May-day Grocery Emergency Challenge: The End

I finished! I had to buy a loaf of bread mid-week but that was it so I finished the month at $77.99. That is $122.01 under my normal budget. I did so much better than I was expecting and I think we ate well. I also tried a number of new recipes that we ended up really liking so all in all I would say it was a smashing success! My biggest concern is that I would have to overspend the next month to make up for it but we went shopping today for the next week and I was right about where I normally am so I don't think that will be a problem. I'll definitely be trying to repeat this challenge once or twice a year.

So do you want to know what my plans for the extra money are? Well, do you remember my fermentation failure? I'm ready to try it again but this time I am going to get a little help. I put in an order for some cultures I've been coveting from Cultures for Health. I was planning on just getting the water kefir kit but since I did so well with the challenge that I splurged and bought the vili yogurt starter too. They arrived on Saturday and I started them up.

The yogurt seems super easy and I am really excited about being able to make my own, without even having to use a yogurt maker or crockpot.

The kefir is something I've been wanting for a while. Kefir is a beverage made by fermenting milk with Kefir grains. Kefir grains aren't really a grain but a mother structure of a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. Like I said, Kefir is a traditionally fermented milk product that is thicker than milk, thinner than yogurt. You can buy it at the grocery store but just like most commercial yogurts, it is choke-full of thickeners, flavor additives and sugar. Make it yourself and you can avoid that.

Hopefully I will like it as I think it will be a easy source of good probiotics.I've heard it can help with eczema which would be great and mine is difficult to deal with.*

I didn't actually get the normal milk kefir grains but instead went the water kefir route. The grains are a little different and allow you to ferment water turning it into kefir lemonade, homemade ginger beer or fruity kefir juice, depending on what you add to it. The fermentation naturally adds carbonation in addition to probiotic benefits so the end result is supposed to be tasty and nutritious. (My grains came dried and take a few days to rejuvenate so you'll have to wait a few days to know what I think they taste like.)

I choose water kefir instead of milk because I already eat my fill of dairy products with yogurt and milk and I need another way to stay hydrated. With my heart condition, it is important that I don't get dehydrated but it is really hard to do that in Texas. Ten minutes outside and I am feeling woozy. But water is boring, juice is sugary and hot tea is not appealing when it is in the 90s. (Yah, I made it to June without complaining about the weather, I am very proud of myself). There are so many fun options to try with water kefir that I hope I can keep my palate entertained. I'll start with the easier things, like lemonade, but I really want to try ginger beer.

*On a eczema side note, mine has gotten better as my diet has improved and it actually completely disappeared a few months back when I was off sugar for Lent and drinking raw milk, but right after that we took a trip and I started being lax about sugar and milk and it came back. So I don't know exactly why but at least it gives me hope. I'll be working on narrowing down the reason this summer, but if it was the milk, the kefir might help.

1 comment :

  1. I can't wait to hear how the water kefir turns out; it sounds like it would be something good for Ben.