Wanna know how EASY it is to make cultured buttermilk, kefir and sour cream? Yeah, it takes about 30 seconds of your time. (Don’t tell anyone that though…they think it’s impressive when you make your own.) :)
The beauty of making your own cultured dairy products is that once you make one batch, you can save the last cup or two to start a new batch. It saves a lot of money to do this, and it is so easy!
I buy my buttermilk, kefir, and sour cream (also known as kreme fresh) starter online. Here are some great starter packet options:
- Buttermilk and Sour Cream Starter Culture (yep, you can use the same one for both products)
- Kefir Starter Culture
To Make Kefir:
I begin with just under a half gallon of raw milk in a glass jar. (You can make this with pasturized milk too as far as I know.) I pour the packet of kefir starter into the milk, shake it up, and put a lid on it. Then, I set the jar in the cabinet above my refrigerator for about 24 hours (in the winter, it takes a little longer in my COLD kitchen!). You’ll know it is done “culturing” when it is thick and has some bubbly looking bubbles all through it. And when you tip your jar over, it kind of…glops. (see how helpful I am?)
To Make Buttermilk:
Follow the same instructions as for the Kefir, only use the Buttermilk Culture Starter.
To Make Sour Cream (aka kreme fresh):
Use the Buttermilk Culture Starter with one pint of cream. Follow the same directions as above.
Now, to make more batches of each of these…
Save about a cup each of kefir or buttermilk (or about a third cup of sour cream) from your initial batch.
Use this remaining kefir, buttermilk or sour cream to shake into more raw milk or cream (1/2 gallon of milk…or 1 pint of cream) to begin a fresh batch. Just put it in, shake it up, and let it sit out for 24 hours or so. (Until you’ve got the glop thing going on.) You can do this up to eight times before you need to begin with a new starter package. (I’ve continued it more than eight times when I’m feeling rebellious. It still works.)
Here’s the tail end of one jar of buttermilk,
ready to be poured into a fresh 1/2 gallon jar of milk.
Here’s a jar of milk with a cup of buttermilk shaken into it,
ready to begin the culturing process.
(Yes, I know it looks like a plain ol’ jar of milk.
You’ll have to humor me and act like you can tell .
Nod and say, oh…very nice.)
And here is my milk turning into buttermilk in the cabinet above my fridge. (With my Chrismas dishes.)
I’ve been advised that this spot is the best one in my kitchen to culture things because it has a fairly consistent temperature.
Oh, and when I do put my culturing dairy products in this cabinet, I LEAVE THE CABINET DOOR OPEN so that I can see it. It’s a bad idea to forget you have buttermilk or kefir or sour cream culturing in a cabinet. A bad, bad idea.
Now you have really, really healthy kefir for smoothies, and really, really healthy sour cream for your tacos, etc, and really, really healthy buttermilk for drinking or for making Creamy Orange Cooler.
See how easy it is?! :)