Anusha - Beneficial Yogurt and Kefir

I could NOM this all day.

If you keep your mind supple, you’re always learning new, amazing things. I recommend it.

I acquired a new bit of knowledge recently. If you’re a yogurt head like me, you have placed a lot of confidence in the organic, plain, Greek-style, additive-free, protein-packed and loaded with beneficial bacteria yogurts out there, and you keep your fridge stocked.

Well, that was a mistake. Now let’s clarify something first: flavored, fruit-on-the-bottom, chocolate chip/apple crumb/crunchies added/granola-topped or any other kind of tricked out yogurt is NOT yogurt. It’s a sweet and yummy custard treat, filled with sugar, coloring, pesticides, and additives. It’s junk food. It’s McDonalds in a thin veneer of sheep’s clothing.

But even the organic, plain, Greek-style, additive free, protein-packed and loaded with beneficial bacteria yogurts that folks like me flock to are also masters of the bait and switch.

Do you know how the yogurt label reads something like, “Made with/contains" active probiotics, acidophilus and "live cultures" of all kinds? 

Well, loves, that true. When the yogurt was MANUFACTURED, it was chock full of these good, living things. But beneficial bacteria, like everything that lives, has a life span. And in the case of beneficial bacteria, it’s not long at all. In fact, 3 days - 3 DAYS – after it’s manufactured, the beneficial bacteria starts to quickly die.

And by the time your organic, plain, additive free, protein-packed and loaded with beneficial bacteria yogurt has been made, packaged, shipped, refrigerated/stocked, put on display, handled by shoppers, bought by you, and finally opened and eaten, it has lost most if not all of its beneficial elements. 

Solution – make your own yogurt. It’s insanely easy, and it tastes infinitely better and fresher than the best yogurt money can buy.

With this new knowledge, I brought out my old school yogurt maker (circa 2001) and yesterday, made a fresh batch of plain kefir.

Had some for breakfast this morning, drizzled with honey and sprinkled with raw, shelled hemp seeds.


The flavor was clear, fresh, cool, soft, and mild. I had completely forgotten – how did I do that? - how amazing fresh, homemade kefir tastes. Back when I bought the yogurt maker, when I was an exuberant graduate student at Wesleyan, I ate nothing but fresh, homemade yogurt and kefir.

My old yogurt maker still works, but one of the cups is missing, and it’s a labor intensive job. Today’s yogurt/kefir machines are marvels of innovation. Just mix your raw, organic milk with the starter of your choice, place it in your maker, press a button, and forget about it until the next day. Cuisinart makes a top notch one that ferments for 10-12 hours, then COOLS your yogurt indefinitely, so you don’t have to be home when the fermentation is done in order to quickly get your yogurt into refrigeration. They didn’t have this anusha (see your Hindu dictionary, you pretty thing) machine when I was in grad school.

Guess what I’m buying on my next payday! It’s a pricey investment – about $150 - but SO worth it. And a venerable old and working just fine yogurt maker is available and free to whomever wants it. Probably a good fit for a young, exuberant grad student.

So that’s today’s wisdom, beautiful people. If you’re a yogurt head like me, you should be eating vital, bacteria-packed, homemade yogurt and kefir. I top mine with honey, hemp, avocado, sunflower kernels, bananas, maple syrup, and more. Depends on the day.

One more thing – enjoy your homemade yogurt/kefir within 3 days of making it. That’s critical.

Namaste, divine beings!


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