Acknowleding the good that you already have
in your life is the foundation for all abundance.

Eckhart Tolle

When I saw my first milk kefir grain I was so underwhelmed by the tiny squishy thing in a bag that I had to add to a small jar of milk. It really was tiny… like ¼ of a teaspoon but whoa…… my thoughts have changed as these tiny grains have grown and grown and grown not only literally but in my opinion of them!

As it turns out the small milk kefir grain, that I started with was a great amount to start with as it fermented just enough milk for me to start to get used to the beneficial bugs it was delivering to my gut. It meant that by starting small I could get millions of beneficial microbes but not overwhelm my gut by consuming volumes without appreciating the power of milk kefir.

My little grain has grown so many times over that I have, at various times, had excess grains and excess milk kefir. Both help you to realise that when things work out in the natural order of life, it’s an issue of simple abundance not scarcity that we have to deal with. We need the skills to creatively process or share the abundance so that it doesn’t result in waste. My favourite way of using up the excess milk kefir is to convert it to a soft milk kefir cheese or labna which then becomes the base for further adaptation.

Labna can be made from milk kefir by straining the fermented milk using a cheese cloth or layers of muslin. I simply place the muslin inside my strainer which sits over a bowl to catch the whey that will drip from the mix. I leave it to strain for 24 to 36 hours in the fridge if it’s warm or on the bench during the cooler weather.

I strain it till it becomes the consistency of cottage cheese, at which time I remove it from the cloth and put it into a glass bowl. Now the fun begins…….sweet or savoury? Herby or spicy? Oniony or garlicky?  Berry or citrus? Chocolate mint or goji berry? The list is endless as to how you can flavour your labna but it really is good enough in itself that you could simply add a little Olsson’s salt, roll into a labna ball and drop it into a good quality organic oil or even whey. You can decorate and flavour your labna balls then with rosemary, garlic, chillies or whatever herbs are handy in the garden.

If you are more adventurous, then add a combination of herbs, spices and seasonings to tickle your taste buds and tantalise your friends. I’ve attached a couple of labna recipes s inspiration to get started but really it’s as simple as what you have access to, what you like and how you want it to look.

These suggestions for creating labna dips are great for our Australian BBQs and outdoor entertaining this season. They pair well with dehydrated vegetable biscuits and fresh or fermented vegetables like ginger carrots sticks!

The point to note though is that these are now a very concentrated pro-biotic so be aware that, although they taste great, only small servings are advised so as not to create flatulence or other side effects in those that consume them.

As well as using up the abundance these tasty treats are providing the gut with a plethora of diverse beneficial bacteria which, in time, will re-balance the mix of gut bugs. This will in turn improve the immune system, improve the gut function and reduce sugar cravings…..which is great going into the holiday season!

I’ve mentioned that by straining the milk kefir you can create a sweet or savoury labna type dip but if you add a biscuit base to it, sweeten it and top it with berries it makes a beautiful milk kefir ‘cheese cake’!

So, put your thinking caps on…….what else could you create from this powerhouse of probiotics?

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