It’s hard to believe, but 2012 is about to end! In a little over a week, many of us will be attending New Year’s Eve parties, shooting off fireworks and smooching our honey as the clock strikes midnight to ring in the brand New Year!
My hope is that 2013 will prove happier and healthier for all of us than at anytime in years past. Of course, one key to making it happy and healthy is establishing a consistent routine for Real Food meal preparation for ourselves and our families in the comfort of our own kitchens.
Fermentation of food to increase enzymes and nutrients as well as to add beneficial probiotics is a critical skill to master and when you are ready to take the plunge, there is no better food for fermentation newbies to start with than dairy.
Last week, I announced the start of the Make Your Own Kefir or Yogurt Real Food Challenge with over $600 in prizes that my sponsor, Pleasant Hill Grain, and I teamed up to bring you to encourage those who haven’t ever fermented dairy before to learn how – today!
It’s so very important to make your own kefir or yogurt if you wish to enjoy the health benefits of fermented dairy because commercial dairy just does not have the strength of probiotic cultures necessary to make much of an impact on your gut health – which is the main reason we consume fermented dairy in the first place, isn’t it?
Two videos and one written tutorial were provided in the kick off post for the Real Food Challenge in order to provide you with the necessary information to get started quickly with your first batch of kefir or yogurt.
I am thrilled at how many of you picked up the gauntlet and accepted the challenge to learn something new in the kitchen especially during the busy holiday season!
As further encouragement to those who perhaps haven’t entered the challenge just yet, I wanted to share with you some pictures of those who have entered the challenge already and are getting awesome results.
Amanda Molnar’s Perfectly Fermented Kefir
Notice the kefir grains are visible in this picture just before Amanda transfers them to a new batch, which will earn her another entry in the challenge!
Lorraine Carlstrom’s Colorful Raw Kefir Smoothie
Lorraine added coconut oil, egg yolks, and fruit to her morning raw kefir smoothie!
Kristin Marlin’s Incubating Raw Yogurt
Not one to start slowly, Kristin Marlin entered the challenge with 3 batches of yogurt at once! Notice how she has her raw yogurt nestled in with thick towels to keep them warm to allow the culture to firmly establish itself during the fermentation period. Love those gorgeous fermentation vessels too!
Miranda Meador’s Yogurt Breakfast
Miranda Meador made this lovely bowl of yogurt for breakfast … but it ended up being for lunch instead!
Bailey Keenan’s Supercharged Kefir Smoothie
Bailey’s creation contains kefir, a little water, a banana, an apple, some frozen strawberries and blueberries, a little chlorella powder, some bee pollen and flax seeds, and a couple of big spoonfuls of coconut oil. YUM!
Carey Blinn’s Jars of Fermenting Kefir
For 25 years, Carey battled daily bouts of indigestion, bloating and acid reflux. She used to use Tums or Di-Gel constantly to settle her stomach. Carey originally started into Traditional Cooking after finding my videos on YouTube and now she is a fermenting queen. Raw kefir, in particular, has changed her life and health in amazingly positive ways!
It’s Not Too Late To Join the Challenge!
First place is the gorgeous Bosch Universal Mixer with Meat Grinder attachment, a $565 value! The second place winner will receive the sleek, black Kuhn Rikon Vase Grinder for grinding herbs, sea salt, and pepper!
You can enter the challenge with your very first batch of either kefir or yogurt but you get additional entries to win with all subsequent batches until the challenge ends at midnight on December 21, 2012.
To get started, simply log in to the widget below and add your entry each time you make a batch of yogurt or kefir!
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist