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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » homemade probiotics

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Author Topic: homemade probiotics
MariaA
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I wanted to start a thread about making foods with probiotics in them.

Yogurt
kefir
sauerkraut

all contain lactobacillus acidophilus and many more.
Here's my simple, no-mold kraut recipe, which is also somewhere in Planet Thrive's blogs- it's basically kimchee but you can make it without the Korean spices if you dont like them:
http://flash.lymenet.org/ubb/ultimatebb.php/topic/1/93036#000007

I'll try to post a few more probiotics recipes there in the next few weeks.

Here's another good one about kraut:
http://www.rejoiceinlife.com/recipes/sauerkraut.php

[ 04-05-2010, 01:55 PM: Message edited by: MariaA ]

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Homemade Probiotics thread
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MariaA
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By the way, I'm not sure that you'd get the same dosage of probiotics as you can get in a pill, but it feels to me like there's more of a variety of 'good bacteria' in the homemade stuff.

I got cravings for kraut, kefir, rejuvelac, and other rotten stuff, after I'd been on antibiotics even though I was taking various capsules of probiotics. I'm pretty sure that was due to a need for more than just the single species found in my capsules.

It does seem like a good way to guarantee that your probiotics are alive and not dead from long storage, and it's TASTY. I"m a strong believer in variety in the diet and I almost never get any kinds of symptoms that seem I've eaten a 'bad bacteria' (ie intestinal stuff doesn't seem to happen to me much). I attribute it to eating lots of 'good bacteria' in general, and not being afraid of a few germs on my food once in a while.

--------------------
Symptom Free!!! Thank you all!!!!

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diet: http://lymefriends.ning.com/group/healthylowcarbrecipes
Homemade Probiotics thread
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mag
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hi maria,


I seem to crave lemon juice, molasses and cabbage too!

When i get some more energy - I hope to try these sauk.. recipes

thanks for the good post

mags

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mag
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hi maria,


I seem to crave lemon juice, molasses and cabbage too!

When i get some more energy - I hope to try these sauk.. recipes

thanks for the good post
[Smile]
mags

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Annxyz
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At least they are cheap. Maria,
what kind of capsules do you use for the yeast
infection recipe ? Veeggie ? Gelatin?

I may try it .

--------------------
ANNXYZ

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luvs2ride
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MariaA

Thanks for this information. I have bookmarked your site.

Luvs

--------------------
When the Power of Love overcomes the Love of Power, there will be Peace.

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MariaA
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Annie,

I posted on the yeast infection suppository thread about that, I dont think you're asking about this thread's topic.

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MariaA
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oops, double post

[ 25. March 2007, 02:59 AM: Message edited by: MariaA ]

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MariaA
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Kefir

A number of Lymenet posters have mentioned using kefir.

note: I have not researched fully whether kefir is OK for those who are sensitive to yeast or to alcohol. Other Lymies swear by it, and I haven't noticed any bad effect myself

what is it?
Kefir is a cultured milk product just like yogurt, that was heavily used instead of yogurt in Eastern Europe and the Caucusus (ie Armenia, Georgia, etc), and parts of Asia.

what's in it?
Kefir contains interesting probiotics- both lactobacillus acidophillus type bacteria, and also some beneficial yeasts (see Dom's kefir page at the end of this post for a more complete listing of the microbiology of kefir).

Kefir 'grains'
Unlike yogurt culture, kefir cultures form a clump of 'grains' in the milk/'yogurt'. Grains are clumps of gelatinous milk casein/bacteria/yeast colonies and they do the culturing of the milk to produce kefir. To culture milk, you just put the colonies in some milk and let it sit at room temperature a day or two. When it thickens and tastes like yogurt, you strain out the grains and eat the kefir. Put the grains in the next batch of milk to keep this going indefinitely.

easier to make than yogurt
It's easier to make kefir than yogurt because it doesn't have to be kept warm. I personally don't even sterilize my storebought milk before pouring it into the kefir jar. You may not be as comfortable with ambient germs. To sterilize milk bring it to near boiling, then MAKE SURE it cools to room temperature before pouring it on the kefir culture.

Kefir will form a powdery-looking layer on the very top that looks like a white mold. This is normal and it's OK to eat.

storing kefir grains

If you get tired of making kefir all the time, you can put the culture/milk into the fridge and will be able to later resurrect it by bringing to room temperature and giving it some fresh milk.

saving the grains
When your kefir is ready, you usually put it through a strainer to catch the 'grains' or colonies. My kefir culture seems to stay in one piece so I just eat around the clump and dont have to bother with straining.

sharing the grains
The grains will grow with time so you can tear off pieces and share with your friends. The Internet is full of kefir-sharing websites where people are happy to send you some grains (type in 'kefir' into the search page at www.groups.yahoo.com to find some kefir email lists, or see end of this post) .

I've sent them by packing in a small mason jar with some milk, and then packing that in a padded box to mail. They seem to survive a few days in the mail just fine. If you have an excess of grains and no one to share them with, pet dogs seem to like to eat them , I've heard.

making nondairy kefir
You can also try to culture other milks- coconut milk, soymilk, etc- but I think you're supposed to occasionally refresh the grains by giving them real milk. YOu can use cow or goat milk.

sour cream!
You can make 'sour cream' by culturing half-and-half or cream. It's yummy and cheap.

I am not a doctor- effects on candida or Lyme

I'm not completely sure what the effect kefir havs on people with candida but I have heard a LOT of candida folks swear that the kefir is good for them in the same way that yogurt is. Apparently the yeasts in kefir are not harmful to people with candida.

In one of the websites below Dr Mercola says to start with small amounts of it and work your way up. I assume it's good for us with Lyme because probiotics generally are, but maybe some of the contents (TINY amount of alcohol formed by the yeast) may not agree with very sensitive people. I'm just speculating, I haven't heard anyone say anything bad about this probiotic.

taste
Kefir tastes like yogurt but is a bit more 'fizzy-tasting'. You can culture it to a very mild non-acidic flavor, or can culture it longer to produce a more acidic version. Russian kefir is traditionally very mild. The versions sold in health food stores seem to be much more acidic.

adding things to it:
Assuming you're avoiding sugar, you can add stevia to make it sweeter or if you can tolerate fruit, add some fruit to make it flavored.

where to get cultures
YOu really want to get grains. There are a bunch of internet sources for them, some for sale , some free from kefir chatrooms etc.

packaged kefir starter/non-grains type
Some health food stores also sell packaged kefir culture made by Yogourmet, but you can't keep it going indefinitely as you can kefir grains (I do like yogourmet yogurt starter by the way, just not the kefir starter).


Some websites:

International page of people sharing or selling kefir grains:
http://www.torontoadvisors.com/Kefir/kefir-list.php


Dr Mercola's page on kefir (note: he's selling a very expensive kefir starter that isn't grains from what I can tell, don't buy this product. The Yogourmet kefir starter that your local health food store can order for you, is about $5 whereas the Body Ecology stuff recommended on this web page is $29! Neither of them is the kefir grains we like):

http://www.mercola.com/forms/kefir.htm

Dom's huge and slightly hard-to-read web page about kefir. Very comprehensive:
http://users.chariot.net.au/~dna/Makekefir.html

GEM cultures sells kefir grains ($20 though, but they'll last you forever), and also sells other cultures for a WIDE variety of fermented foods/probiotics. This site is AWESOME if you like fermented foods experiments. They also sell kombucha culture:
http://www.gemcultures.com/

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Symptom Free!!! Thank you all!!!!

Find me at Lymefriends, I post under the same name.
diet: http://lymefriends.ning.com/group/healthylowcarbrecipes
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Tincup
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Kefir... I had that once! A nice lady brought it to me as a gift. Sooooooooooooo...

I traded some chocolate chip cookies for it.

[bonk]

[Big Grin]

Thanks for the post Maria.. very informative! I would like to try to make some kefir at some point. I think it would slow down my consumption of chocolate chip cookies!

I was in a heath food store today. they had some in a bottle for sale. Would the store bought kind be as good? I was needing a meal and thought about it.. but then decided to get a "green" protein bar instead.

Thanks again!!

[Big Grin]

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MariaA
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Just avoid the sweet kind in the store, if you're avoiding sugar. Lyme+sugar=bad for many of us.


oh wait, you're eating cookies. Don't tell anyone here...


I have heard kefir purists talk down the storebought kind in a bottle, but I liked it and drank it for years before getting some kefir grains of my own.

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MariaA
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Here's a site for the health food store bottled ready-to-drink version. It's really pricey compared to buying a quart of milk and making your own:
http://www.heliosnutrition.com/

wikipedia page on kefir, with photos of 'kefir grains':
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kefir

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clairenotes
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Can people with dairy sensitivities drink kefir? I would think not, but then again, my daughter and I do well with whey protein. We have even been able to tolerate a little ghee if used in cooking.

One researcher suggests that dairy can also harbor microbes, even if it is pasteurized. This is another reason I have stayed away from it and only use it in cooking (hoping the heating process will burn some of it out).

I am a huge fan of non-dairy fermented foods though, as mentioned on other threads.

Thank you for any thoughts on this.

Claire

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MariaA
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A few pages on the Internet say that people who are sensitive to LACTOSE can drink kefir since much of it is consumed by the kefir bacteria, but I odn't know if they're all just quoting each other of if it's really been studied. I think if you dig around on Dr Mercola's page and on Dom's big kefir page you get this recommendation. But not everyone's dairy sensitivity is just to lactose, I think (??)

YOu can always try to get some kefir grains and use them to culture coconut milk or rice milk or almond milk or whatever. I guess you'd have to occasionally put it into a pint of milk and then later rinse off the milk kefir that forms, before reculturing it in nondairy.

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Michelle M
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Kefir is THE STUFF.

Stuff you buy in the store can't compare.

It's forgiving and pretty idiot-proof to make (else I would have messed it up by now)!

Here's some pictures:

What it looks like when you "shake, rattle and roll" !!!



Don't use metal. Here's a plastic colandar, and a glass container to catch the kefir in.



A jar to brew it with (glass, please) and 'zackly like you read on the sites, a broken CD cover is perfect for letting it breathe and grow properly:

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MariaA
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Thanks for posting those!

to clarify,
The pictures are of grains- that's what does the culturing. The kefir itself just looks like a yogurt drink and you strain the grains out of it to use in your next batch.

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Annxyz
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Maria,
I am about ready to change your name to " Wonder Woman " . When I saw those photos , I cracked up . I thought "This is a total 'CAN DO'
woman .

Who knows , maybe you will lead us to a cure .

I REALLY enjoy reading your posts . They have great info and also some humor .

I also APPRECIATE the way you have synthesized
groups of posts linked together on important subjects . You really simplified searching on some of the critical subjects . That is a real blessing and time saver .

Thank you sooo much , Ann

--------------------
ANNXYZ

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WildCondor
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Coolness!

I have a yogurt maker and make my own yogurt from VSL # 3. I use all kinds..roatate with Activia...kefir...massive pribiotics! It works great and saves money!

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Lymetoo
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Cave, Dr Mercola has idiot-proof grains for Lymeheads! [Wink]

--------------------
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Opinions, not medical advice!

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Lymetoo
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quote:
Originally posted by Annxyz:
Maria,
I am about ready to change your name to " Wonder Woman " . When I saw those photos , I cracked up . I thought "This is a total 'CAN DO'
woman .

I think Michelle should get credit for the pictures! Love the CD cover!

--------------------
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Lymetoo
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quote:
Originally posted by cave76:
TuTu said:

***Cave, Dr Mercola has idiot-proof grains for Lymeheads!***

[Big Grin] [Big Grin] I resemble that remark!

Hey, worked for THIS Lymehead!!! [Big Grin] If I can do it, I'm SURE you can!! [spinning smile]

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Lymetoo
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***Did that get me off the hook??*** [Big Grin]

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Opinions, not medical advice!

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sizzled
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I wanna know if you can flavor it like ice cream???

I know, I know...I am such a kid! [Razz]

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MariaA
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yes, you can. Add enough stevia (or ... gasp... sugar?) and some flavoring. Kefir (or yogurt) + stevia + vanilla extract is a bit like cheesecake flavored yogurt. Or you can stop thinking about comparisons to ice cream/junkfood and just enjoy the vanilla-stevia kefir.

I dont follow a strict yeast diet (and I do have trouble controlling yeast, I think, though my LLMD thinks it's not the diet but some other problem). Anyway, I sometimes add fruit (Trader Joe's out here in the West has frozen fruit really cheap... mmmm, mango chunks...) but not sugar to my yogurt concoctions (and that would work for kefir too).

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GiGi
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Be sure to note the difference right turning vs. left turning bacteria / Kefir vs. yoghurt.

http://www.midvalleyvu.com/Kefir.html

Take care.

P.S. If you do a search here, there are many discussions about Kefir, etc. Also some great websites that Mo posted.

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sizzled
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Thank-you,MariaA!!

MMmmmm, cheesecake! Now you're talkin'! [lick]

I love the flavored stevias so am going to give this a go!

Thanks again! [Wink]

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MariaA
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Next on my agenda:

Rejuvelac

Rejuvelac is a tart acidophilus-containing drink made by fermenting sprouted wheatberries or sprouted rye or other grains. The sprouting of the grains creates some sugars by enzymatic conversion, and these sugars are then eaten by friendly bacteria (naturally present on the grain hulls) during the 'fermentation' process, creating lots more of the living probiotic bacteria.

I often buy my rejuvelac at my California health food stores, but I know it's not commonly available elsewhere. It's fairly easy to make at home. I also add stevia to it before I drink it which makes it more palatable. I feel like this is the strongest probiotics I can get into me, and it seems more effective than probiotics capsules that I also take. Since I"m prone to candida infections I drink a quart of this stuff a couple of times a week- I worked up to such a high dose, though.

To make rejuvelac:
http://www.rejoiceinlife.com/recipes/rejuvelac.php
or Dom's site at:
http://users.sa.chariot.net.au/~dna/vegmilk.html#rejuvelac

I usually let it ferment for about 3 days the first time (you can ferment the same sprouts for a second fermentation, which will only need to be fermented for one day or so). It's temperature-dependent, though.

I haven't tried the following recipe but here goes- rejuvelac made from cabbage (which contains a LOT of acidophilus on the leaves, which is why it works so well for kraut):
http://editor.nourishedmagazine.com.au/articles/cabbage-rejuvelac-recipe

Edit as of 2010: I have now tried the cabbage rejuvelac and it's much easier and tastier than the wheat version. I can't get the wheat version to work correctly, it seems to always have an off flavor. The cabbage version worked fine.

[ 04-05-2010, 01:57 PM: Message edited by: MariaA ]

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diet: http://lymefriends.ning.com/group/healthylowcarbrecipes
Homemade Probiotics thread
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Health
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Hi,

I make my own yogurt, and have made my own kefir, but had a

VERY bad reaction to a certain kefir starter I bought. It was the Sacromecies Cervasie yeast it had in it, I am very allergic to this, and had my throat swell, very scary. I thought it was

a healing crisis from candida so tried again but just not good, allergic reaction, scary!! I get the same thing from Pollen.
However! and heres the thing, I was not allergic to pollen until the lyme in me became bad.
Did not have allergy to pollen when young teen, then had lyme and slowly creeped up on me,

same as no allergy to cats, now allergy to cats.
Think it is from lyme.
So, on with the kefir....story...

However, I was ok with another kefir starter I bought, and called the Company to find out which strain of yeast was in it, they said a different strain.

SO, if you want to make kefir and are allergic to some yeasts, be very careful.

I stick with Yogurt now, however I loved the kefir.

ALSO, when you crave pickles and stuff, I think I recall? reading that this is because candida is bad,. but maybe yours is not from this, just thought I would mention, to keep an eye on it.

Some say when you have candida, no fermented things, others say, some are ok with it, others say, they get better with fermented stuff like you say.

Trish

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Kayda
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Hi,

I had a very bad reaction to some Kefir, too. I used to be able to eat it, but not lately. I figured out it must be the yeast grains, but I didn't know there were different kinds.

Kayda

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Lymetoo
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Grains....derived from which plant?

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MariaA
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They're not plant grains- the "grains" are a form that the yeast/bacteria colonies take- they're little clumps of gelatinous material (which you don't eat)- somewhat like the SCOBY of kombucha culture or a "vinegar mother", where the microorganisms form a visible chunk that you strain out of the liquid and use to make more kombucha or vinegar.

Interestingly they can't force kefir to form grains in the lab just from kefir itself, even though all the same bacteria/yeasts are present- you have to START with some grains to get more grains.

I;m not surprised that people with systemic yeast or Lyme can get sensitivity to other yeasts, even ones that in 'normal' people might be beneficial. That's why I wrote the disclaimer in the kefir recipe- that I'm not 100% sure if it's a good thing for us all or not. I have read in some candida references that people with bad candidiasis can get allergic responses to all molds and yeasts, even though the mold/yeast itself isn't causing your actual candida to flourish. Additionally, Lyme sometimes causes us other digestive issues.

It seems like this stuff is helpful at times and not helpful for others or at other times.

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Parisa
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What stevia brand are you using? I've tried several and they're all incredibly bitter and expensive!
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MariaA
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Use less...

I'm just using the nunaturals white stevia in packets, and I don't use the entire packet in any one dish, but have also used the NOW brand liquid.

Yep, it gets bitter if you use too much, and I think there are some other tricks to it. Over at wholeapproach.com (anti-yeast diet people) there is a brand they sell and recommend that people seem to like (there's a forum at the site, so you get to see what people's experiences on stevia are). They do a mixture of stevia and another no-carb sweetener called chicolin. I don't have any experience with it yet.

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Parisa
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Thanks I'll look into those sources. The stevia I've bought in the past was really bad, just a tiny bit was horribly bitter.

I just received some kefir grains today and have started culturing some goat's milk. Hope it takes, hope my husband likes it and while I'm making wishes I'll hope it's the magic bullet that cures all ills!

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Ruth Ruth
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wisdom naturals / sweetleaf stevia clear liquid (with a dropper) work for me ... not bitter that I can tell ... but I drink herbal tea with habanero tincture drops in it too! ... that is the brand that sells the flavored stevia liquid as well. seems like lots of places that sell supplements carry these.

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Parisa
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Thanks!
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daystar1952
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I use Xylitol to sweeten things. Google it and read all the benefits. Of course it is still refined into a cyrstaline substance like sugar but it is supposed to have opposite effects.

I, many times make my kefir into milk shakes....about 8 ounces kefir, three quarters of a cup of blue, straw or rasberries and a banana. Wow is that good. I like to use frozen berries because it makes the shake extra cold and thick. WOW

If someone needs kefir grains, I can mail them some for postage and handling. At the moment I have enough to share with one person. The woman who sent her grains to me, sent them in a ziplock bag with a bit of milk in it and priority mailed it. They were fine when they arrived. I want to learn how to make Kefir cheese next!

I feel very fortunate here in CT to have access to raw unhomogenized milk. Ron Schmidt wrote The Untold Story of Milk which I read. It is very good. He is a naturopath in CT. I emailed him and asked about the spirochetes in milk (he's had lyme disease and says raw milk helped make him better) and if the natural enzymes , the healthier immune system of a grass fed cow, etc..would help take care of the spirochetes if there were any in the milk and he believed that may be so. I have been drinking the milk for about half a year now.
Here is his website http://www.drrons.com/
I don't know about all the supplements but his book is good. He's written more than one

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MariaA
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Newsflash! Newsflash, you dieting Lymies!

I made the 'cherry cheesecake' kefir that someone suggested above. It ROCKED my world.

I made some kefir the normal way and strained the grains out of it.

Then I sweetened it lightly with stevia.

Then, I added some 'natural cherry flavoring' that I bought in a fancy cooking store. It's an unusual item that I'm not sure you can find in a regular supermarket. I think the flavors are made by 'wagners' brand.. If you're not avoiding sugars you can of course just add real cherries or cherry preserves here instead.

Then, I added some vanilla extract. Oh my, it was soooo amazing. Total cherry cheesecake flavor, yogurt consistency of course. I thought maybe it would work well in an ice cream freezer but I didn't try doing that and I don't know how stevia behaves when chilled- someone mentioned it might get more bitter if chilled so watch out for this if you try it (less stevia in recipe= less bitterness).

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MariaA
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Mediterranean style 'strained' yogurt- less sour


In some stores you can now find 'greek' yogurt which is a bit less sour than regular yogurt. I finally found out how that's made:

all over the Middle East and the Caucasus, they apparently take regular yogurt and then put it to drain using a cheesecloth-lined colander for a bit till some of the whey runs out of it. The yogurt gets thicker- this is how you make yogurt 'cheese' (the cream cheese type) if you want to keep draining.

Apparently you can then either use it as a base for various traditional spreads and dips, or add water back to it to make it a yogurt consistency again.

Draining the whey out of it first apparently makes the yogurt less 'bitter' or less sour. I know the Greek stuff I've bought is way less tangy and much milder than normal yogurt. I'm not crazy about really strong commercial plain yogurt like Dannon etc, and this seems like a way to reduce the flavor I don't like about the plain stuff.


This seems like a perfect way to make the 'cheesecake' treat I just mentioned in the kefir post just above this one.

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MariaA
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Coconut kefir

It's come to my attention that a lot of people stay away from dairy while on a candida-control diet but some of us tolerate kefir and want it for the probiotic bacteria.

One way to enjoy kefir without using dairy is to culture juices with it.

One really tasty one I made last month was to use coconut juice (not the same thing as coconut milk, though that would work too) to culture the kefir. The juice I used was one from Whole Foods but ethnic Asian grocers usually have more brands and probably cheaper. This stuff isn't usually organic.

You just put in the kefir grains into the coconut juice/coconut water, and let it culture. I'm not sure how to tell when it's 'done' because it didn't curdle like milk would, but I just waited a couple of days. It tasted less sweet than when I started. If you let it go longer it might start to be more alcoholic (kefir makes a little bit of alcohol), which may not be what we want.

It was REALLY yummy!

I'm not sure if this would work for making yogurt, but it definitely works for making kefir. I've heard that you need to make a batch of dairy kefir once in a while if your grains primarily live in non-dairy juice.

I've also made kefir with juice before (I used blackcurrant juice, randomly, but blackberry/blueberry/cranberry should all work well). It was really acidic at the end (blackcurrant juice is very tart to begin with)

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canefan17
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So when we put it into the jar... we shouldn't seal the jar shut?

kefirlady's instructions say to cover with a cloth and lid and seal with rubberband.

Can we really just use a CD cover?

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MariaA
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If you seal it completely shut, you'll get a little pressure- it's not much. the beneficial yeasts in the kefir put out a little CO2 and that's the fizzyness. I think it's fine either way- I like completely closing it up with a lid to minimize the chance of it being invaded by any unwanted competing bacteria.

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Lymetoo
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OLD POST .. bringing it to the top

[ 03-01-2011, 04:29 PM: Message edited by: Lymetoo ]

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lululymemom
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I have tried making kefir and probably didn't put enough effort into it, but found that I really didn't like the flavor and didn't want to fuss with the left over grains since I am away from home for months at a time. I know it's an excellent probiotic but I decided to go back to my own homemade yogurt.

It's easy to make and ingredients always readily available.

For 1 quart of yogurt, bring milk just to the point of boiling (not rolling boil) and set aside.

When milk has cooled to just barely warm, add 1 tbsp organic unflavored yogurt (or sour cream will work in a pinch)

Let stand overnight in a glass jar with loose fitting lid. Can cover with tea towel to keep from getting too cold.

By morning you should have a yogurt with nice consistency (won't be really thick unless you add extra culture). You can then use this culture for future batches of yogurt.

This is also a great way to use up milk that is ready to expire. I am lactose intolerant and can have this without any problems.

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chiquita incognita
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THIS IS GREAT!!! WHAT A THOUGHTFUL POST!!! THANK YOU!!!

Claire notes, regarding your milk allergy question:

Yes it is known medical fact and I am fully assuming that it has been studied.

People who are lactose intolerant can still often tolerate yogurt and kefir because of the cultures in them.

HOwever, if you are still reacting, you could try using goat milk instead. It resembles human milk in its molecular structure and is often best tolerated by lactose-sensitive individuals.

You could also try culturing coconut milk. Someone I know is doing this at this very moment, even as we speak.

FYI some studies I have read track ovarian cancer to lactose. Animals fed with milk often develop ovarian cancer. It's known about human ovarian cancer too.

I suggest sticking with the goat's milk product or the (low-fat) coconut milk.

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FYRECRACKER
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I didn't have time to look through all the posts yet, sorry if i missed this, but do you have recipes for coconut kefir? I can't have dairy

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raw vegan runner
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I can't have dairy, but CAN drink kefir. Remember, too as with anything else START SLOWLY!!! Don't down a big ol' glass of kefir straight away...start with 1/4 cup and work up from there.

Fyre, coconut kefir is made the same way...good quality coconut milk with grains, brew away! [Smile]

I make 'smoothies' with my kefir- banana, frozen pineapples, a squirt of raw org. agave, enough kefir to cover...blend away and serve! My kids love it, and so do I! Not a fan of it straight... [Wink]

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