor with our beloved probiotic drink. Talk about a mess, but the gasping and giggling were worth it. “Do it again, do it again!” is all I heard the next few minutes as we searched for the flip top lid (it flew off and landed several feet behind us) and mopped up the kefir.

Now, we purposely save a bottle every week just to see if it will explode. That’s where the science comes in…with the fall weather now upon us, it is taking a bit longer for the water kefir to culture to its explosive point. We have to guess when we think that special bottle will be ready to open based on how cool it has been during the last few days, and how long we should let it culture.

Oh, and the dog? He’s definitely more aware of our carbonation experiments. The moment he sees one of us head to the counter, combined with the sound of a bottle being dragged across it, he hastily leaves the room!  Or, if he sees us go to the freezer and pull out the blueberry bag, he runs for cover. Poor guy!

Note to self: Before enjoying the health benefits of water kefir, open with caution, over the sink.

Watch the video of our exploding water kefir here.

Jerri

Jerri

Jerri is a wife and mama. Her culturing adventures began several years ago with other moms who were seeking a healthy way of feeding our families. Together they dabbled in milk kefir, yogurt, sourdough, kombucha and sauerkraut. In the past year she's expanded from sauerkraut to other vegetables, and has grown a passion for water kefir!

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