Wednesday, June 29, 2011

So You Have a Couple Gallons of Kefir...?

Kefir – A beverage of fermented cow’s milk: Merriam Webster…in an effort to improve my family’s digestive health – to put it delicately – I decided that a bit of kefir every day would be a good thing. Also, in my effort to keep our food simple, no added ingredients that often come in the store bought versions whether you want them or not, I purchased some kefir grains, the bacteria that turns fresh milk to kefir, so that I could make kefir at home. Well, it’s sort of like starting sourdough starter…they come in a dehydrated form, that has to be rehydrated before they will be useful. This requires adding milk, letting it sit for 24 hours, draining it off, adding milk, draining, milk, draining, doing this for several days and then making kefir continuously for several more days…okay, so I like kefir as much as the next guy, but making a quart per day I started to feel a bit like Lucy and Ethel in the candy factory. And our refrigerator was fast filling up! Thus began the search of what to do with it all so as not to waste all that milk. Kefir cheese was good option, easy to make and resembled simple cream cheese, that worked. But the suggestion for kefir radish soup? I wasn’t even going there. Then I found a recipe for kefir banana bread, a straight forward recipe that sounded pretty tasty and as you all know I am quite a banana bread fan... I decided to give it a whirl…

Kefir Banana Bread

From Cultures for Health

1 1/3 C Raw Sugar

½ C Butter (the recipe calls for softened, but I melted it for easier mixing)

2 Eggs

½ C Kefir

1 ¼ C Bananas, mashed

1 tsp Vanilla

1 tsp Baking Soda

1 tsp Baking Powder

1 C Flour

¾ C Nuts, optional (I used walnuts) chopped

12-24 hours prior to making the bread, mix the flour and kefir together. Cover and allow the flour to soak.

Heat oven to 300D.
In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, butter, vanilla, eggs, bananas and nuts

Add the kefir and flour mixture and mix just until blended

Add the baking soda and baking powder and mix just until blended

Pour into a greased bread pan (9”x5”)

Bake for approximately 1 ½ hours until an inserted toothpick comes out clean (exact time will vary depending on size of pan)

I followed the directions and cooked until my tooth pick came out clean. The crust on the loaf looked a bit like molten lava that had recently cooled, and then the center sort of sunk, okay so we are not going to have the most lovely loaf I’ve ever baked, but I can live with that…but then after it cooled I cut into the loaf and discovered something that resembled bread pudding more than a loaf of bread! But I had to taste it…WELL, this is some of the most amazing banana bread I have ever tasted! It was clearly cooked all the way through and with the sticky, crispy crust it was over the top. My husband and I did that – every time you pass through the kitchen you cut off a little piece – thing, until we had eaten about half the loaf – we skipped dinner that evening – but the next night I served the bread with a little whipped cream for desert…heaven…

I have made the recipe twice since then and it has come out the same each time…too yummy!