Real Food Challenge: Make Kefir or Yogurt (Over $600 in Prizes!)

by Sarah GiveawaysComments: 240

Did you know that commercial yogurt and kefir have little to no health benefit from a probiotic point of view?

The reason is that commercial yogurt and kefir are fermented for very short periods of time.   The length of time is so short (one person in the dairy industry told me that it is frequently only an hour or less) that thickening agents are sometimes added to artificially provide the look and feel of yogurt and kefir that has been properly fermented like would happen if you made it in your own kitchen.

The woeful inadequacy of commercially fermented dairy is why Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD, author of Gut and Psychology Syndrome, recommends eating yogurt or kefir that you’ve made yourself and fermented for a full 24 hours in order for the majority of the lactose (milk sugar) to be used up and sufficient strength of the probiotic cultures to become established.

Real Food Challenge:  Make Your Own Yogurt or Kefir

It is very important to learn how to make your own yogurt or kefir if you wish to enjoy the many health benefits that Traditional Cultures who relied on fermented dairy products experienced.  Making yogurt or kefir yourself has the added bonus of allowing the selection of high quality, grassfed milk and avoidance of the additives and sugar frequently included with most commercially fermented dairy.

Commercially fermented dairy is just not going to cut it!

As a result, my sponsor Pleasant Hill Grain and I have joined forces to bring you this fun Real Food Challenge which will hopefully encourage you to take the important step of learning how to ferment dairy yourself in your own kitchen!

* If you have no idea how to make kefir or yogurt, no worries.  A video how-to is provided for kefir at the end of this post along with a link to a written post describing the steps to make yogurt.

Allergic to dairy?  You can still enter!  Just use coconut milk instead (video how-to at end of post).

Even if making fermented dairy is a regular part of your routine or you’ve made it before but have gotten out of the habit, you are still eligible to enter to win!

The Prizes

From now until December 21, 2012 at midnight, every time you make your own yogurt or kefir (you can also switch between the two if you like), you will get an entry to win a Bosch Universal Mixer with Meat Grinder attachment– a $565 combined value!

The new Bosch Universal Plus Mixer is truly the ultimate stand mixer chosen by the most discerning cooks.  It is not only the strongest mixer in its class, it is also the most durable with an incredible lifespan of 17 years on average. This durability permits heavy duty mixing jobs to be performed with no risk to the motor –  up to 15 pounds of heavy dough can be mixed and kneaded at one time which is the equivalent of 8 loaves of bread in a single batch.

As if the Bosch Universal Plus Mixer plus Meat Grinder isn’t enough, there will be a second place prize too, a sleek, black Kuhn Rikon Vase Grinder for all your sea salt, pepper and herbal grinding needs!

How to Enter

To enter the Real Food Challenge, use the Rafflecopter widget below.

It’s easy! Just login with either Facebook or your email address and fill in the entry box each time you make a batch of homemade yogurt or kefir.

Don’t forget that each and every time you make a batch of yogurt or kefir before December 21, 2012 at midnight, you can come back to this post and submit another entry to Rafflecopter to increase your chances of winning!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Getting Your First Batch Started

A video how-to is provided below for both milk based kefir and coconut milk kefir.  You can easily get a batch of kefir started in less than 5 minutes.

If yogurt is your thing, click here for my written blog on how to make yogurt using your microwave (turned off of course) as the incubator!

Good luck and have fun!

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Picture Credit

Comments (240)

  • Lucy

    Is there a benefit to making the kefir using the low temp pasteurized milk? I live in Ohio where raw milk is hard to get, but you can get the low temp milk.

    January 30th, 2014 7:42 pm Reply
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    December 30th, 2013 11:36 am Reply
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    November 11th, 2013 2:52 pm Reply
  • Stephanie

    Made a batch of yogurt.

    December 22nd, 2012 11:48 pm Reply
  • Stephanie

    Made a batch of kefir cream.

    December 22nd, 2012 11:25 pm Reply
  • Stephanie

    Made another batch of kefir.

    December 22nd, 2012 11:17 pm Reply
  • Sharon

    I made another batch of milk kefir tonight.

    December 22nd, 2012 3:14 am Reply
  • Vickie

    Grape juice kefir done!!!!! Ready for the celebrations!

    December 22nd, 2012 2:13 am Reply
  • Elise

    Finished my 5th batch of milk kefir, and my third batch of water kefir this week.
    I love culturing!

    December 21st, 2012 11:45 pm Reply
  • Jodie

    Another batch of viili, company is coming.

    December 21st, 2012 7:29 pm Reply
  • Sharon

    Made a batch of milk kefir last night.

    December 21st, 2012 7:01 pm Reply
  • Sue

    Just finished another yogurt. Yum!

    December 21st, 2012 6:41 pm Reply
  • Vickie

    Finally able to enter again…but I don’t see my post up and it still continues to say I only have 10/10 entries. Rarely can do another entry….even the next day…and it says ‘Done’ so I can’t enter. Or when I do get to enter again it takes me back down to 0/10 entries. Weird.
    So sad…I want to have a chance at that beautiful Bosch! Every one have a Merry Christmas!

    December 21st, 2012 4:24 pm Reply
  • Diane

    Another batch of kefir. Does the widdget work?

    December 21st, 2012 3:24 pm Reply
  • Vickie

    Completed another batch of kefir this morning……the entry widget says I already posted and am done. That however is not the case. :( I’ve tried several times hitting the edit tab and recording just in case that posts anything…but I don’t see the posts on the blog. I hope I can enter these batches before time runs out. Any one else still having issues?

    December 21st, 2012 12:26 pm Reply
  • Theresa H

    I made 1/2 gallon of drinkable yogurt. I made it from raw milk. It is delicious!

    December 21st, 2012 12:10 am Reply
  • Vickie

    how did you get it to post both your entries in one day? Many of us are having trouble with that.

    December 21st, 2012 12:05 am Reply
  • Vickie

    So bummed the contest is about to end and I haven’t been able to enter all my batches! :(
    Wish the ‘kinks’ would get out!!!!
    Well, good luck everyone. I sure do want to own that beautiful Bosch!

    December 21st, 2012 12:02 am Reply
    • Vickie

      That’s strange…I see my post says it is 12.02 A.M. It is only 8:15. Does that mean that it will look like this is posted after the deadline? :(
      So many strange things with this rafflecopter.

      December 21st, 2012 12:16 am Reply
  • Diane

    Another batch of kefir.

    December 20th, 2012 10:02 pm Reply
  • Geri Q

    Just making Kefir for the first time ever! How long can the grains stay in the dormant stage when going away for a couple of weeks? A month?

    December 20th, 2012 7:00 pm Reply
  • Julie

    Sarah, very good video. Seems I can always learn something new about culturing dairy. I notice that at the end of the culturing process you do not strain out the grains but rather scoop them out. Is it because of the metal in strainers?

    December 20th, 2012 6:43 pm Reply
  • Claudia

    I made another batch of milk kefir.

    December 20th, 2012 1:47 pm Reply
  • Christy

    Nobody is able to enter more than once, but I’m not seeing this problem addressed… Help, please?

    December 20th, 2012 1:29 pm Reply
  • Vickie

    I made my batch of kefir this morning….but when I came to enter it…it won’t let me. It behaves as though I already entered today, but I didn’t. How do I get it entered?

    December 20th, 2012 1:07 pm Reply
  • shonda

    We also made a half gallon of water kefir which we flavor with lemon juice. My boys love it and I dissolve their probiotic powder in it morning and night.

    December 20th, 2012 11:45 am Reply
  • shonda

    Made 2 gallons of yogurt this week with raw organic milk which has an amazingly high butter fat content (thank you jersey cows.). The cream is so thick that the quart jars of yogurt have a 2 inch line of solid cream yogurt on the tops of the jars–my favorite part. I use that to choke down my fermented cod liver oil. I am giving yogurt as gifts this year with a bottle of maple syrup for sweetening. Some of my family members think I am weird, so I would hate to disappoint.

    December 20th, 2012 11:43 am Reply
    • Christy

      Love it! We all have reputations to uphold… especially with the family.

      December 20th, 2012 1:30 pm Reply
  • Kristin W.

    I made yogurt from raw milk, my family wasn’t crazy about it and I try to limit my dairy but I really miss yogurt.

    December 20th, 2012 11:00 am Reply
  • Rachel

    Got my kefir grains and they are churning away!

    December 20th, 2012 7:27 am Reply
  • Yuliya

    I made yogurt, success again!

    December 20th, 2012 2:07 am Reply
  • Nancy

    Made 2 batches of milk kefir tonight. One for me and one for my dogs!

    December 19th, 2012 11:39 pm Reply
  • Jennifer Fashian

    Made 2 more batches of kefir since I first entered the contest, but haven’t been able to get the widget to work at all…it says it’s “on vacation,” and they are “cooking up something else.”

    December 19th, 2012 9:59 pm Reply
  • Jodie

    Made another batch of viili.

    December 19th, 2012 8:42 pm Reply
  • ashleyK

    I LOVE homemade yogurt. We literally can’t live without it! :)

    December 19th, 2012 7:45 pm Reply
  • Amanda Mullins

    Made another batch of kefir. Not sure if the entry thing is working…

    December 19th, 2012 5:16 pm Reply
  • Sue

    Tried to enter again after my yogurt batch was done but it says 10/10 entries received…
    I love making yogurt and my little one loves it so much! I use a Capsian Sea yogurt (matsoni) and love it so much! It cultures at room temperature, so I don’t have to worry about heating it! Have a great day…

    December 19th, 2012 11:39 am Reply
  • Elise

    Just finished my fourth kefir batch. I just got water kefir grains, cant wait to see how it turns out!
    The widget still doesn’t work for me. :(

    December 19th, 2012 11:11 am Reply
  • Nancy

    Just made my nightly batch of milk kefir AND my every 2nd or 3rd night batch of water kefir.

    December 18th, 2012 10:48 pm Reply
  • Kim W.

    Made milk kefir, and a gallon of lemon fig water kefir! Now to bottle it for carbonation.

    December 18th, 2012 10:40 pm Reply
  • Corene h.

    Made a batch of keifer!

    December 18th, 2012 9:38 pm Reply
  • Jamie

    I just finished making a batch of yogurt. My starter was weak so I had to drain off some whey but it was still a success. Yay!

    December 18th, 2012 9:23 pm Reply
  • jan

    Each time I login it seems it doesn’t change my entry amount. It always says 10/10. Is it supposed to do that or should the number be going up?

    I enjoy my kefir as smoothies. 1 C of kefir, 1 banana, and 1 cup of frozen fruit.

    December 18th, 2012 3:13 pm Reply
    • Hannah

      Jan, it was doing the same with me. The entry amount is not changing. I make a little batch of kefir most everyday.

      December 18th, 2012 3:48 pm Reply
      • Vickie

        Same for me. It let me enter once a day for a few days, but now It won’t even let me enter…it behaves as though I already did for the day.. And it has always said 10/10.
        Go figure. So sad…I know each of us really would like to win that beautiful Bosch!

        December 20th, 2012 1:23 pm Reply
  • Amanda C

    Made another batch this morning! They don’t last long at our house.

    December 18th, 2012 3:04 pm Reply
  • Mary

    I too make a quart of milk kefir each day, but the rafflecopter only worked for me on the first day of the contest.

    December 18th, 2012 2:57 pm Reply
    • v

      Yes…I can’t seem to enter any more…:(

      December 20th, 2012 1:18 pm Reply
  • Jamie T.

    I made my daily batch of Kefir.

    December 18th, 2012 12:13 pm Reply
  • Amanda B.

    I just made a batch of milk kefir

    December 18th, 2012 11:26 am Reply
  • Diane

    I’ve made a new batch of milk kefir everyday but the rafflecopter won’t work.

    December 18th, 2012 10:36 am Reply
  • Elise

    Batch number three!

    December 18th, 2012 10:02 am Reply
  • Elizabeth Prasnicki Hyrkas via Facebook

    I made “microwave” yogurt per your instructions. It’s wonderful. Thanks for all the great tips.

    December 18th, 2012 9:32 am Reply
  • Danielle @ More Than Four Walls

    I’ve got yogurt in the refrigerator!

    December 18th, 2012 8:31 am Reply
  • Amanda

    I completed a batch of kefir.

    December 18th, 2012 7:30 am Reply
  • Jennifer Fashian

    Made another batch of kefir, but can’t get the Rafflecopter widget to work! :(

    Jennifer F.

    December 18th, 2012 7:06 am Reply
  • Claudia B.

    I just finished another batch of kefir! THe Rafflecopter widget wouldn’t let me in either so I hope leaving a comment here counts. :)
    Claudia B.

    December 18th, 2012 3:15 am Reply
  • Miranda

    The kids loved it! Great yogurt!

    December 17th, 2012 11:28 pm Reply
  • Nancy

    Made my daily (nightly) batch of milk kefir AND attended a start up meeting for a Fermenting club in Charlotte, NC!!!!

    December 17th, 2012 11:18 pm Reply
  • Vickie

    Sarah, I can’t seem to enter my cultures after the first one. Am I doing something wrong? I clicked on the widget again but it just says I already am done and have ’10’ for my entry of one batch of kefir. Can you only enter once a day?

    December 17th, 2012 9:58 pm Reply
  • Kristin

    I started kefir and yogurt!

    December 17th, 2012 9:28 pm Reply
  • Jamie T.

    I made my second batch of Kefir. Yummy!

    December 17th, 2012 7:20 pm Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    I’ve got enough pix now. Thanks everyone!!! :))

    December 17th, 2012 7:09 pm Reply
  • Candy

    Can kefir be substituted for buttermilk? I soak my wheat before making bread-can I use kefir?

    December 17th, 2012 4:23 pm Reply
  • Jessica P.

    It didn’t go very well,but I attempted making yogurt!:P

    December 17th, 2012 4:59 pm Reply
  • Ruth

    I made 2nd batch of kefir!

    December 17th, 2012 4:55 pm Reply
  • Vickie

    Also made some kefir grape juice…but I can’t seem to enter again….is it only once a day? Rather than once per ferment?

    December 17th, 2012 4:07 pm Reply
  • Brendon

    I made my first batch of yogurt ever last night!

    December 17th, 2012 3:52 pm Reply
  • Emily L

    I started a new batch of milk kefir. My dog loves when she gets the extra grains!

    December 17th, 2012 3:02 pm Reply
    • Elise

      My dog loves them too!

      December 18th, 2012 9:54 am Reply
  • leslieh

    Making milk kefir today, love it in green smoothies!

    December 17th, 2012 2:50 pm Reply
  • Bailey Keenan via Facebook

    Do you want pictures of whey? I just made some of that last week.

    December 17th, 2012 1:53 pm Reply
  • Bailey Keenan via Facebook

    I just emailed you some pictures of my smoothie.

    December 17th, 2012 1:00 pm Reply
  • marti

    I made a batch of raw milk yogurt!

    December 17th, 2012 12:37 pm Reply
  • Vickie

    Hi Sarah,
    I start a new batch of kefir every morning when I make my families green smoothies to use the previous batch. (always with raw milk of course!) It keeps my grains active and fresh! I’ve also rinsed a few and used them in grape juice…..oh my!!!! Now THAT is GOOD!!!

    December 17th, 2012 12:14 pm Reply
  • Natasha Boss

    The rafflecopter will only let me enter once. Do I need to do something special?

    December 17th, 2012 11:51 am Reply
  • Amanda Mullins

    Made a batch of kefir!

    December 17th, 2012 11:41 am Reply
  • Elise

    For whatever reason I wasn’t able to enter a second time with the widget. I just finished my second batch of kefir.

    December 17th, 2012 11:04 am Reply
    • Joshuah Joseph

      I can’t either Elise, anyone else have an issue with this or has already sloved it?

      December 17th, 2012 11:43 am Reply
  • Sarah Couture Pope via Facebook

    Miranda McKay Meador Can you email me a picture of your yogurt breakfast?

    December 17th, 2012 9:35 am Reply
  • Sheril Carey via Facebook

    What a great idea, healthyhomeeconomist! I happen to be going to the farm for this weeks milk today. I am now going to teach my daughters how I make my 24hr yogurt, assign them the task, have them produce some video and photographic evidence of their adventures, submit our entry and feed us all yogurt!

    Too bad I haven’t obtained any kefir grains yet. I did make kefir for the first time last week, but only with the powdered starter. :/
    Better than nothing, right? :)

    December 17th, 2012 8:37 am Reply
  • Pei

    Made coconut yogurt & water kefir.

    December 17th, 2012 3:49 am Reply
  • Tammy B

    I made my own yogurt. We make it quite often, I love the versatility of it. Planning on making kefir soon too :)

    December 17th, 2012 3:23 am Reply
  • April Kenison Richard via Facebook

    I make raw milk yogurt, and yes i strain it. Use the whey to ferment veggies or soak grains like oatmeal.

    December 17th, 2012 1:45 am Reply
  • Valerie

    I just finished making a batch of yogurt with my sour milk!

    December 17th, 2012 1:25 am Reply
  • Miranda McKay Meador via Facebook

    Made my first batch in the “microwave”. It worked wonderfully. Yogurt for breakfast tomorrow!!

    December 17th, 2012 1:24 am Reply
  • Diane

    Another batch of kefir

    December 17th, 2012 12:57 am Reply
  • Sara Jo Poff

    Started another 1/2 gallon batch of kefir! Gotta keep it going for this family of 7, going on 8!

    December 16th, 2012 10:25 pm Reply
  • Nancy

    Just made my nightly batch of milk kefir! I use the kefir in “power” smoothies every morning.

    December 16th, 2012 11:07 pm Reply
  • Amanda

    I’m just starting a new batch of kefir. :)

    December 16th, 2012 10:18 pm Reply
  • Christine

    I made batch of yogurt.

    December 16th, 2012 10:16 pm Reply
  • JoAnna

    I made a quart of kefir!

    December 16th, 2012 8:47 pm Reply
  • crisspoliss

    i make kefir everyday and also tara( which is a different type of culture from tibet that makes a more sour sort of kefir and a bit more frizzy) i tried once yogurt but gave up after i ended up with a sort of cheese instead. i will try and make the one in a crockpot, i see people have good results.

    December 16th, 2012 5:54 pm Reply
  • Melissa

    Just made yogurt…

    December 16th, 2012 4:30 pm Reply
  • PR

    Made more kefir today. :)

    December 16th, 2012 2:36 pm Reply
  • Gianna

    I made yogurt a few days ago.

    December 16th, 2012 2:07 pm Reply
  • Maryanne

    I clicked on the link to enter today and it doesn’t let me click to enter. I tried logging into the site, but it said it didn’t recognize my email! What am I doing wrong? I really want to enter — and win!! Thanks,

    December 16th, 2012 1:55 pm Reply
  • Maryanne

    Forgot to log in yesterday after I harvesting my milk kefir! Just finished today’s — very good!

    December 16th, 2012 1:48 pm Reply
  • Eric

    Another batch of Kefir brewing :)

    December 16th, 2012 11:43 am Reply
  • Paula

    Where do I purchase the kefir starter?

    December 16th, 2012 10:40 am Reply
  • C Steffen

    Made keifer

    December 16th, 2012 10:08 am Reply
  • Nicole

    One batch down. Still trying to achieve a good vanilla flavor though.

    December 16th, 2012 7:19 am Reply
  • Hillery T

    Made my yogurt!

    December 16th, 2012 3:20 am Reply
  • Theresa P.

    just made some yummy yogurt w/ raw cow’s milk. in my yogurt maker w/ the individual jars. that way i can add vanilla extract for a vanilla flavored yogurt. and some pure lemon extract for a lemon flavored yogurt or just plain flavored yogurt is very good.

    December 16th, 2012 1:19 am Reply
  • Rachel Ramey

    We’ve just finished off our last batch – where I finally figured out how to get it flavored like we want it.

    Now I just have to find my notes so I can make it again. :)

    December 16th, 2012 12:14 am Reply
  • sabina casto

    Looks SO easy and am eager to try it, but could you tell me where do I get a live Kefir culture?

    December 15th, 2012 11:45 pm Reply
  • Devorah

    Just made yogurt with raw milk – yum!

    December 15th, 2012 11:17 pm Reply
  • Nancy

    Made milk Kefir and water Kefir tonight. Have been drinking them for the past 3 years and no longer have any allergy issues ( asthma and hay fever.). Also feed them to my dogs – no more “sensitive stomach”issues!

    December 15th, 2012 10:59 pm Reply
  • Robin

    I made a batch of yogurt on Thursday. I’ve been making my own yogurt for about 1 1/2 years now. I have also made milk kefir since about August but still haven’t quite figured it out completely. I have a batch going right now – should be finished tomorrow.

    December 15th, 2012 10:58 pm Reply
  • Diane

    I made milk kefir.

    December 15th, 2012 7:04 pm Reply
  • Claire

    Coconut milk kefir started

    December 15th, 2012 6:54 pm Reply
  • Jennifer

    I am making raw goats milk yogurt in my Excalibur dehydrator right now.

    December 15th, 2012 4:58 pm Reply
    • Kay

      I’m curious how you do it in the dehydrator. We have an American Harvest/Nesco brand, and I’m not sure how one would make yogurt in it.

      December 27th, 2012 8:13 pm Reply
  • Soli

    Been making kefir for a year and a half now, got a batch done last night!

    December 15th, 2012 4:49 pm Reply
  • Kim

    just fed the kefir grains for the day! :) It’s the only dairy our son can tolerate.

    December 15th, 2012 3:11 pm Reply
  • jill

    First ever raw milk kefir turned out great w/ blended strawberries. Made 2 more qt jars from 2T finished kefir and 2 qts more raw milk, yaaay.

    December 15th, 2012 1:55 pm Reply
  • Jamie T.

    I love kefir. I just completed a batch.

    December 15th, 2012 1:52 pm Reply
  • janice

    I might have missed it in the other comments, but I don’t think you video said where one can get a live kefir culture. I thought it came from those packets you can buy, but you said they are only good for one batch at a time. Where does one find the live cultures not in packets?

    December 15th, 2012 12:05 pm Reply
  • Claudia

    I just made a yogurt,

    December 15th, 2012 12:01 pm Reply
  • Rachel J.

    I’ll make some today so that this post counts :) I don’t have time to make yogurt frequently so when the boys don’t go through their real milk very fast one week (like this week) I make several single servings in pint jars with the extra milk. I make chocolate (a little extra honey or sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract) for one son and put homemade jam in the bottom of the jars for the other son. Then I do a quart or so of plain for smoothies. We also do water kefir, although it takes several days right now to ferment because it’s so cold in our house and even colder in the cabinet where the water kefir lives. Wish I had a designated warm spot!

    December 15th, 2012 11:18 am Reply
  • Jenny

    I made a batch of yogurt with my frozen goats milk. I have never done this before and am very glad it worked.

    December 15th, 2012 10:25 am Reply
  • Lauri Plum

    I made yogurt for the first time. It was so easy I was shocked. It tastes so much better than store bought. I will always make yogurt from now on!! Thanks

    December 15th, 2012 10:22 am Reply
  • rebecca huff

    I make Kefir every day! I have never made yogurt– will have to try it!

    December 15th, 2012 10:16 am Reply
  • Nia Hanna

    The post says everytime I make a batch I can come back to the enter another rafflecopter entry. I just finished another batch and am unable to make an entry. Its telling me 10 already earned. Is that the max we can earn?

    December 15th, 2012 8:49 am Reply
    • Susan

      I also had the same question. Also, does water kefir count, or just dairy kefir? We make both water kefir and dairy kefir almost every day. It takes two days for the water kefir and a day and a half for the dairy kefir to ferment in our kitchen. I’ve read that ferments need to be kept several feet apart to prevent cross-contamination, so luckily we have a big enough kitchen to keep water kefir in one corner, milk kefir in another, and kombucha in yet another. When I make yogurt or fermented veggies they go in the last corner.

      December 15th, 2012 3:57 pm Reply
      • Nia

        So do you cover your kefir with a coffee filter as suggested? I only do sometimes. The other times I cover loosely with the lid and don’t mind if they are apart. But if I cover them with the filter I definitely keep them away from one another.

        December 16th, 2012 11:21 am Reply
      • Nia

        I’m not sure if water kefir counts. I’m thinking just dairy kefir since she looped it in with yogurt, but it would be nice to know for sure, ’cause I’m right there with you making water kefir and milk kefir too.

        December 16th, 2012 11:26 am Reply
        • Susan

          Nia, I cover everything with a paper towel held tight with a rubber band…. kombucha, water kefir, and milk kefir. I cover the yogurt with one of those white lids that fits on glass mason jars. :)

          December 16th, 2012 12:57 pm Reply
    • Carolyn b

      Same question here!

      December 15th, 2012 9:59 pm Reply
  • Michele

    Raw milk yogurt done!

    December 15th, 2012 8:46 am Reply
  • barbara

    Always cover milk from the light when sitting on your counter top! Light destroys
    B vitamins.
    Great post, Sarah, as usual.

    December 15th, 2012 8:41 am Reply
  • Amanda B

    I just made another batch of milk kefir.

    December 15th, 2012 8:13 am Reply
  • Marcella F

    I made my first batch of kefir.

    December 15th, 2012 6:35 am Reply
  • Melissa

    Yep, made my batch of yogurt! It’s where I first started taking some control over my health…making my own yogurt without any of the additives they include in commercial yogurts.

    December 15th, 2012 4:42 am Reply
  • Laura L.

    Completed a batch of kefir! Going to try coconut tomorrow!

    December 15th, 2012 3:48 am Reply
  • Mary

    I make a quart of kefir every day.

    December 15th, 2012 1:03 am Reply
  • Elizabeth

    Just completed a batch of yogurt and kefir.

    December 15th, 2012 1:00 am Reply
  • PamJ

    I don’t know a lot about fermenting, but if commercial yogurt & kefir is not fermented long enough can that be remedied? Can you warm a small amount of commercial yogurt & allow it to ferment longer?

    December 15th, 2012 12:54 am Reply
  • Emily

    I made milk kefir this evening.

    December 15th, 2012 12:39 am Reply
  • Rachel

    I made milk Kefir this evening

    December 14th, 2012 9:56 pm Reply
  • Claudia B.

    I think I posted in the wrong place so here it is again. . .we love kefir and have been making it weekly with raw milk for about 6 months now! We had a kefir smoothie this very morning!

    December 14th, 2012 9:53 pm Reply
  • Illya Gonzalez

    Made milk kefir this morning.

    December 14th, 2012 9:49 pm Reply
  • KC

    About to switch out a batch of kefir!

    December 14th, 2012 9:19 pm Reply
  • Amy S

    I make a gallon of yogurt almost every day. We have a cow, and I have eight kids. I always drain it for thick greek-style, and my kids eat it with a little fruit for snacks. Every night I mix a cup of the previous days’ yogurt into warm, right-out-of-the-cow milk and let it culture overnight in the oven, with just the oven light on. In the morning I put it in a cheesecloth-lined strainer for a couple of hours, and then put the yogurt in the fridge and try to use the whey in pancakes or such. Although the whey often gets poured on my strawberries. It makes great strawberries! My kids won’t drink it, we have too much good milk for them to choose. Now that I am in the habit, it is just a couple minutes of my evening and morning ritual.

    December 14th, 2012 8:48 pm Reply
  • Jill

    I need milk kefir grains.. Any recommendations? Am in Canada, vancouver to be exact

    December 14th, 2012 8:37 pm Reply
  • Karen

    I made 3 quarts of yogurt. We go through it very fast. I would like to try making it with raw milk soon.

    December 14th, 2012 7:26 pm Reply
  • jill

    I started two batches of raw milk kefir this morning, my first ever, yaay!

    December 14th, 2012 6:53 pm Reply
  • Ashley

    I did kefir!

    December 14th, 2012 6:50 pm Reply
  • Nancy

    I made a batch of milk kefir!

    December 14th, 2012 6:47 pm Reply
  • Mandy

    I made a batch of Kefir today. Even shared some grains.

    December 14th, 2012 6:39 pm Reply
  • Diane

    I just finished today’s batch of viili yogurt. By the way, I love Pleasant Hill Grain!

    December 14th, 2012 6:24 pm Reply
  • Ruth

    I made water kefir last night!

    December 14th, 2012 6:11 pm Reply
  • Angela

    I made my 3rd batch of kefir. It’s getting simpler each time.

    I’m also making kombucha and can’t wait till it’s ready – 2 weeks in the fermenting mode; should be ready any day now.

    December 14th, 2012 5:10 pm Reply
  • Laurie

    I made yogurt yesterday but I know that doesn’t count. I like both but milk kefir affects my blood sugars and with culturing yogurt for 24 hrs it seems to be more digestible.
    I sure hope this is open to Canadians.

    December 14th, 2012 4:45 pm Reply
  • Michael P.

    Made my first batch of kefir!

    December 14th, 2012 4:18 pm Reply
  • Rachael Resurreccion

    Just made my weekly batch of yogurt. I would love to try kefir but I keep putting off buying the grains. Maybe Santa will bring me some.

    December 14th, 2012 3:55 pm Reply
  • Judy M.

    I just made a batch of kefir this morning as I before I read this post! I have been meaning to try coconut milk kefir and raw milk yogurt so this is probably a good time to try!!

    December 14th, 2012 3:08 pm Reply
  • Andrea S.

    Hi Sarah,

    Thanks for making this video! Seems so timely following our conversation just the other day.

    Looking forward to not messing up my first kefir batch!

    December 14th, 2012 3:07 pm Reply
  • Amy

    I just got a batch of kefir started and will make a batch of much needed yogurt when I get more milk!

    December 14th, 2012 3:02 pm Reply
  • Maryanne

    Sarah: What a wonderful “prize” — I just harvested my milk kefir for the day! Thanks for the opportunity! Think I might make some yogurt when I get my raw milk tomorrow!

    December 14th, 2012 2:39 pm Reply
  • Vicki DiIoia

    good incentive for starting to make yogurt again…thanks!

    December 14th, 2012 2:29 pm Reply
  • Katherine

    I just had some 48 hr kefir this morning!

    December 14th, 2012 1:49 pm Reply
  • Sarah

    I just made some raw milk yogurt! I am re-introducing dairy and doing the GAPS diet!

    December 14th, 2012 1:19 pm Reply
  • Emily

    I made yogurt!

    December 14th, 2012 1:15 pm Reply
  • Cindy

    Those coconuts are $6.00 a piece here in TN. :(

    December 14th, 2012 12:58 pm Reply
  • Amy

    I have been making kefir for about 6 years now. My grains came from my WAPF chapter leader, Shawn Dady, in Nashville. They are still going strong! I have shared kefir grains with friends all over the area from Nashville through Alabama and in to Florida! My chapter leader taught me to ferment kefir in a mason jar covered with a paper towel or cheesecloth, but to never close it up with a lid (during fermentation) as you did in your video demo. I am interested to know your reasons for using the lid during the fermentation. Obviously it is not hindering the fermentation! Through the years I have learned that with traditional foods there is a lot of flexibility in preparation. Does the kefir ferment differently, better, etc. with the lid screwed on vs. with a paper towel?

    December 14th, 2012 11:57 am Reply
    • Rachel Ramey

      I am curious about this, too. I’ve tried kefir a few times now, and it’s always AWFUL. We can’t stand it – not even a tiny bit mixed into a whole blenderful of smoothie. The people I know who talk about eating kefir regularly don’t seem to describe it this way, so I think there must be something wrong with mine – and most of the people I know who do this, as it turns out, use the lid. I thought I needed to omit the lid so as not to make the jar explode, but I’m wondering if I’m picking up some yucky wild yeasties?

      December 16th, 2012 12:45 am Reply
      • Nia

        Sometimes I cover mine with a lid, but I just twist it once so it’s not tight. Other times I use the paper towel or a coffee filter. I’ve noticed the flavor is quite sharp if I leave it for more than twenty four hours. And as you said even in a blender full of fruit smoothie, my milk kefir is very strong if left for more than twenty four hours.

        December 17th, 2012 6:03 pm Reply
  • Sara Jo Poff

    Started another 1/2 gallon batch of raw milk kefir!

    December 14th, 2012 11:57 am Reply
  • Joy

    Made kefir this morning.

    December 14th, 2012 12:53 pm Reply
  • Nancy Barnes

    Sarah, I see places to order the kefir grains (which you don’t recommend) but I don’t see anywhere to order the live ‘cauliflower clump’ that you used in making your kefir. Where do I get that? PS I really appreciate your newsletter and all that you do to promote ‘healthy eating’.

    December 14th, 2012 11:32 am Reply
  • Kristi

    I make yogurt all the time, but I need to try kefir soon!

    December 14th, 2012 12:28 pm Reply
  • Susan

    Got my yogurt done!!

    December 14th, 2012 12:21 pm Reply
  • Jennifer

    I just started a batch of 5 quarts of yogurt. I make raw milk yogurt cultured for 24 hours and it is never runny. We love it with raw honey.

    December 14th, 2012 12:17 pm Reply
  • sarah

    got my kefir done

    December 14th, 2012 12:15 pm Reply
  • Jamie D

    just finished a batch of yogurt yesterday…yummy! Put the whey in a smoothie this morning too!

    December 14th, 2012 12:11 pm Reply
  • Cathy J. Kelley

    I didn’t care for the water kefir I made. I make raw milk yogurt once a week and make milk kefir on a daily basis.

    December 14th, 2012 12:10 pm Reply
  • uriel light

    i don’t have facebook, so where do i register when i make my yogurt

    December 14th, 2012 12:01 pm Reply
  • Rachel

    I am heating the milk right now for yogurt! Kefir is to be strained right away.

    December 14th, 2012 12:01 pm Reply
  • Crystal Smith

    I have a new batch of kefir that is ready.

    December 14th, 2012 11:56 am Reply
  • Heather Curran

    Just made a batch of cinnamon and anise apricot flavored milk kefir and yogurt is in the microwave!

    December 14th, 2012 11:54 am Reply
    • Nancy

      Sounds delicious!

      December 16th, 2012 9:48 am Reply
  • Lauren

    I made GAPS yogurt yesterday!

    December 14th, 2012 11:53 am Reply
  • Jennie

    I only own 2 kefir grains (and they’re quite young), so I start a new batch every day or two. Just started one this morning that should be done by Sunday (it’s cold in my kitchen!).

    December 14th, 2012 11:49 am Reply
  • Rick

    I need to make Kefir… had a bad experience the first time I tried to make water kefir and had a bottle explode glass all over my house.. I fermented too long…. haven’t tried again.

    December 14th, 2012 11:48 am Reply
  • Naomi

    I made a comment about making water kefir in the rafflecopter, but don’t see it in comments so here it is again!

    December 14th, 2012 11:48 am Reply
  • Carolyn

    I have water kefir that I will be culturing today. I’m having to learn the process all over since moving to a new climate all the fermenting times I used in New England don’t work the same in Florida!

    December 14th, 2012 11:46 am Reply
  • H.S.

    I made mine with whole milk. I do it the way I was taught: bring it to a boil, then let it cool down until I can just keep my pinky in for a count of 10 (has to sting a bit). Then you add a tablespoon of good quality yogurt for each pint of milk. Wrap it in a blanket until the morning. We go through a LOT of yogurt, a gallon on most Friday’s alone :)

    December 14th, 2012 11:45 am Reply
  • MichelleTordoff (@OurBigHappyFam)

    We love making yogurt! We make it about twice a mont.

    December 14th, 2012 11:45 am Reply
  • Jamie V

    Made a batch of yogurt I just took out of the yogurt maker! Also I make a cup of kefir every day. Love the stuff!!

    December 14th, 2012 11:41 am Reply
  • Leslie

    I’ve made a batch but this is my first batch ever..fingers crossed. Does anyone recommend specific jars or caps for this? I’m simply using a cleaned large pickle jar with it’s original cap and wondered if a cheese cloth or mesh material might be better. Thank you

    December 14th, 2012 11:40 am Reply
  • Rochel

    We are heading out of town in a week, and I had planned to do a batch of Kefir every day so we could take some with us-PERFECT TIMING :) (I only have enough grains for 1 qt at a time right now…) We love our kefir smoothies every morning :) It’s the ‘reward’ I give my kids (and myself) for taking their fermented cod liver oil :)

    December 14th, 2012 11:39 am Reply
  • Mikki

    I am very passionate about homemade yogurt. Go to Mother Linda’s site for a great Bulgarian yogurt made with either raw milk or whole, non-homogenized, pastuerized milk. She also wrote some articles for WAPF on yogurt and mentions an author who claims in one of his books that yogurt has very high antibacterial/antiviral properties for only the first two weeks after it’s made, so recommends not making huge batches to sit around for weeks or months in your fridge, but to make it weekly, or every other week. I did this last year and my hubby and I were never sick, not even a sniffle. We eat it or make smoothies out of our homemade every day and believe that that plus our FCLO are what helped keep us so healthy last year, and so far this. I make 1-2 quarts weekly so guess I should enter this contest!

    December 14th, 2012 11:37 am Reply
  • Mindy, The Homespun ARTisan

    Batch complete: Kefir
    Batch complete: Kombucha

    December 14th, 2012 11:36 am Reply
  • Lucy

    My girls and I eat smoothies with raw kefir daily! ( kefir, yolks, coconut oil, bee pollen, frozen strawberries & bananas, vanilla, Celtic salt, and cocoa powder) We make two 1/2 gal. batches of kefir about twice a week. It is so easy! Perhaps we should branch out into yogurt as well!

    December 14th, 2012 11:35 am Reply
  • Carolyn b

    Made some kefir!

    December 14th, 2012 11:34 am Reply
  • Andrea

    New batch of yogurt today! I make about 8 cups per week using the crock pot method. Family loves it! Also, we use it with herbs & spices to make homemade ranch dressing/dip.

    December 14th, 2012 11:34 am Reply
  • Beth

    Just made some raw milk yogurt & shared with my mom! I make kefir every day and just started pronouncing it correctly :-)

    December 14th, 2012 11:32 am Reply
  • Rhonda

    I made kefir and learned to make creme fraiche from the GAPS book. i just found another thrift store yogurt maker and gave it to a friend so she would start making her own as well. Love those jars on the counter with fresh raw milk fermenting into even better stuff.

    December 14th, 2012 11:31 am Reply
  • Cristina W. @ An Organic Wife

    Making yogurt this morning from raw milk! Not only do I eat it but my dog loves it too. :)

    December 14th, 2012 11:30 am Reply
  • Jodie

    I love making villi yogurt, no fussy incubating, just on the counter for a day. I was making kefir until I read that if you have trouble with candida you shouldn’t use homemade kefir due to the proliferation of wild yeasts.

    December 14th, 2012 11:30 am Reply
  • Helen T

    I used to make runny yogurt: I would add a previously made yogurt to the milk ALL AT ONCE and whisked. Then I decided to do it differently: by adding the milk to the yogurt a little bit at a time and whisked it like that. Big change: after that I could turn the yogurt upside down and it wouldn’t drip out!

    December 14th, 2012 11:27 am Reply
  • Liz

    I’ve completed a batch.

    December 14th, 2012 11:23 am Reply
  • Ryan

    I regularly make kefir with raw goat and cow milk – cow turns out thicker – and absolutely love it! Last week I watched a video where a gentlemen made a typical batch of kefir, then after removing the grains let it sit out at room temp for an additional day, in which the separation into whey and kefir cheese occurred. He then mixed and blended into a smoothie. My question is, does this second fermentation increase the nutrition and potency?


    December 14th, 2012 11:22 am Reply
  • Jessica

    Got my milk kefir going again. I went off it for awhile, just got tired of making it and then had too much. Now I keep getting sick! Even hubby mentioned last week I should start it up again and kombucha… even though he won’t touch, wish he would!!

    December 14th, 2012 11:21 am Reply
  • Tori L.

    Have some kefir going right now! I just used up the last of what I had made in eggnog!

    December 14th, 2012 11:20 am Reply
  • Claudia

    I made some milk kefir.

    December 14th, 2012 11:19 am Reply
  • Holly

    PS – I made the one with coconut milk !!!

    December 14th, 2012 11:17 am Reply
  • Holly

    I’ve found that making homemade is ALWAYS the way to go! Not only do I save money, but it’s just about ALWAYS healthier! :)

    Thanks for this opportunity to win a BOSCH!!!

    (My mom had one when I was growing up…made the best homemade bread!)

    December 14th, 2012 11:15 am Reply
  • Tina

    Just put a batch of new raw milk into my kefir grains after using the current kefir (5 days old) into my smoothie! The best medicine is kefir!

    December 14th, 2012 11:13 am Reply
  • gala

    I make my own yogurt

    December 14th, 2012 11:12 am Reply
  • Amanda c

    Completed a batch! After making my own I can’t go back to store bought.

    December 14th, 2012 11:11 am Reply
  • Vivian

    I make the “microwave” yogurt and strain it to make the Greek style. Soooo delicious. I use up most of the whey to make lacto fermented stuff (like awesome Ginger Ale) but what’s excess I mix with water and fertilize the garden with or give it to my chickens.

    December 14th, 2012 11:11 am Reply
  • Irene

    I was raised on homemade yogurt all my life. However, we didn’t use fancy machines for it. The method we used was “put your finger in the milk and when you can count to 10 without burning your had, the milk is the right temperature”! LOL! I don’t have much success making yogurt so I can’t enter this contest… but I want to try. We love yogurt and kefir. Thanks for the tips and article!

    December 14th, 2012 11:09 am Reply
    • Melissa

      Ha! That’s how I make yogurt. I stick my finger in it. But I don’t bother counting to ten :) It works!

      December 15th, 2012 4:39 am Reply
  • Amanda B.

    I just made milk kefir this morning!

    December 14th, 2012 11:08 am Reply
  • Aimee

    I made 3 quarts of raw milk greek yogurt. I still need to strain it.

    December 14th, 2012 11:05 am Reply
  • Janice

    I think I did this wrong. I posted my comment in the box inside the widget. I’m not sure if that was the right thing or not, so I am commenting down here too.
    I had said that I just finished making some yogurt. I made it in a crock pot. I fermented it for 48 hours. I wanted to be sure that my husband could eat it because he has severe lactose issues. And he had no problems with it. He was scared trying it though. lol

    December 14th, 2012 11:03 am Reply
  • Dawn R. Connelly via Facebook

    I use raw milk and make Viili yogurt, not runny at all. I’ve also had good luck with Matsoni. Viili is my favorite, because it seems to make better sour cream and yogurt cheese.

    December 14th, 2012 10:48 am Reply
  • Stephanie

    Oh, I so want a good mixer! I’ve got dairy kefir culturing as I type!

    December 14th, 2012 10:42 am Reply
  • Emily Cudd via Facebook


    December 14th, 2012 10:39 am Reply
  • Rebecca

    I think I already posted a comment but I wanted to add one more for today (i know it doesn’t count toward more entries).

    I used to make homemade yogurt, all the time. It took a lot of effort! It wasn’t a simple process. Then, I found kefir, and it is SO easy to make. I got my kefir grains from Savvy Teas and Herbs, and started making it with raw milk. I also read that the probiotics in yogurt don’t go past your stomach, but the probiotics in kefir go throughout your whole digestive system, making it a better, healthier option for you.

    December 14th, 2012 10:38 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Yes, I agree. Kefir is much easier (it’s almost fail proof I think) and tends to yield more consistent results than yogurt (I do raw yogurt which is more temperamental than heated yogurt) although I prefer the taste of yogurt to kefir. It all tastes the same in a smoothie though :)

      December 14th, 2012 10:47 am Reply
  • ankle

    Although refrigerated store shelves certainly aren’t the best of incubators, and there are plenty of other reasons commercial dairy products pale compared to their raw, homemade cousins, provided the commercial kefir and yogurt have live cultures, they’ll continue to ferment in some amount from the time of inoculation until they’re eaten.

    December 14th, 2012 10:38 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      The refrigeration basically slows any fermentation down to nothing. The amount of time commercial dairy sits on the store shelf in the refrigeration section is not going to add much probiotic punch.

      December 14th, 2012 10:46 am Reply
      • Rachel Ramey

        I’m not sure this is true, though. If we have month-old (month-since-purchase, I mean) yogurt from the grocery store, it’s more tart than the day we bought it. So clearly it’s still noticeably fermenting.

        I still agree that the homemade stuff is BETTER, though!

        December 16th, 2012 12:39 am Reply
  • P R

    Made some kefir!

    December 14th, 2012 10:36 am Reply
  • Michele Hood

    Getting it started!

    December 14th, 2012 10:34 am Reply
  • Amanda McCandliss via Facebook

    @Cheryl do you use the strained liquid?

    December 14th, 2012 10:32 am Reply
    • Mikki

      Save that liquid!! It Liquid Gold….WHEY! If you don’t use it to lacto-ferment fruits and veggies, drink a couple of tablespoons with meals for a terrific probiotic digestive aid! Whatever you do…don’t chuck it! It will last for months in your fridge or give it away!

      December 14th, 2012 11:27 am Reply
  • Jessica

    Did the micro version last night. Still waiting to try it.

    December 14th, 2012 10:27 am Reply
  • Cheryl Chapman Rector via Facebook

    I strain mine and it makes it like Greek yogurt. Not thin at all.

    December 14th, 2012 10:26 am Reply
  • Anne

    I made it!

    December 14th, 2012 10:24 am Reply
  • angie h

    I made water kefir this a.m. :)

    December 14th, 2012 10:16 am Reply
  • Denver Tina via Facebook

    Yogurt made from raw milk makes a runny yogurt. I’m adding gelatin to make it thicker. I was straining my yogurt but I can’t use that much whey.

    December 14th, 2012 10:15 am Reply
  • Jackie

    I make my own yogurt every week. I’ve never tried to make kefir, but I should give it a shot!

    December 14th, 2012 10:12 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Make a bunch of extra batches over the next week … you get additional entries for each batch you make :)

      December 14th, 2012 10:16 am Reply

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