o Kefir is something I have been making for about a year and love the ways you can make it into so many different recipes. I purchased some kefir grains and if you keep them alive and fed, they can have an endless life span. I know a few people that have had some 15 years on, and it's possible to keep them going for generations. Personally I have found a lot of healing incorporating Kefir into my life. I can tolerate small amounts of dairy, however with the addition of fermented food and other choices my gut issues have become less of a problem.
Kefir has probiotics not found in other ferments that fight against candida as well as e coli and salmonella.
I love my Kefir grains - they are a scoby with a different look, almost like little pearls.
Ferment Type: Dairy Kefir
Date: December 29th, 2017
Organic whole milk - 2 cups
2 TSBP Kefir grains
Notes: With the colder winter weather it takes a little more than the usual 24 hours to get the consistency I like. Warming up even 10 degrees outside makes the house a better place for kefir to flourish.
Modifications: just a couple more hours of sitting on the counter
Harvest Date: December 30th, 2017
Harvest Details: Great flavour, texture and consistency. I put it in smoothies for the family to be able to keep up with the constant production.
Water Kefir has been on my list to try and I'm glad it was an option in the course. I found some beautiful grains from a local person selling them . And put them right to work. They are so gelatinous looking. Water Kefir also contains probiotics and I think is a great replacement for people who like pop. Water kefir doesn't have as many strains of bacteria as dairy and if you have candida its a good idea not to indulge as there is still a notable sugar content.
Ferment Type : Non Dairy - Water Kefir
Date: December 29th, 2017
Plain Kefir Water
7 Cups of filtered water
8 Tablespoons kefir grains
3/4 Cup organic cane sugar or turbinado raw cane sugar (or a blend)
(lemon slice to help with PH balance)
Notes: My temperature again being a cold snap in December made this process slower than I think it might be in the warmer months. I let it ferment 7 days to get it to a flavour that tasted not just right. You could taste the difference every day as the fermentation started.
Harvest Date: January 5th, 2018
Harvest Details: I found the taste to be a nice blend of not too sweet or sour. I haven't had it before so I think it was correct. I'm going to try again and experiment with more recipes. I like having a more healthy alternative for drinks in the house.
Why as a person who avoids all dairy didn't I make this before?
This was a fun and super tasty ferment with so many recipes to make with endless flavour possibilities. I plan to try to dehydrate next batch and see if I can get the hard rind around the cheese.
Ferment Type: Non Dairy Cheese - nut
Date: December 22nd, 2017
2 cups raw nuts of your choice (almonds, cashews, brazil, macadamia, etc). This will make 2 cups of non-dairy cheese.
1 Cup rejuvelac, or water/coconut kefir, or 1 Cup of water with 2 Capsules of probiotic powder.
Flavourings of choice - which are endless.
Notes: Once again some of my photos are missing, like the presoaked nuts.I forgot to take the skins off my first batch after soaking the nuts - you can see when I mixed them the texture and colour is different, so I tried again! The skins came off easily and the colour was much better. I also chose completely non dairy by using coconut water with adding a couple of probiotic capsules in. It really went as smoothly as Summer makes it out to be in her video and I'm ecstatic about eating ''cheese' as it is missing from my diet. We had this as part of our traditional Christmas Eve dinner. It was a hit. I added garlic, dill and hummus for my flavourings.
Harvest date: December 24th, 2017
Harvest Details: It was a great creamy texture. The flavours were just right and it vanished fast!
I have to admit I had no idea what Injera was before starting this course - as well as a couple other ferments. I realized I had eaten this once in a restaurant in Toronto with Ethiopian cuisine however everything was new and overload for textures, names and tastes. I was pleasantly surprised with this simple and tasty spongy pancake like ferment. My first attempt was a toss away. Although in hindsight I might have panicked abit at the smell, look and consistency after seeing it was similar the second attempt. I reached out for help in the FB group and tried to stir the mixture and it seemed to do the trick. I love that using teff flour makes this gluten free and the fermentation increased the nutritional value of the flour.
Fermentation Type - Injera Grain
Date: December 15th, 2017
January 4th, 2018
1-1/2 Cups water, at room temperature
1 Cup teff flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (optional)
Coconut oil for cooking
Notes: My first attempt I mixed the Teff Flour and water and covered it and left it to sit on my counter. The smell was less than welcoming and noted by everyone in the house. I let it ferment for 3 days and I was unsure of the look of it and the smell left me worried about my process. I ended up tossing it after asking some questions on FB and left it for another attempt.
In January I tried again - not to be beaten by a ferment and I wanted to really taste this. I repeated the process of the teff and water, let it sit on my counter. It still doesn't have a nice aroma - however I stirred it on day 2 and make it up on day 3 and it was spectacular once cooked. My family gobbled it after asking what's that? I did have to switch pans to try frying it in as my first pan which is a cast iron and it basically tore up the injera - I switched to a non stick variety and the end result was great.
Modifications: stirring and good house temp- Summers Instructions didn't mention stirring and I'm unsure if it actually required it. Will try again.
Harvest Date: December 19th, 2017 -- flopped and tossed
Harvest Date 2 - January 18th, 2018
Harvest Details : Great taste, flavour and now I need to make up some Ethiopian recipes to dip this in. I'm not sure how this compares to a traditional Injera, however I am happy with the results.
Ahh Yogurt - who doesn't love it? I personally have struggled with milk allergies and intolerance my entire life so I have been always leery to eat anything that come from milk products. As I am eating more fermented foods I am trying to bring in tiny amounts of milk ferments like yogurt and Kefir, adding some L glutamine to try to help my gut absorb, heal and tolerate more foods.
Yogurt is quick and easy to make, like so many ferments, it s fast and easy like Kefir. I tried making milk based yogurt in my oven and it turned out perfect. The next attempt was coconut milk based yogurt and it was a flop . I plan on mastering it as I that I can eat! My son bought me a yogurt maker and I am excited about trying it, with the coconut milk as I think temperature might have made the difference and winter!
Yogurt is full of bacteria -- and because the lactose is broken down during the fermentation process - some people can tolerate a bit of yogurt- Bacteria required for fermentation in yogurt are called Lactobacillus (that's the genus) bulgaricus (that's the species) and Streptococcus thermophilus. - Summer Bock
Sometimes store bought yogurt has additional live bacteria with some strains of acidophilus and bifidus are commonly added to enhance the probiotic content, this is a common species found in the probiotic pills people purchase.
Ferment Type: Dairy Yogurt
Date: December 8th, 2017
1 quart organic whole milk
1/4 cup organic plain yogurt
Notes: Heating the yogurt and keeping it at 180 and then cooling it to 110 before adding the starter was the most time put into this ferment. After it cooled I popped it in the oven overnight with the light on - and with great hopes when I opened my vessel in the morning it was beautiful. I did try a coconut milk version the next evening and it stayed liquid. So I plan to try it with my new yogurt maker. Once again my transferring of photos and dropping my phone into my Injera I have lost a lot of my process of making this. However there are a few to see. I hope they show up and I will add them, or the next time I make another batch.
Modifications - None
Harvest Date: December 9th, 2017
Harvest Details: I tried a couple of spoonfuls and it tasted gorgeous. I fed my family the rest over the next few days and it was given rave reviews!
Making vinegar is an aerobic process: the acetobacter require oxygen to reproduce. So making sure there is a flow of oxygen is important. Making red wine vinegar was similar yet different to apple cider vinegar as I used a raw starter vinegar as a culture.
Ferment Type: Vinegar - Red Wine Vinegar
Date: December 6th, 2017
1 cup wine
3 tablespoons starter vinegar (I used Bragg's)
Notes: I stirred the wine and vinegar and placed it in a glass jar, covered it with a cloth and let it ferment on my counter. Being very cold in the -40's for a couple of week, there wasn't anything that felt comfortable. So I let it sit the 6 weeks the same as the apple cider vinegar. I tasted it regularly and it took until the 4th week to lose some of its alcohol taste. It only yields a cup and didn't require straining like the apple cider vinegar.
Harvest Date : January 12th, 2018
Harvest Details: small yield, good flavour. Won't last long with that amount to use, but a great way to use up left over wine. No more store bought products here.
The name in science for Vinegar is Acetic Acid. I love all the health benefits that are associated with vinegars, from aiding in digestion, regulating blood pressure, reducing heartburn, being anti-fungal, anti-viral and antibacterial. The list is long and impressive.
Making apple cider vinegar is a 2 step process and you don't require a starter. The bloom on the top of the apples is a yeast that turns the apple juice we press into hard apple cider. The next process is the cider turning into vinegar.
Ferment Type : Vinegar Apple Cider
Date : December 6th, 2018
Notes: The process of making the cider was easy. At the 8 day mark(Dec 14) I had what I worried was mold on the top of the cider. I inquired on the FB group as it was the foam I think that initially came off the apples when juiced and it did look to be forming mold. I scraped it off and it went well after that. It was very cold for a couple of weeks in December and when I would test the cider weekly you could still taste the alcohol so I let it ferment for 6 weeks. I decided to follow the option in Summer's Video and left the cider in the airlock container to finish fermenting.
Modifications: None . Although next time I would use more apples.
Harvest date: January 12th, 2018
Harvest Details: the colour was good, I strained the vinegar in a cheesecloth and bottled it. Smelled and tasted perfect.