Do You Like Yogurt?

Homemade YogurtI do. In fact, I like it quite a lot . . . sometimes. You see, I’m the kind of person who goes yogurt crazy for a week and then I’m done for a few weeks or a month, sometimes longer. I’m probably in the minority. You love yogurt all the time, right? Well, even so, keep reading. You might like what I have to share.

I prefer not to buy yogurt in the grocery store because I want to know where my ingredients come from. For the longest time I ignored my yogurt cravings, not wanting to maintain a mother culture.

When I started working for CFH a few months ago, I decided to try one of our direct-set yogurt cultures because it sounded like it would meet my needs. I could have yogurt occasionally and there is no mother culture to maintain! How cool is that?!

I read our informational page and watched the awesome video in preparation for yogurt making. Yes, I’ve made yogurt before, but if you’ve read my previous posts you know that I get nervous whenever I try anything different or new.

Everything was straightforward and simple! Heat the milk, cool the milk, mix in the culture. Then I poured it into four half-pint mason jars and put it into my Excalibur dehydrator at about 105º F, set my kitchen time and waited. I checked it at 6 hours and decided to go for the full seven. I removed it from the dehydrator when the time was up, put it in the fridge and waited.

That evening I decided to have a snack. Stirring the yogurt, I was impressed with the creaminess of it. This looked good. Then I tasted and all I can say is YUM. It was delicious. I had chosen our Mild Flavor Yogurt Culture and this was truly mild. It was so rich, creamy and mild I’ve been eating it plain. I’ve still got two half-pints left, but they’ll be gone soon. I think I’ll try the Traditional Flavor Yogurt Starter next time.

If any of you are like me, or if you’re a little nervous about making yogurt for the first time, why not give a direct-set culture a try!

Bonni

Bonni

Bonni started on the cultured foods path quite few years ago, beginning with sauerkraut. Since then, she has cultured yogurt, milk kefir, water kefir, kombucha, a variety of veggies, sour cream and gluten-free sourdough. She is a busy homeschool mom to her daughter, so is always looking for the most efficient and least time consuming ways to manage all of her culturing.

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Homemade Salad Dressing Recipes

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People tell me that I’m a good cook. My husband talks about how flavorful my foods are, but things weren’t always that way. I used to be a pretty basic cook. I found recipes with five ingredients or less and made those, following the recipe to the letter.

A couple years ago a shift happened. It came from watching cooking shows, reading recipes (mostly on the internet), watching other people when I was at their home, and experimenting with different ingredients and spices. Experimenting was a huge leap for me. That was probably the thing that changed my cooking most.

I had mixed up oil and vinegar for a salad, but I had never made a dressing and certainly not on a daily basis. I thought it was too much work to mix it up every time we had a salad, so I didn’t bother. One day, while at a friends with my daughter for a playdate, she was preparing a salad. She pulled out a salad bowl and started mixing up a homemade salad dressing. I watched her like a hawk, memorizing everything she did.

I took that process home in my head and decided to alter it and make it my own. Here is my process.

  • A few tablespoons (eyeball it) of extra virgin olive oil
  • A tablespoon or two of vinegar – I change this up all the time, using red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar or any vinegar I might have on hand and feel inspired to use.
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Herbs & spices: I choose herbs/spices based on what I’m making for dinner, selecting ones that either match or compliment the herbs/spices I’m using in the main dish. Try parsley, basil, oregano, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, or anything that you think will work well. Get creative!
  • Then I add the secret ingredient . . . homemade, cultured sour cream. YUM. You can find the culture here. I drop in a dollop, probably about a teaspoon or two. This allows the oil and vinegar to combine and adds a wonderful flavor.

My husband raves about my dressing and thinks it’s about the best ever. He makes a pretty mean blue cheese dressing, too. And I think it’s about the best blue cheese dressing ever.  For this, you can use our Blue Cheese Starter Kit to make your own blue cheese. You will also need homemade cultured sour cream. Here is his process.

  • 1/2 pint cultured sour cream
  • 1/2 pint (homemade) mayo
  • Garlic powder and onion powder to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • 1-2 cups blue cheese, depending on your taste – mix in half, then fold in the other half
  • Let sit in fridge overnight to allow flavor to develop
  • Add water to thin if necessary

Enjoy!

Bonni

Bonni

Bonni started on the cultured foods path quite few years ago, beginning with sauerkraut. Since then, she has cultured yogurt, milk kefir, water kefir, kombucha, a variety of veggies, sour cream and gluten-free sourdough. She is a busy homeschool mom to her daughter, so is always looking for the most efficient and least time consuming ways to manage all of her culturing.

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Making Pickled Green Beans

If you love pickles like we love pickles, you have got to try the fermented (pickled) green bean recipe on the Cultures for Health website. Oh. My. Goodness. They are delish!!

I had purchased the Fermented Vegetable Master and decided to give it a try with the green bean recipe. The recipe is simple enough and I had all the ingredients on hand. All you need are green beans, water, garlic cloves, red pepper flakes, fresh or dried dill weed (I used dried), freshly ground pepper and salt (I used Celtic Sea Salt). If you prefer, you can use a starter culture like our Caldwell’s Cultured Vegetable Starter or Body Ecology Starter Culture.

Seems easy enough, right? Well, if you’ve read my posts before, you know that I was nervous. Any time I try something new, no matter how simple it seems, I get butterflies. Still, I forged ahead. I followed the directions on the recipe, you can find it here, and the instructions on the Fermented Vegetable Master, put it all together, placed it on the counter and crossed my fingers.

I waited two weeks, checking them out every time I walked by. On the two week mark I opened them up and sniffed. Hmmmm….they smelled like pickles and they looked okay. I transferred them to two smaller jars, along with the liquid and then I hesitantly tasted one. Like I said, they are fabulous! Now go try this recipe. You’re gonna love it!

Bonni

Bonni

Bonni started on the cultured foods path quite few years ago, beginning with sauerkraut. Since then, she has cultured yogurt, milk kefir, water kefir, kombucha, a variety of veggies, sour cream and gluten-free sourdough. She is a busy homeschool mom to her daughter, so is always looking for the most efficient and least time consuming ways to manage all of her culturing.

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Bottomless Kombucha

Our website here at CFH is so extensive, even after spending hours and days and weeks… reading and reading, I still find new things. Fortunately, we were tagged in a Facebook post and the email showed up in our inbox.

I am constantly running out of kombucha, my absolute, hands-down, favorite cultured beverage. I make a gallon at a time, but I drink it too fast for my three week culturing period to maintain a constant supply. Yes, I culture my kombucha for three weeks. I want to be sure to remove as much sugar as possible from the beverage. For me, limiting sugar is important.

As I sit here kombucha-less and waiting another week for my kombucha to finish, the email with a link to our page about “Setting Up a Kombucha Continuous Brewing System” shows up in our inbox. I could hear the “ta-da!” music playing in my head. This was cause for celebration!

I will never run out of kombucha again!!

Bonni

Bonni

Bonni started on the cultured foods path quite few years ago, beginning with sauerkraut. Since then, she has cultured yogurt, milk kefir, water kefir, kombucha, a variety of veggies, sour cream and gluten-free sourdough. She is a busy homeschool mom to her daughter, so is always looking for the most efficient and least time consuming ways to manage all of her culturing.

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