Ready-to-Pack-in-a-Lunch Individual Serving Size of Yogurt

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Want to impress your friends with slick looking jars of ready-to-eat yogurt in individual single-serving containers? Want to save time by having the fruit and sweetener already in the jar, layered and ready for the mixing when YOUR time is right? I have found a simple method to have yogurt ready for my family’s lunches, and at any point in the week all one has to do is grab a jar from the fridge and go!

There is actually another reason, besides convenience, for culturing in individual jars. As with any live culture, you expect variances in your end product since you do not have the controlled environment one has from a commercial retailer/producer. I was having issues with the “presentation” of my Matsoni yogurt.

In my personal experience, when culturing a mesophilic culture (it cultures at room-temperature without requiring a yogurt maker or electricity), I find that when I use raw milk especially, the yogurt looks perfectly smooth and thick when complete. However, when it comes time to scoop out what we want individually to plop into a bowl or cup, the yogurt becomes a bit runnier than what we are traditionally used to. Although it is absolutely delicious, it isn’t pleasing to the eye. I fixed this by skipping an extra “handling” step…I culture in individual jars so the yogurt looks pretty and untouched.

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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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Fermented Garlic Cloves

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Note from Shannon: I am pleased to bring the voices of our lovely contributors to this space every Tuesday. Please welcome Jerri, Cultures for Health Customer Support Representative and Cultured Kitchen-Keeper.

Garlic, garlic, garlic! Marveled for its nutritional punch and medicinal properties, who doesn’t enjoy garlic? My garden boxes are full of the one crop I can successfully grow.

Now that I’ve won the battle against the squirrels and birds (thanks to laying chicken wire over the top of my beloved cloves) I am delightfully overrun with garlic. There’s nothing like planting them in the winter, watching them poke out of the ground when the weather warms up, and watching them take off like crazy in May!

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Then I wait until July or August for harvesting and drying time.Jerrigarlic3

After a few weeks of drying, it’s time to clean them up. Oh so purdy!

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But how many bulbs of garlic can one family use? What to do with it all? Spend some time peeling all those cloves, and then FERMENT it baby!

Here’s how:

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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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Behind the Scenes at The Chicago Green Festival with Jerri

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Note from Shannon: I am pleased to bring the voices of our lovely contributors to this space every Tuesday. Please welcome Jerri, CFH Customer Service Rep & cultured kitchen-keeper.

I love people! What an amazing weekend. The excitement, curiosity, and gratefulness of the visitors to our booth at the Chicago Green Festival were astounding. Being my first experience at this kind of venue, I wasn’t sure what to expect.

Although pretty worn out by Sunday evening, I had a fabulous time meeting folks and working the booth with Julie, Rosalyn, and Suzanne. Chicago, as much as I enjoyed sharing my culturing knowledge with you, you enlightened me as well!

So many interactions are embedded in my memory…

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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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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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