Make Your Own Kefir or Yogurt Challenge!

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

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!

If you haven’t joined the Make Kefir or Yogurt Real Food Challenge yet, it’s not too late to join the fun!  Over $600 worth of prizes will be awarded to the top 2 winners.

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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

Picture Credit


Comments (75)

  1. Okay. Can someone please. Tell an ignorant person(myself) HOW DO YOU MAKE KEFIR FROM SCRATCH? I mean how HOW how do i make the cauliflower looking thingy (culture/grain)? Can someone take a few seconds and tell me CLEARLY how do i make a culture so I can make batches of Kefir? All the videos I’ve seen start from ALREADY HAVING A CULTURE, without telling where or how to make one. -Frustrated one

    • Hi Steve, You can’t make the culture from scratch. You need to get some of the grains from someone who is making it. Try Craigslist to see if anyone in your area has any to share. It multiplies like rabbits so people who make it usually have extra. If no one has any there you can purchase it on ebay or from Cultures for Health. Sarah has a link on her resources page to their website. They also have videos there on making it once you have the grains. Sarah has a video on making it too.

  2. I have an excess of raw kefir grains… I would love to know how to use them or to pass them on to someone who needs them.

  3. Ana Medina via Facebook December 22, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    I made some but found out my husband and daughter won´t eat it because it smells funny… what can I do to get rid of that strong smell? :S

  4. I’ve been doing a batch of kefir every day. My baby’s eczema is getting better just because I’m drinking some every day. Smoothies are so yummy!

  5. just took the grains our of the fridge where they have been hibernating. now in the cupboard awaiting smoothies in the morning!

  6. Pingback: Make Your Own Kefir or Yogurt Challenge! | CookingPlanet

  7. I was able to get raw milk at a reduced price since it was about to expire. I made a batch of yogurt in my crockpot with it, making sure to only warm the milk. I then unplugged the crockpot and put it in the oven with the light on overnight. In the morning we had beautiful raw yogurt. It is sooooo good. We added a little raw honey to it to eat.

  8. Two quarts of raw whole milk kefir working as I type – I plan on doublle fermenting one of these with Blackberries and the other will become Cream Cheese for Christmas Bread. Yes thank you for the challenge.

  9. I am just finishing a quart jar of homemake yogurt – make mine in the oven overnight with the oven lights on, and just got my UPS shipment of water keifer and milk keifer starter, and have started both of those this morning. It is exciting to be able to make this at home and have it very fresh and to be able to add flavors that we like.

  10. I rotated another batch of milk kefir today. Drinking kefir helped settle the very upset stomachs of my husband & myself after a holiday party this week. We may have warded of food poisoning. We’ll never know for certain, but that’s what the upset felt like in addition to the timing and coincidence. Hubs hates kefir, (I brew it long & strong), but he’s convinced of its powers now!

  11. I live in Canada and in my area I do not have access to raw dairy. Can I still ferment an organic pasteurized yogurt and begin making my own yogurt and kefir? Help!

    • sure you can, i cannot afford raw milk and use pasteurized all the time..though is not as nutritious as the raw milk, but better than the store bought one.

  12. How do you mix coconut oil into your smoothies without it making oil lumps in the finished product? The cold kefir and fruit make it harden!

  13. Same here; I’ve made a batch of milk kefir each day of the contest (my routine is one quart per day, year round), but was only able to enter once. Today I am making sourdough bread. I use 1 cup of starter and 2 cups of kefir whey in the sponge, which goes overnight. I enjoy kneading by hand, and kneading this dough is like kneading silk. The bread is amazing. Just ready to punch down and pan my loaves in the midst of an Iowa blizzard. Happy Christmas to all. Sure would like that Bosch under my tree next week!

    • gabriele hawthorne December 26, 2012 at 11:56 am

      Could you give me the receipe for your sourdough bread it sounds delicious. i am new to making bread but i would love to try it also where did you get your sourdough starter from.

      Thank you for your help


      • Gabriele – I just returned from Christmas travel. Are you still there? If so, I’ll be glad to give you my sourdough bread recipe. I wonder if there is a way to get together by email rather than posting off-topic comments here? Either way. Let me know if you are still there. —Mary

  14. I’m wondering if I try making my yogurt in the microwave, will it stay at a consistent temperature if I do not have control over my light inside. I do have a slow cooker, but I have no idea how hot it gets and I see the picture above with the towels but what exactly are the towels for, so the mason jars are not sitting directly on the heated portion? I feel like I have the tools, but I need a little more guidance.

  15. Well, it finally let me record another entry! Yay!!! But I have not been able to record entries many times…sad. I drink green smoothies made with raw kefir enery morning after 10:00 A.M. It’s easier in the summertime than during the cold winter months, but I am faithful!!! Yum!

  16. I forgot to do this every day. I don’t even know how many batches I’ve made since my first and only entry. I just put some einkorn/kefir/sourdough puff pastry in the fridge to make sausage rolls for dinner tonight. I have too much kefir and too much sour dough starter. It’s taking over my kitchen!

  17. I’m new to making kefir and so far only purchased a “kefir kit” but I’d like to know where people buy live cultures? I live in Florida and would love any info on anything local to the Tampa Bay area.

    I’m only on my third batch so far!

  18. Since the contest began, I have made two gallons of yogurt and one gallon of kefir. As a large family, we depend on lots of fermented dairy in our diet. Like other readers, I have only been able to enter the contest once, though I have made many “batches”.

  19. Please help! I would like to start this process. I”ve never done it, but I don’t understand how to find the Kefir grains once the yogart has processed? HELP?

    • With yogurt, you use some of the existing yogurt to make the next batch. With kefir, the grains look like little pieces of cauliflower and if you put your kefir through a plastic sieve then you will find your kefir grains and can move them to the next batch. Use plastic spoons to do this.

  20. Hi. I made kefir but was wondering if my grains are working.
    1. first batch was watery – I expected that and composted it
    2. second batch is thick and creamy but the kefir grains are on the bottom.
    3. I have been taking the kefir out and starting another batch..and put the done batch in the fridge. It gets kind of grainy there.

    I’ve tried kefir several times and I just don’t know if I’m drinking clabbered milk, or kefir!

  21. I’m with the commenters above me. I have made 6 total batches of yogurt and kefir- but have only been able to enter once.

  22. I look at that beautiful picture of Amanda Molner’s kefir and wish I had that many grains! I am down to one hardworking grain (by accidental ingestion of the others), but it is a workhorse and gets the job done!


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