Kefir Smoothies

We are both loving the milk kefir smoothies and started some water kefir to begin fermenting this morning. With the milk kefir grains, I’ve been having just about a pint of kefir produced each day but today I used a quart jar and it’s almost full of milk. The grains have grown and with a few much warmer days, the milk is fermenting more quickly.

Yesterday morning, we had a pumpkin pie kefir smoothie.

Pumpkin Pie Ingredients

Pumpkin Pie Ingredients

We have to add a little milk to get enough for both of us to have a small smoothie. As soon as there’s more kefir each day, I’ll stop adding the milk. The ingredients include canned pumpkin, flaked oats, kefir, a bit of nutmeg and the extra milk.

Smoothie in the Making

Smoothie in the Making

Pour all the ingredients in a jar, stick the immersion blender in there, give it a whirl . . rinse the blender, put it away for another day . . simple as that.

Whipped Cream?

Whipped Cream?

I was so tempted to add some whipped cream . . but I didn’t. Really!

This morning, we had apple cinnamon smoothies and I think they were my favorite.

Apple Smoothie

Apple Smoothie

I chopped the apples, added a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg, the oatmeal which thickens it all up a bit, the kefir and again, a bit of extra milk.

Apple Smoothies

Apple Smoothies

All the small glasses were in the dishwasher so you can see that we’re each getting smaller amounts but in a couple of days, we should be able to have enough to make these glasses about two-thirds full.

For tomorrow morning, I think we’ll have fig/ginger smoothies!

Kefir Smoothie

Fermented foods seem to be the rage right now. Because I love cooking and playing in the kitchen, I had to jump on the fermenting bandwagon. As part of my fermenting experiment, I began reading about kefir. I had no idea what it was and kept reading more and more about it so decided I had to try it.

As I was researching kefir, I found many claims for health benefits and while I’m not real sure what’s true and what’s hype, I am convinced that it is healthy enough that it’s worth making and worth drinking. Please do your own research and see if it’s something you might want to try. This site has a lot of good info and might be a good starting place if you’re interested in reading more.

First, I bought a few “kefir smoothies” . . the already made kind in the dairy section of the grocery store. We had never tasted kefir and I wanted to be sure it was something we liked. They were delicious. Kefir is a fermented milk and a “starter” called kefir grains is used to start the process. The next step was to find kefir grains.

Kefir Grains

Kefir Grains

They aren’t really grains but more like a cottage cheese looking substance. To make the kefir, I poured about 1-1/2 cups of whole milk over them, placed a coffee filter over the jar and let it sit at room temp for about 24 hours. During the 24 hours, I gently stirred the milk a few times.

Kefir Fermenting

Kefir Fermenting

The next step, after the fermentation period, was to strain out the kefir grains and the milk was fermented and ready to be used. I’ve read that it’s best to use utensils that are not metal. Therefore, I make and store the kefir in glass jars, use a plastic spatula for stirring and a plastic strainer for draining.

Straining Grains

Straining Grains

 The grains grow with each batch and soon I’ll have enough grains to make a second batch of kefir. As soon as the grains are strained out, they can go into another batch. 

Kefir Grains

Kefir Grains

My grains were ordered from Yemoos Nurturing Cultures and  you can read more about making kefir on their website. I find it all very interesting!

Morning Smoothie

Morning Smoothie

This morning I added a little honey to the kefir, a banana and a grape, and a little freshly rolled oats, and we had it like a smoothie. We’re feeling so healthy!  :)

Boston Brown Bread

Do you like Boston Brown Bread? I love it . . so long as it doesn’t have raisins. 

For years and years (before Chad), we went down to New Orleans at least once a month. I loved eating at the Chart House, which was upstairs near Jackson Square, and that’s the first place we headed when we got to town. I loved their Boston Brown Bread. It’s been at least 28 years (before Chad) since I ate there and I still remember their Boston Brown Bread. Every time I see a recipe for it, I have to try it and so far, I’ve not come up with anything close . . or close to what I remember their bread tasting like.

The other day I came across this recipe, and had to try it. The ingredients are every day items I had in my pantry.

Ingredients

Ingredients

The changes I made to the recipe:

  • Raisins were optional and I did not add them.
  • I did add 1 teaspoon caraway seeds.
Bread in Coffee Can

Bread in Coffee Can

The little lip around the coffee can was a problem. I thought it might be but I simply opened the bottom end of the can and the bread slipped right out.

Boston Brown Bread

Boston Brown Bread

It’s the closest thing I’ve had to the Chart House brown bread and I’ll be making it again.