Monday, March 5, 2007

Kefir and Raw Real Milk

Good afternoon everyone!

I woke this morning to discover that my Kefir grains were still alive and kickin' (or fermentin', rather!) Which is good, because i have missed my morning real raw milk kefir smoothie. I swear, that thing is the best morning tonic around!

So, Kefir? For more information than you'd ever want to know about Kefir, go here! In short, though, it is a wild and amazing live culture ferment that we've been making since the summer. I say 'we', but really, it's me, and everyone else sort of thinks that it is interesting and cool, but have yet to embrace it as warmly as they could (should?)... For now, I will just say, that it is sort of like yogurt, but not. And quite healthy. (Did I mention that it is phenomenal in a morning smoothie?) Oh yeah, the smoothie:

I use this hand blender because it makes a perfect single serving and works great (and not too expensive. Easy to clean and lots of other uses, too! (Yes, it is a product promotion, but, believe me, there are no benefits for this promotion. It is a really good basic blender - see future posts for other uses...)

  • - Take about 1/2 cup of Kefir (you can use yogurt or even milk/soymilk, but Kefir is best)
  • - Add a tablespoon fresh ground flax seeds
  • - about a 1/4 cup of frozen blueberries (other fruit too, but my this is my recipe)
  • - based on your mood, add a half a banana or even a small piece of dark chocolate!
  • - Blend till smooth. That's it. Easy, Fast, Nutritious!
Today, as I prepared to take this picture, I decided to throw in some of the raspberries that we have in the freezer. Picked and frozen fresh right from our backyard!! We have a lot of those still in the freezer, so be on the lookout for some cool ideas for using frozen raspberries. (After drinking the smoothie, I've decided that next time, I am going to add some dark chocolate.) Let's see, where was I?

Real. Raw. Milk. yes, that is what I said. Milk, straight from the Cow. (Actually, straight from the bulk tank, but darn near close enough.) I love the stuff. So do many of our friends. We actually have created a real raw milk share here in our neighborhood, where someone drives about 45 minutes once every week or so to pick up everybody's milk, straight from the farm. Yes, milk comes from a farm, not a plastic jug in the grocery store. Even cooler - milk comes from cows. Real milk, then, comes from real cows. Not the hormone filled, genetically modified, slop-fed, cow-like creations that are used in the mainstream milk industry. (Can you guess how I feel about this industry?)

And, as logic would have it, Real Raw milk comes from real cows, pasture fed, that has not been pasteurized or homogenized. Yes, it is good for you. Yes, it is safe. Yes, it tastes so much better. And, yes, there are all sorts of social-political histories as to why you may or may not know or believe me. But it is true. Check this site out just for starters. I am sure that I will rant on about this at a later date and this is already too long of an entry!

Before i finish though, Let me list some of the things that our friends have done with Real Raw Milk: The Best Tasting Chai Ice Cream in the world, Smooth as Butter Raw Butter, Raw Buttermilk Biscuits (the biscuits were baked!), Kefir (of Course), the Creamiest WholeMilk Yogurt in Existence, Fresh Ricotta Cheese (and all of the yummy Italian and dessert dishes that go along with that!), An aged Cheddar cheese (no adjectives here, it is still aging, so we don't know how it came out), and the best cup of morning coffee ever (thanks to skimming the cream off the top!) It is an amazing thing, I tell you!

(Oh yeah, one last thought: those of you who are lactose intolerant, well get over it. Everyone that I've spoken to, my own experience included, has had no troubles with Real Raw Milk! The reason is that before milk is destroyed by pasteurizing and homogenizing, it contains tons of enzymes that aid in digestion and nutrient absorption (including Lactase, imagine that!)

The Real Raw Milk is the larger jar on the left (notice the separated cream). The Kefir is on the right. It is ready and I shook the jar so you can see that it is thicker than milk, but not quite as thick as yogurt.


Rebecca said...

raw milk is the best!! I couldn't agree more. All things wonderful in life can be made with raw milk. I had such fun visiting the farm to pick up the raw milk last week. The herd of girls look like a very happy bunch to be eating their sweet hay and roaming about free in their open air barn. the barn cat was pretty cute too.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jason, I'll let you know how our cheddar turns out... we'll probably do a "sampling" of the first round sometime in the next month or so.

And nice blog, by the way!


Yanna said...

I'm hideously lactose intolerant but kefir has been an absolute pleasure to drink. I started making it at home last summer and just recently switched to raw milk, as well.

Do you use powder or grains to culture yours and where do you/did you get them?


NRALifer said...

I spent several summers during my teens on relative's dairy farms in far-western New York (Welch's country). THE BEST part of that hard work was getting to drink all of the raw milk that I could possibly stand! Recently, I remembered to stop at a dairy (Swan Bros. Dairy)in Claremore, OK where my folks live that sells raw milk (legal in Oklahoma). What a treat! Good milk, and several varieties of fantastic cheeses. When I got home to Arkansas, where it is not legal to sell raw cow's milk, I DID find a local dairy where I could buy "shares" in a cow, and the dividend is the MILK (what a stupid way of doing things, thanks to the big dairy industry, but the end result is good!).
My wife and I started enjoying kefir last spring, but it was in pasteurized milk. Last night, I started my first batch of kefir using raw milk. I can't WAIT to try it. I bet it's the BEST!
Some day, I hope to have MY OWN COW to get MY OWN REAL MILK... maybe a Dexter (check them out.... amaxing animals!)