Happy Friday, everyone!!!

Today’s “Friday Favorite” may interest some of you. For others, you’ll think I’m a weirdo. Either way, here we go!

I love making cultured dairy. I can hear you now…”what in the world?” 🙂

Cultured dairy (sometimes called “countertop yogurt”) is simply milk that has been mixed with an active culture, allowed to sit at room temperature for a while, and used in anything from smoothies to baked goods.

Don’t get too weirded out on me..cultured dairy is in all our diets (think cream cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, cheese, ect.). It’s not everyday you hear about people making their own, but it’s SO EASY, and very inexpensive.

Why mess with culturing dairy, you ask? Cultured dairy is CHOCKED FULL of natural probiotics and digestive enzymes. That’s why brand-name yogurts like Activia are so popular. The good bacteria in yogurt is fantastic for overall digestive health. The problem with store-bought yogurts like Activia is the massive amounts of added sugars or artificial sweeteners. Making your own at home allows you to be in control of what ingredients are added, making it much more healthy (not to mention, cost efficient).

There are many types of cultured dairy. I make two types: Piima and Kefir. By themselves, cultured dairy is not tasty at all. In fact, it’s quite tart, and I never drink it by itself. Piima and/or Kefir are the base of our smoothies, which we tend to drink a lot of. Once some frozen fruit, fresh banana, and some liquid Stevia are added, it’s so yummy and healthy!!

The process of making these cultures couldn’t be easier. Simply mix a quart of milk with the culture (which you can purchase online, or get from someone who is already making cultures), cover with either a coffee filter, tea towel, or the lid of the jar (different cultures require different methods), and allow it to sit on your counter until cultured (the time depends greatly on the temperature of your kitchen). 

The resulting yogurt-type milk is great in smoothies, and also in baked goods in place of milk or yogurt. I make a whole-wheat chocolate coffee cake with piima, and it’s amazing! What a yummy way to get some probiotics into our systems!

So, there you go…you might think I’m strange, or you might be intrigued. Either way, I thought it was worth sharing one of our favorite kitchen staples around here. 🙂

Enjoy your weekend!