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Yogourmet Freeze Dried Kefir Starter, 1 oz. box (Pack of 2)
Kefir is one of the oldest cultures milks, having its origin in the Caucasian Mountains. With a bubbly effervescence and no bitter aftertaste, Kefir has been called the "champagne of milk". It is a refreshing, nutritious and therapeutic dairy treat.
Total of 12 starter packets
Can be used with cow, soy or goat's milk
No appliance needed
Each box makes 6 quarts of kefir
|Average Customer Rating:
|| based on 58 reviews|
Average Customer Review:
( 58 customer reviews )
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
83 of 91 found the following review helpful:
The easiest and best way to make healthful and tasty kefirJul 20, 2008
By citizen fact checker
Even if you happen to be a person who is lactose intolerant, as I am, you can use ordinary milk for kefir, and it is unlikely that you will experience bloating and other symptoms that you would usually get after drinking a glass of ordinary milk.
The kefir starter makes it a cinch to prepare a batch of kefir if you simply follow the directions that are on the box. They recommend that you use reduced-fat (two percent) milk for the best tasting kefir. All you have to do is heat a quart of milk to 180 degrees F, then remove the pan from the burner and let the milk cool to 73-77 degrees F before dissolving the kefir starter in the cooled milk.
The "secret" to producing a batch of excellent kefir is in following the exact instructions for heating to the proper degree and cooling to the proper degree. Deviations will ruin a batch and make it runny rather than "custardy." Try to purchase a thermometer that is accurate and easy to read.
I use quart-size canning jars for kefir, and when the milk and starter have been mixed together thoroughly, I pour the mixture into the jar which I then cover with its own lid and place on an upper shelf in a cupboard for 24 hours. No special heating equipment is required. Do not shake the jar or disturb it during those 24 hours. That's why I place mine on an upper shelf. After 24 hours the jar is placed in the refrigerator for about eight hours to stop the process.
I have learned another trick for preparing kefir easily to avoid scorching the milk while it's heating: I pour the quart of milk into my largest Vision Ware sauce pan and heat it in the microwave oven on high for three minutes. Then I stir it thoroughly with a small wooden spoon and heat it for an additional three minutes. Only then do I place the sauce pan on the burner of my electric stove which is already being pre-heated to a little below medium heat. You now have to really keep your eye on the thermometer because the pre-heating means that you are already nearly at the prescribed temp of 180 degrees F.
The instructions for preparing the kefir are on the back of the box, but the tricks and secrets I've listed here are based on my experience.
To serve the kefir I like mine mixed in the blender with fruit--usually a couple of organic bananas--and I also add a little pure vanilla extract and honey to taste. A quart of kefir usually lasts me three or four days.
A single box of ¥ogourmet freeze-dried kefir starter has six packets of starter--enough to make six quarts. As you probably know, kefir is an excellent source of friendly bacteria. Enjoy and stay healthy.
49 of 52 found the following review helpful:
It works, but not the same as real Kefir.Jan 24, 2010
This stuff works, but the resulting Kefir just does not taste the same as real Kefir that is made from grains. When you make a jar of Kefir with this stuff, you can set aside a little (I would say about 1oz for every 10oz you make) to make a new batch without having to use another starter packet. But if you ever try real Kefir, this stuff from Yogourmet tastes inferior to it. Real Kefir is made from a grain that looks like a tiny cauliflower (which grows in size as you keep making new batches). Luckily I was able to obtain a real grain from my co-worker and the Kefir that results from it tastes way superior (see the picture I uploaded to the listing).
24 of 27 found the following review helpful:
very good flavor and consistencyMay 27, 2009
By MaryBeth Dawson
I have been buying Lifeway kefir in the grocery store, and that is just fine, but I just tried making my own yogurt, so I wondered if you could do that with kefir, and I found this starter. It had very good reviews, so I decided to try it, and it was very easy to make, and is very, very good - nice and creamy. I was trying to decide how I wanted to flavor it, but the taste of it kind of grew on me, so I will probably mostly drink it plain! I have done a little more research on kefir, and it seems to offer a lot of health benefits, so I plan to make it a habit.
7/8/12 update - I am coming back to add a comment, because since my initial review, I learned about the traditional way of making kefir, which involves using a living matrix, referred to as 'grains'. These look like gelatinous cauliflower, and you just keep reusing them, and they will multiply, so you can share them. The finished product has a different taste and consistency from what you will get from the powder, many more probiotic strains. These packets would be a second choice to getting your own grains, but they are fine for occasional use, and a step up from buying the stuff in the store. In theory, you could use your finished kefir from these packets to 'start' another batch, but it would only take a batch or two for the bad bacteria to overcome the good stuff, so I would not recommend doing that.
20 of 22 found the following review helpful:
Not true kefir!May 18, 2011
True kefir grains are used again and again....these lack some key ingredients that
prevent a substrait forming, so what you are getting is a expensive one time use
product. Really no point in buying a single use product if you want to culture kefir
and the missing bacteria/yeasts are what makes kefir kefir. Not a fan of their yogurt starter either,
sorta a general bummer all around.
18 of 20 found the following review helpful:
Simple, consistent kefirJan 16, 2013
By N. Williams
I make kefir both the "old-fashioned" way, i.e., using kefir grains, as well as with the Yogourmet (YG) starter culture. Using the YG product delivers more reliable results in terms of the resulting product's consistency and flavor. Because the microorganisms are blended evenly throughout the milk, the process of fermentation is more uniform than it is with kefir grains (assuming one doesn't mix or agitate the kefir regularly when using grains). I also find that the sterilization process--heating the milk to 170 or so degrees--is also unnecessary when starting with milk that is already pasteurized. I've never had any problems with this method. And to those who say the YG product doesn't produce "real" kefir, that just isn't so. Although, it is true that kefir from kefir grains may (depending on what's actually in a given set of grains, which is always a mystery) provide a broader range of probiotic microorganisms. The real issue here is cost. With kefir grains, one can produce an endless stream of kefir. With YG, one cannot, although one can use culture from a previous batch to produce a new batch at least three times in my experience. (I use a 1:10 ratio of previous batch to fresh milk, and that works well.) In short, YG is a great, foolproof product for the occasional kefir consumer.
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