Kefir yogurt is AMAZING! Thick and delicious and EASY to make. And best of all, no raw milk gold is harmed in the making of this nutrition rich gut-healing treat. Big thank you’s to my good friend and milk customer, Lalana, who brought me my first kefir yogurt to sample, told me how to make it, and got me hooked!
Raw milk in all its glory is full of living enzymes, probiotics, good bacteria. It’s fantastic for your immune system, and has powerful anti-microbial qualities that actually kill pathogens! Raw cream has an amazing quality called the Wulzen Factor which prevents and protects against arthritis! Sadly, pasteurizing raw milk, even heating it up to 118 degrees or higher, destroys so many of the benefits. Many yogurt recipes call for heating up your milk to temps above 118 before adding your yogurt cultures.
Now raw milk yogurt can be successfully made at low enough temps to preserve the nutrition and disease fighting qualities in raw milk, but getting a *thick* yogurt (as opposed to a runny, smoothie quality) consistency can sometimes be tricky. Unless you make kefir yogurt with your raw milk!
Wait! Are you not a fan of kefir?–You need to know that kefir yogurt is delicious! It’s thick and incredibly, there’s no kefir “tang” to it. At least not in my experience! My friends and I are so excited about how easy it is to make, how perfect it is consistency-wise, that I can’t wait to share the process here with you today!
If you are new to the kefir making process, check out this post about kefir here. Assuming you already have a half gallon jar of kefir fermenting in the dark of some kitchen cupboard, you are ready to go.
First, strain out enough kefir grains to get your next jar of kefir going, set that aside to replenish with fresh milk ASAP, and get a large clean plastic colander out and line it with about five wet coffee filters. My colander is large and five filters is about right. I use unbleached filters from Walmart (a 50 pack is about $1), and getting them wet first helps with the draining process. Place however many filters you need around the edge of your colander to cover all the drain holes, and then add one to the very middle bottom for good measure. Remember, kefir doesn’t like metal, so always use plastic colanders and spoons when working with kefir. Cleanliness is important too! This filter lined colander will be home to your kefir yogurt for the next 48 hours, and it needs to fit over a bowl large enough to hold a quart or so of liquid whey that will be draining off of your yogurt. Got the colander ready? Okay!
Put your remaining strained kefir liquid into a blender and blend it well for about 30 seconds. We’re creaming it up. Carefully pour the blended kefir into the colander-nested-into-a-bowl setup, cover it with plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge. After 24 hours, remove it from the fridge and pour off the whey that has collected in the bottom bowl–this will keep that bottom bowl from overflowing by day 2. Back to the fridge it goes; it will continue to thicken over the next 24 hours at which point you are ready to enjoy some yogurt!
Take a large glass or plastic bowl and carefully turn your colander full of kefir upside down over it. Tap the colander a bit until the kefir collapses into the bowl beneath. Now take a spatula and working with your clean fingers and the spatula, peel the wet filters away from the yogurt and discard. Discard the filters, NOT the yogurt!
Stir the yogurt briskly with a whisk or the spatula–I despise cleaning whisks but you really do get a more shiny, smooth yogurt when you go the whisking route–and your kefir yogurt is ready to doctor up to your delight. Pictured below are my preferred additions…a little liquid stevia to taste, and blueberries and raspberries. The quart jar pictured holds the whey–aka: liquid gold–which is a probiotic POWERHOUSE that you dare not waste. I will post more about whey another day, but one of my favorite things to do with it is to steep a bag of tea in it and leave it covered with a towel on the counter for 24 hours, then sweeten it with stevia and enjoy! The half gallon jar on the far right, is my next batch of kefir ready to go for more yogurt…
You can also sweeten your yogurt with sugar, fruit jams, honey, fresh diced strawberries. I am sugar-free so I stick with stevia or monks fruit extract. We are in love with this way to use up kefir, and raw milk from our wonderful Guernsey and Jersey cows.