Ways of Enjoying Kefir

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles insideawareness.com


This spring Kefir was added to the exploration of living foods.  This has been a beneficial pursuit and an enjoyable one as we become more familiar with it and find ways to use it.  This pro-biotic is proving to be a staple in a sustainable healthy lifestyle.

Second Ferment with Fresh Fruits

One way this Author refines the flavour of Kefir and makes it easier to digest is through a fresh fruit 2nd ferment.

Milk Replacement in Recipes

Another way to enjoy the increased benefits of Kefir is by using it as a milk replacement  in recipes.  This Author has enjoyed biscuits, pancakes, cottage cheese and more.

Fruit Leather

Exploring ways to make healthier snacks this Author has been experimenting with drying it with fruit into fruit leather.

Hair Conditioner

Creating a home-style hair conditioner with Kefir has had tremendous results.  It has increased the health of the scalp and shine and softness of this Authors hair and reduced the grey by restoring the natural colour. Those with lighter colours of hair will appreciate reading that Kefir also stripes the hair of any absorbed material so those with dyed hair may want to be cautious.  As a person with lighter coloured hair one becomes familiar with the fact that this hair absorbs small particles that can turn hair a greenish colour or make the appearance of grey yellowish.

  • Softens hair 
  • Restores natural colour reducing grey
  • Cleans pollutants out of hair
  • Cleans scalp (natural dandruff conditioner), increases hair regrowth

Facial and Neck Mask

Adding Kefir to home-made facial masks has had a nice result.  There is a noticeable tightening of the pores and skin with increased softness in this experience.

  • tightens skin & pores
  • softens skin to baby soft!
Phote by Renee Lindstrom

Kefir Bathing Treatment

Bathing Experience

Those who culture Kefir will know that there will be an abundance of it once started.  Having read the Cleopatra actually used Kefir (not milk) in her baths this author decided to be adventuresome and try it together with an English Daisy infused honey.  There was a noticeable difference in how the skin was  tightened and softened that took years off.  Especially important in the process of loosing weight!

  • Skin softener – shockingly baby soft!

To read how easy it is to start your own Kefir Culture go to Fermenting Kefir Grains @ Home.

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Copyright 2014 – 2019  Living in Nature’s Love by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP,
Feldenkrais® Practitioner since 2007, Communication & Empathy Coach since 2004, Art of Placement  since 2000

Fermenting Kefir Grains @ Home

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles insideawareness.com

Another exciting opportunity for exploring fermenting foods came my way when a  neighbour accidentally ordered two Kefir starter kits and passed one on to me instead of returning it.  This was the start of a journey to get acquainted with Kefir.   The process of culturing Kefir grains is similar to the symbiotic fermentation process of Kombucha.  The Kefir grain has live yeast that eats the sugar during fermenting making it 99% lactose free.  This makes it an alternative source of calcium for lactose intolerant people.  It is nutrient-dense, with plenty of protein, B vitamins, potassium, and calcium.

The kit came with dried kefir grains that are activated with fresh milk.  Much like a scobie used to ferment tea into kombucha, the milk kefir grains culture the milk. When  ready the kefir grains are strained out of the kefir and put into fresh milk to start a new ferment.  The process is easy and it is cheaper than buying Kefir off the grocery shelf.

Save time & money by making yogurt, cream cheese, cottage cheese & kefir & whey on 1-4 litres of milk

The process to activate the Kefir grains was simple. as adding them to a cup of milk.  This cup of milk was checked regularly for any changed to the texture.  When it was noticeably thicker the grains were strained out and placed into fresh milk increasing the amount of milk by 1/2 a cup.  This process continued until the milk was increased to 4 cups of milk with activated grains. The cycle between transferring  Kefir grains into fresh milk can be 24 hours.    The grains can take up to 7 days to be fully activated.

Picture by Renee Lindstrom

Kefir Grains

When activated they are white and in florets similar to cottage cheese or cauliflower florets.  Once activated future fermentation periods is usually 24 hours in a temperature of 64 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit.  Summers heat can reduce  the time to 12 hours or in the cold of winter increase it to 36 hours.

Get traditional Kefir Grains to Culture


Kefir is a Yellow Food for balancing Solar Plexus Chakra

What I learned about the benefits of Kefir

I learned Kefir is a complex milk product that has high levels of vitamin B12, calcium, magnesium, vitamin K2, biotin, folate, enzymes and probiotics.  Research suggest It is a power house for probiotics and may be a better choice than yogurt.  Kefir contains a higher number of probiotic strains than yogurt and they clean and feed the beneficial bacteria in the gut like yogurt.  Unlike yogurt, Kefir probiotic strains stay and colonize in ones gut andcan go out to attack pathogens and bad bacteria in the gut.  Yogurt strains are transient and flush out.

  • Antibacterial & Anti fungal

When tested against a series of pathogens it was found to have similarities to several antibiotics in hindering microbial growth.

  • Reduce Cholesterol Levels

Kefir grains reduce cholesterol levels in milk 41 to 84% during fermentation. 

  • Healthy Gut 

Lactobacillus found in Kefir is used for its ability to regulate the body’s immune system and inhibit the growth of bacteria and parasites pathogenic in nature.

  • Balancing Blood Sugars

My neighbour began using Kefir on a Doctors recommendation to support a diagnosis of  Diabetes

  • Contains Calcium & Vitamin K  

Vitamin K activates proteins that play a role in blood clotting, calcium metabolism and heart health.  Calcium helps to build strong bones, protein builds strong muscles, and potassium is essential for heart health.

  • Allergies & Asthma

Shown to suppress inflammatory responses related to allergies and asthma.

  • Cancer & Tumors

Believed to reduce tumor growth by stimulating your immune system and has been studied for liver and breast cancer.  

  • Healthy Skin & Scalp

Applied topically anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial has calming effect on inflammations such as acne, rosacea.

  • Anti-Aging

Lactic acid reduces appearance of wrinkles, tightens pores and improves dry and dull skin.  Contain nourishing properties that soothe sun-damaged skin.

Try replacing in Yogurt with Kefir in Dandelion Facial Mask recipe 

Get traditional Kefir Grains to Culture

Ways of using Kefir

Kefir can be used in smoothies, recipes and cosmetically!  It can be flavoured with herbs and fruits and used replace milk in pancakes, baking recipes and other dishes such as home-made cottage cheese.  Rather than add cream to the curds, I have begun to use Kefir.

Read more ways to enjoy integrating a  Kefir lifestyle

There may be an adjustment period the first couple of days while your colon integrates the healthy bacteria of Kefir.  Stools may become looser and some gas may be experienced.

Get traditional Kefir Grains to Culture

For those with Auto immune disorders check with you Doctor before integrating Kefir into a regular diet staple.

Children under one should not have Kefir

Breastfed Babies receive pro-biotics through breast milk

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Copyright 2014 – 2019  Living in Nature’s Love by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP,
Feldenkrais® Practitioner since 2007, Communication & Empathy Coach since 2004, Art of Placement  since 2000

Pickled Eggs with Salt & Whey Brine

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP – Living in Natures Love Lifestyles @insideawareness.com                                                                                                                                 

Hard boiled eggs in salt and whey brine with beet juice for colour! Just in time for Christmas.

This egg was in fermenting jar for 4 – 1/2 days and has perfect flavour.  The next batch will be in Turmeric which has a different colour and taste.


  • Mason Jar
  • Fermenting Lid


  • Hard-boiled Eggs
  • 1 Cup of Water
  • 1 Tablespoon of Sea Salt
  • 1/4 Cup of Liquid Whey (from Cream cheese recipe)
  • 2 tablespoons of Beet Juice
  • Optional:  Garlic, peppercorns, jalapeno & favorite herbs


  • Place hard-boiled eggs into mason jar to fit number of eggs you are pickling.  I used a 750 ml jar and 5 eggs.  I could have added 4 more eggs to jar.
  • Mix ingredients and pour over eggs.
  • Cover with fermenting lid and store in darkened space for 4 or more days.

Once you open the jar, place in the fridge.  Eat within two weeks.

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Making Cream Cheese from Home-made Yogurt!

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP – Living in Natures Love Lifestyles @insideawareness.com

Cream Cheese, Salt & Whey

I am feeling inspired by making cream cheese from our home-made yogurt.  It is rewarding as over the years I have not been able to justify spending so much money at the grocery store for these food items.  The additional concerns are the additives that are in these products for preserving their shelf-life while they get to the store and then sit before being purchased and consumed.

The joy of beginning to make home-made cream cheese is the potential of pairing ad blending in edibles from the backyard for increased fresh goodness and taste.

Making cream cheese is simple.  My only regret is not investigating this recipe sooner.


  • Cheesecloth
  • Bowl
  • Funnel or strainer
  • Recycled Jar


  • Yogurt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • herbs & spices for pairing

3 Simple Steps to making Cream Cheese



  1. Place yogurt in cheesecloth inside strainer or large funnel that is set over bowl.  Let sit for 3 to 4 hours to strain *whey as it separates from the yogurt.  Let it drip into jar and save.
  2. When firmer tie up the ends of the cheese cloth and hang it so the weight of the yogurt  will filter and separate more liquid whey. Let sit for 3 to 4 hours or leave overnight.
  3. Remove remaining ball from the cheesecloth and put into bowl.  Mix with salt to taste and add any herbs, spices or edibles that you may enjoy flavouring your cream cheese.


  • Liquid Whey can be used in other recipes:
    • culture for home-made yogurt
    • fermentation of other foods
    • add to soups & stews

Whey is considered a complete protein as it has all 9 essential amino acids and it is low in lactose content.

Whey has also become popular as a supplement to improve muscle protein synthesis and promote the growth of lean muscle mass.

5 reasons to make your own cream cheese

  1. Inexpensive (Free Even)
    • If you buy milk and make your own yogurt the only cost is for cheesecloth!
  2. It’s Fresh & you control the ingredients 
    • I use home-made yogurt to create cream cheese so I choose the type of milk!
  3. It connects you to the food you are eating and its source
    • There is pleasure in eating food that you have created from scratch that is easy and beneficial to your health and the health of the planet.  Once you begin to develop an interest you may go to the dairy farmers direct to get the freshest milk ingredients!
  4. It’s delicious
  5. A second healthy whole protein is obtained in the process without any additional expenses:  Whey!

Cream Cheese – Yellow Food

Make your own Yogurt

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Copyright 2014 – 2019  Living in Nature’s Love by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP,
Feldenkrais® Practitioner since 2007, Communication & Empathy Coach since 2004, Art of Placement  since 2000

Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar

From scratch creating a mother scoby (just as in Kombucha)

The Supplies:

  • 1 gallon jar
  • Cheesecloth (Coffee filter)
  • Elastic band

Ingredients from cupboard,

garden or market:

  • 5 organic apples, unwaxed peels & cores
  • 1 cup sugar (fermented out)
  • Water to cover
  • Weight


  1. Cut apple, peels and cores into small cubes and add to jar, filling it ¾’s full
  2. Heat water to slow boil and dissolve sugar and letting it cool to room temperature
  3. Pour cooled sugar-water over apple in jar to cover and leave ¼ inch space at top.
  4. Add weight so liquid covers apples.
  5. Cover with cheesecloth and hold with elastic.
  6. Put in warm place in your kitchen for 3 weeks.
  7. The apples will ferment into a cider first and a brown fibrous material or a translucent film may form on top of ferment.  Keep this to speed up the fermentation process of future batches.
  8. If mold forms the apples are not submerged properly under the liquid.
  9. After 3 weeks strain apples, peels and cores and compost.
  10. Replace liquid into warm space for another 3 weeks, stirring every 2 to 3 days.
  11. After 3 weeks it is ready to use!
  12. Save a small batch of this liquid with the brown fiber can be used to speed up the process of the next batch.

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More on Fermented Living Foods:

Fermented SalsaFermented Kimchi,Fermented Sauerkraut

Recommended equipment to make fermenting fun and easy:



Making the Best Apple Cider: Storey Country Wisdom Bulletin A-47 by Author, by Annie Proulx

Apple Cider Vinegar Miracle Health System by Authors Paul & Patricia Bragg

Fire Cider Immune Booster Recipe

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP – Living in Natures Love Lifestyles @insideawareness.com

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Hippocrates

Fire Cider is part food and part medicine used to boost one’s immune system during cold and flu season, and improves gut digestion and circulation.  It can be taken daily in small doses as a preemptive or as a first aid with oncoming symptoms.

The fiery ingredients of fire cider are nutritious, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, congestion clearing and it adds heat!  It’s main ingredients are apple cider vinegar, horseradish, ginger, garlic, lemon and oranges.  Honey can be added before taking brew orally.  This recipe was named Fire Cider and made popular by Author Rosemary Gladstar of the California School of Herbal Studies in the 1980’s, however,  early oxymel herbal remedies date back century’s.  Oxymel translates to acid (vinegar) and honey and was formulated to make unpleasant herbal  remedies more palatable.

Ingredients:  (1 gallon jar)

  • 1 cup fresh chopped horseradish
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped ginger
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped turmeric
  • 1/4 cup fresh minced garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup fresh minced white onion
  • 1 fresh jalapeño pepper
  • 2 whole oranges sliced thin (wash well before using)
  • 1 whole lemon sliced thin (wash well before using)
  • 1 large sprig fresh rosemary chopped
  • 1 large sprig fresh thyme chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorn
  • Raw apple cider vinegar to cover ingredients in a 1 gallon jar


  1.  Layer raw ingredients in jar until 3/4’s full.  If using smaller jar cut ingredients down to size dividing difference in jars.
  2.  Add a glass weight to hold ingredients under the liquid level.
  3.  Pour raw apple cider vinegar over to fill jar leaving 1/4 inch at top. (Raw apple cider vinegar may have strands of fine fibrous material.  This is healthy and not unsafe to consume.)
  4.  Cover with lid and set jar aside for 30 days. If using metal lid cover it with parchment paper before covering jar to stop it from rusting.  I use inexpensive lids designed for easy fermenting that has made fermenting fun and simple.
  5. Jostle jar of raw ingredients each day.
  6. After 30 days filter raw ingredients out of liquid and pour liquid into easy bottle for pouring  daily doses or taking by tablespoon.

Shelf Life of Fire Cider

This brew is a fermented pro-biotic that can last 18 months.  Keep refrigerated once opened.

Recommended ways of taking Fire Cider:

Fire Cider brew can be taken in 1 oz. shots usually first thing in the morning or added to hot water and honey for a tea.  It can also be taken by spoon, teaspoon or tablespoon each day.  If run down or feeling cold or flu-like take a couple of tablespoons (1 oz.) 3 to 4 times a day spread out.

More on Fermented Living Foods:  Fermented SalsaFermented Kimchi, Fermented Sauerkraut

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Recommended equipment to make fermenting fun and easy:

or recipes:

Please note that integrative treatments are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease and is not a substitute for medical care. Please consult an appropriate health care practitioner about any medical concerns that you have

Creating Yogurt at Home is amazingly easy and inexpensive!

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP–Living in Natures Love Lifestyles insideawareness.com

I was reminded of home-made yogurt when my neighbour served me with some of his this week.  He has made yogurt for years and he mentioned he adds dry milk  to thicken it into a Greek style.  It had a nicer taste than any commercially sold yogurt and I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

It was the inspiration to dust off the thermometer and gather up the milk and yogurt.  Two ingredients!  That all it takes to make yogurt.  Milk and a few tablespoons of yogurt to use as a culture.






  • 4 cups of milk
  • 4 tablespoons of yogurt

Heat four cups of milk slowly to 185 degrees and then cool to 115 degrees.  Once cool whisk in four tablespoons of yogurt evenly into the warm milk.  The yogurt acts as a culture to create a custard like solid.

Once mixed together place somewhere warm to sit for 6 to 8 hours.  This could be in a warm oven that has been turned off and oven light left on.  If left in cooler space it will take longer for the liquid to become custard like.  I have read up to 24 hours.

Kefir is the stage that is pre-custard like when the yogurt culture is active however before  it has begun to  solidify.  This means you can’t spoil a batch.  It simply means you have kefir!

Make Cream Cheese from Home-made Yogurt & end up with whey (a whole protein!)

Yogurt – Yellow Food

Yogurt is one of the milk products I enjoy and have continued with in my diet.  It is a fermented food which means it is a natural probiotic.  A good quality of yogurt can be beneficial for optimal gut health however many commercial yogurts contain sweeteners, artificial flavours and thickeners or pectin.  The ingredients that do not lead to good gut health!

Another consideration is what are the cows are being fed that produce the milk the commercial yogurt is made with?

Curious baby cows check out grass labyrinth

Are they free range cows eating grass in the meadows over the summer and home-grown hay  like the ones grazing at the Farm of our recent August retreat or are they eating a GMO diet (Genetically Modified)?  This a huge consideration in my mind and one I seriously considered when I had my own babies.



A good quality yogurt is high in protein and has the same nutrients as milk; calcium, phosphorus, potassium, riboflavin and vitamin A.  Yogurt also has a cancer-fighting conjugated linoleic acid.

When making your own yogurt you can choose a variety of milks or mild substitutes to experiment with such as *nut and rice milks.  Being curious about creating your own can be an adventure and bring some fun back into the kitchen.  Seasonal whole foods and  sweeteners can be added to your yogurt like fresh or frozen berries, fruits, nuts, honey or molasses and yes even grains!  I drizzle plant and flower infused honey I have created through Spring and Summer.  Fall into a  loving relationship with your food again or find out where to buy food that has been lovingly made!

In my opinion gut health is the building block to good health and could be one of the first considerations during any illness from colds and flues to more serious diagnosis.

*Nut milks require so many ingredients that I have chosen not to pursue this myself. I like the ease of two ingredients and eating simpler foods.

Create your own Yogurt Face Made with Dandelions Flowers 

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Copyright 2014 – 2019  Living in Nature’s Love by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP,
Feldenkrais® Practitioner since 2007, Communication & Empathy Coach since 2004, Art of Placement  since 2000