Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Oatmeal Alternative

I admit it. I've tried to love oatmeal, but it's no use. I can't do it. I've tried with brown sugar. I've tried with maple syrup (but the idea here is to have a HEALTHY breakfast!) I've tried with blueberries. It's no use.

Weeeelll....I take
that back. I did try it with canned pumpkin, butterscotch chips, toffee chips and dark chocolate chips.....and it was ok. I even had it twice that way. I found that delish recipe here. But then again, who wouldn't eat something that tastes like a pumpkin, butterscotch, toffee and chocolate pie. For breakfast!!!

So, I decided to share what I love to eat for breakfast. It's healthy, but in a different way from oatmeal. Plus I make
it myself. Sort of.

Here's how I make Kefir from milk and a box of culture that I picked up at the local Earth Fare store. Once you have a batch of Kefir, you don't really need the culture again. You can just keep a little of your old Kefir and use it to make the new batch.

Water boils at 100 C. Milk boils when you turn your back.

1. Pour a gallon of milk into a pot and slowly bring to a boil. It helps to have a thermometer here...(which I do not because I bought a cheapo one at that W place, and it broke....) If you do not have a thermometer, please watch the pot closely. Burned Kefir is not nearly as good as the non-burnt version.

2. Once your milk has been brought to a boil, take it off the burner ( don't let the milk boil for more than a few WILL burn!).

My kefir taking a cold bath

3. Prepare a bowl in an icewater bath. This usually involves placing a bowl in the kitchen sink and filling the sink with ice and water. Pour the milk into the bowl and let it cool to room temperature. The little bacteria guys (and gals!) in the Kefir do not like it hot - they like warm room temperatures.

4. Once the milk has cooled, it's time to add the Kefir grains. Take out about a cup of the milk and add the grains to it. I like using a small whisk to make sure it all dissolves well. Then add the cup of milk + grains back into the big pot of milk and stir.
5. Add plastic wrap to your bowl and let stand at room temp for 24 hours.

6. At the end of 24 hours, you should have a nice jello-like Kefir in your bowl.
7. I pour mine back into the (now cleaned) milk jug and label the cap with a big "K" (because, let me tell you, some people are not happy about pouring Kefir into their coffee or tea when they were expecting milk!)
This is how I enjoy my Kefir breakfast. With freshly ground flaxseed, 1/4 cup Kashi 7 whole grain cereal and a heaping spoonful of whatever jam I have on hand - in this case, strawberry. Kefir does have a bit of a sour taste to it, which is why I prefer to add some sweet jam or fruit to mine.

Kefir is a probiotic and contains many of the good bacteria such as lactobacillus. You can read more about the health benefits of Kefir here:

Wikipedia: Kefir
Lifeway Kefir (a brand of Kefir - you can find this in some grocery stores)

So - what's for breakfast at your place?


YD said...

Hmmm...I don't know about this one. I don't normally like soury stuff but it does sound very nutritious. My co-worker who is from Poland said she loves it.

inadvertent farmer said...

Oh that sounds nutritious, but I'm an oatmeal lover so probably won't be switching anytime soon. My favorite breakfast is pumpkin pudding. It is the inside of a pumpkin pie, no crust, with less sugar and more spices topped with vanilla yogurt...oh yeah! Kim

Healthnut said...

Love this recipe and am very motivated to try it out!! Thanks for giving me all of the steps - my only question is do I use whole milk or skim milk for this recipe?
Just curious - I will be making a visit to Earth Fare soon! :-)

Great blog....

Lena said...

Hi Healthnut,

Thanks for stopping by.

I usually use 1% milk for my Kefir. I think it needs some amount of milkfat in order for the bacteria to work. I drink fat-free milk normally, so it's not that I don't like it.
Good Luck! Come back and let me know how it went! :-)