Uh-oh. Your kefir separated or got too strong?
Any ferment can get over-fermented if the temperature is warm or if the fermentation time is too long.
When this happens with dairy, you usually get a separation into curds and whey. Yes, just like Little Miss Muffet!
The flavor can be stronger and cheesier — perhaps too strong for some tastes. And of course, the texture is not what you were expecting either.
What to do with over-fermented kefir?
Does it need to go in the trash?
On today’s #AskWardee, I’m sharing 9 uses for over-fermented kefir (or yogurt or buttermilk or … ) … so it doesn’t go to waste! 🙂
Read, listen, or watch below!
Q: What To Do With Over-Fermented Kefir?
Maria G. asked:
I have enjoyed listening to your weekly program and had never thought of a question until now.
Do you have any ideas of wonderful food that can be made from overly fermented kefir (too much time) or buttermilk (too low temperature) that would taste great and save it from being thrown into the trash?
My kitchen temperature has not been stable over the last weeks (falling into the cool side) and I’ve been having less than satisfactory batches of both kefir and buttermilk. I tried cooking kefir with cinnamon and rapadura; the outcome was not bad but all the house was left smelling like soured cooked cheese (or something, really smelly). Do you have any thoughts on this?
Thank you!!! —Maria
9 Uses For Over-Fermented Kefir
With all these ideas, keep in mind to use less, rather than more, if the strong flavor is an issue.
#1 — Mild Kefir / Fruit Bowls
Whisk or blend your over-soured kefir with another batch of kefir that’s not so sour and you’ll get something in the middle. You can also whisk with milk or whey.
Then top with fruit and enjoy in kefir fruit bowls or as you would normally enjoy your kefir!
If the strong flavor is an issue, consider blending your sour kefir with less sour dairy before proceeding with any of the rest of these ideas…
#2 — Smoothies
Use your over-soured kefir in any smoothie recipes calling for yogurt, sour cream, or buttermilk. You don’t have to do the whole amount with your strong kefir; just replace some of the dairy with it to strike the right flavor balance.
#3 — Salad Dressings
Use your over-fermented kefir in any salad dressing recipes calling for yogurt, sour cream, or buttermilk.
#4 — Cheese
Strain over-soured kefir through cheesecloth to officially turn it into cheese. Yes, it’s got a stronger flavor — so use it in meals where a strong cheese works well. (Here’s a free video of my Middle Eastern Kefir Cheese Balls!)
#5 — Kefir Soured Bread
Kefir can help prepare grains for better digestion and nutrition, not to mention help with leavening. So, use your kefir as a souring agent for breads like this Sourdough Lavash.
#6 — Homemade Popsicles
Often homemade popsicles call for milk or yogurt. Use kefir for some or all of the dairy in the recipe. Yumm!
#7 — Homemade Ice Cream
Use some of your kefir in the ice cream base and you’ll get a probiotic ice cream! Citrus and chocolate taste great with a bit of a sour kick in my book!
#8 — Face Mask Or Face Cream
Kefir contains lactic acid, one of the alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). AHAs are found in real foods like milk (and expensive face creams!). They’re really good for sloughing off dead skin and encouraging collagen production. So why not use your kefir as a face mask or cream?
Simply spread on skin or rub into your skin. Leave on or rinse off after awhile.
#9 — Kefir Douche (Natural Yeast Remedy)
Did you know that you can douche with probiotic foods like kefir or yogurt to help combat yeast infections? Yes, you can! Combine 1/4 cup kefir with 1/4 cup water in a douche bag and use that solution as needed to fight vaginal infections. Here’s more information on fighting yeast infections naturally.
By The Way… What Is Kefir Anyway?
Kefir is a fermented dairy that’s similar to yogurt, except the mother culture is both beneficial bacteria and yeast. Yogurt is just beneficial bacteria.
The end result is thinner, more sour, and even a bit effervescent or bubbly, due to the organisms producing more gas as they culture the milk.
You can make kefir with raw or pasteurized milk. It’s easier than yogurt, really. Simply plop your culture (either grains or powder) into a bit of milk, cover your jar, and let it culture at room temperature for 24 to 48 hours (adjusting up or down depending on the season of the year, temperature of your house, etc.).
Then, if you’re using grains, you remove them and put ithem a new batch of milk, and cover and refrigerate the finished kefir. Or if you’re using powder, you cover and refrigerate your finished kefir, using more powder for the next batch.
FYI: Kefir made with the grains is far superior to kefir made with a powder because it has more strains of beneficial organisms. And in my opinion, it tastes better, too!
- FREE Thick Raw Milk Yogurt Recipe
- 9 Insanely Refreshing Popsicles That You & Your Kids Will Love
- Middle Eastern Kefir Cheese Balls
- Kefir-Soured Sourdough Lavash
- Off-Grid Lime Kefir Ice Cream With Fermented Blueberry Sauce
- 5 Steps To Fighting Yeast Infections Naturally
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I share tips and resources, plus answer your questions about Traditional Cooking!
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What do you do with over-soured kefir?
...without giving up the foods you love or spending all day in the kitchen!
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