Cover Image: Homemade Yogurt & Kefir

Homemade Yogurt & Kefir

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Member Reviews

Lovely book! I loved reading about the history of milk and dairy ferments, the company spotlights, and the amazing variety of recipes. I also like the way that the categories are seperated. Will be purchasing!
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This beautifully designed guide guides readers through the process of making yogurt, kefir, and other dairy-based foods. While the history and overview of global yogurt cultures is not lengthy, the author's engaging style will spark reader curiosity, encouraging further research. Photographs, which are gorgeous,  show equipment, preparation methods, and serving suggestions. The discussion of milks from animals other than cows is useful. As a librarian I'd recommend this book to home cooks who are interested in trying this, but have felt intimidated by the science involved in making one's own yogurt products. Happily, this book flows like good science writing does, presenting the why and how in a user-friendly fashion. 
Caveat: some reviewers have pointed out the potential danger/misinformation in the book's discussion of soybean processing, which apparently omits warnings about toxicity in soybeans. If done incorrectly, one risks producing poisonous soy yogurt. I obtained an advanced review copy of this book earlier in 2020, so I do not know if this part of the text has been revised. Please research this subject for the sake of your own safety.
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Homemade Yogurt & Kefir is an information dense and well presented tutorial/cookbook by Gianaclis Caldwell. Due out 12th May from Storey Publishing, it's 224 pages and will be available in paperback and ebook formats.

Storey is well known for producing practical, sensible, well illustrated books aimed at helping smallholders and gardeners get the best out of their lives. Many of their books and leaflets have found a permanent place in my library and I turn to them often for inspiration and advice. This is a really well written collection of precise and accessible tutorials with lots (LOTS) of recipes for turning milk (including plant milks) into fermented probiotic rich foods.

This is a beautifully presented book, well written and photographed. The recipes are appetizing and (mostly) made with easily sourced ingredients. The introduction covers the history and a little scientifically accurate and layman accessible explanation of the fermentation process and probiotics. The equipment chapter also gives a good overview on equipment and supplies which will make life a lot easier.


The second part contains the core recipes for basic yogurt and kefir, along with variations. There are both warm and room temperature ferments as well as some recipes for butters and yogurt/kefir cheeses.
The rest of the book is given over to recipes for using and expanding the basic fermented products into drinks, sauces, soups, and treats. The recipes are drawn from world and fusion cuisine and there's a huge array of possibilities. We're still working our way through the recipes, picking and choosing, and have enjoyed every one we've tried.

The recipes have their ingredients listed bullet style in a sidebar. The headers include a description and introduction. Special notes such as vegan friendly are listed in the introduction. Measurements are given in US standard only (there is a metric conversion chart at the end of the book). Special tools and ingredients are also listed, along with yields and cooking directions. Most of the ingredients are easily sourced at any moderately well stocked grocery store (some items will need a specialist co-op or world-food/specialist grocery). Nutritional information is not included. Cook's notes and variations for each recipe are also included in a footer at the end.The recipes all fit on a single page (which is super convenient for reading from a tablet when your hands are full). The book also includes a recipe list and index as well as references and a suppliers list (slanted toward North American readers, but readers located elsewhere will have no trouble locating supplies online). The list of websites for further reading provides some really good links to valuable information.

Well written, very well presented, full of tasty beautifully presented and healthy yogurt (and kefir).

Five stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
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I love cooking and creating new recipes. One area I ave resisted in making yogurt and kefir. I percieved it to be time consuming and fidley. I couldn't have been more wrong! With a simple tool list of a pot a thermometer, fridge and culture (which can be taken from a pot of natural bio yogurt or bought freeze dried) there is no huge cost outlay.

I loved the fact that the book took the reader through the history of yogurt and kefir use through the centuries and I learned that kefir was successfully used in the treatemnet of tuberculousis and stomach complaints, The recipe section was immense with recipes from simple yogurts and kefirs to yogurt creme brulees and icecreams. 

This book is both informative and instructional and well worth the investment.

Thank you NetGalley for my free review copy.
#HomemadeYogurtKefir #NetGalley
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Lovely and easy to follow recipes with clear information. It includesplant based recipes which I particularly liked and want to try. 
The chapter on fermented milk and why it’s so good for us is very informative as was finding out about the history.
I have learnt so much from reading this book and can not wait to get started making my own healthy yogurt.
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Well this is a book I will keep at the forefront for a long time. First of all, I do not like kefir at all, not at all, so I will not comment on the kefir part of this book but the author does write extensively about kefir and has MANY recipes to try. Now that that's out of the way let's talk about my favorite, yoghurt. I do love yoghurt. The author writes all about how to make yoghurt. First clean your equipment. I like that. I will drag out my yoghurt maker and clean it! Then she talks about the different temperatures of the milk and spores. Maybe I didn't pay good attention to that which is why I will keep the book close. Then the good stuff. How to make stuff and what to put in it like fruit, honey, citrus peel and curry. Curry? This author had many, many different things to add to yoghurt to wake it up and me too to make my breakfast and lunch more interesting. The author also had recipes for different countries yoghurt like Scandinavian, Russian, Vietnamese, Bulgarian, etc. There were also recipes for yoghurt butter and cheeses. Also, almond and coconut milks. Interesting. So I guess this weekend while I whip up some WWII  Soda bread from another book I read I will be trying to make some yoghurt and maybe some yoghurt butter to go on my bread. I would like to thank Netgalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this book and partake in this cooking adventure in exchange for a mere review.
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One dangerous mistake

The ARC has two serious mistakes, one dangerous, one simply wrong. The simple mistake is that "sous vide" is translated as "under pressure" when in fact it means "under vacuum". I can't imagine how this mistake happened because the French word for "pressure" is "pression" which is close to English. 

The dangerous mistake is in the recipe for soy milk. I wrote to Storey informing them of this mistake and they did not answer that they had corrected it in the final version, so I must include the information in the review and drop the rating of the book from 5 to 1 because it presents incorrect information that could be harmful.

Raw soybeans contain several chemicals that are classed as "anti nutrients" or harmful chemicals. Soy must be processed, usually by heat, to deactivate the anti nutrients before feeding to animals or people. You can search for scientific articles that substantiate this danger. I was taught to toast the raw beans in a dry skillet till they were very hot (not burned) before processing them. Another way to do it is to make the milk and then boil it for a while. Either heat treatment will work but it MUST be done. Ms Caldwell's recipe does neither.

Without these mistakes, the book would have ranked very high. I have quite a few dairy books including some from university dairy programs and this book compares well due to the thoroughness of the presentation. Sweeteners, textures, various thickening agents, lot of other good information. Well designed data tables and clear photos get the lessons across without fuss. Sources for cultures are listed in several places.

Very detailed. Very scientific. Very clear reading. I learned a lot of useful new information about dairy ferments that I like to eat but don't usually make – like kefir. I am also reminded of products I have not seen for a while like the Russian baked milk yogurt called Ryazhenka.

There are bits of trivia I could add to the book like being aware that some powdered milk is made to mix with cold water and some with warm, and that Afghan dried yogurt is hard, stinky balls that are very strong tasting (too strong for me) last all through the winter months. But still the book is mostly strong.

But we can't go around poisoning our readers can we?
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Wow! What a great resource.  I read this book from cover to cover and learned so many valuable tips, tricks, and recipes! 

* I received an advanced reader’s copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my hones review
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I was sent invite to read this book.

I was looking forward to reading how to make as is difficult to buy in stores.

Important body system is our micobiome.
Healthy microbiome is essential for healthy body.
Probiotic means, "for life"
Kefir has been used for medicinal value for hundreds of years.

Many recipes - MANY!
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Thank you NetGalley and Storey Publishing for the advance copy of this beautiful book, Homemade Yogurt & Kefir: 71 Recipes for Making & Using Probiotic-Rich Ferments
by Gianaclis Caldwell.

If you love Yogurt and Yogurt making, you will love this book.  If you don’t love Yogurt, you will do so after you read this book and give it a try.  But, first, a caveat.  I need to start this review by explaining why I rated this book five stars; otherwise, the less scholarly among us might roll their eyes upward, point a finger at me and say – where is your credibility? This book is mostly a treatise on the subject of Yogurt/Kefir making.  We can probably agree that anyone can get a degree or diploma (or in my case a few) and still not be scholarly. So, when you see terms like pH, microbiome, fungi, viruses, bacteria, molds, pathogens, antimicropials, proiotic antibiotic, yeasts you might be tempted to bail out quietly (not me, of course, but I have a few years of Yogurt making under my belt).  Next, the author traces the history of Yogurt and Kefir making all over the world from early 1900s, and there is sprinkling of sociology and anthropology for good measure.  So even if upon graduating from High School, you swore to yourself that you would never read another history or chemistry book as long as you live, don’t quit on this book because, if you do, you will lose out on something great.  

So, notwithstanding the above, the author’s message comes across loud and clear:  

There are many ways to make Yogurt, but all you really need is a small amount of Yogurt or Kefir, to use for a starter, and milk (albeit with certain reservations that the book will explain).  

Everyone knows that Yogurt is healthy and delicious.  What everyone does not know is that Yogurt is easy and economical to make on your own.  If your kids don’t love it plain, most will love it if you pour into serving size cups, over delicious surprises at the bottom of the cup:   fruits, jam, nuts, chocolate bits, or honey to be stirred in or scooped up with each spoonful of Yogurt (Chapter Four).  For the more sophisticated palette, herbs and spices can be added during the fermentation process or after.  Yogurt smoothies are delicious with sweet ripe bananas, strawberries, peaches, mango (careful, not all fruit goes nicely with Yogurt) – or you can add the mashed fruits to the incubation process.  

Also, for the more sophisticated palettes there is a very interesting chapter on infusions (tea-like) which I am excited about and will be trying this week.  Also, I’m keen to try the Indian Mishti Doi, Russian Ryazhenka with carmelized milk sugars and the Vietnamese Sữa chua which sounds a little more like a dessert pudding than Yogurt.  GC also describes how to make butter and buttermilk – I don’t know about the butter, but I’m sure going to try the buttermilk.  I’m super anxious to try the Yogurt ricotta (Chapter Eight – under cheeses).  If I succeed, I will add a comment at a later date.

For the grand finale GC treats us to some amazing recipes for Yogurt based Saucy Salads and Condiments:  Indian and Ethiopia Raitas, Greek Tzatziki, Baba Ghanoush, Dips and Dressing and Chilled Creamy Soups (YUM).   

There are instructions on how to make dry Yogurt for rehydration later.  What possible use, you might ask?  She mentions that campers might like.  GC also explains how you can thicken the Yogurt to a cheese spreading consistency by draining (not to be confused with thickening agents described in Chapter Five).  Basically this is how you make Labne.  If you try this, don’t be shocked by the fact that milk/Yogurt is mostly water so when making cheese from your Yogurt, the process will separate into the desired cheese product and about 80-90%  murky yellowish water byproduct (whey). If you want a creamier more spreadable cheese you can peek and stop the draining when it reaches the desired consistency, otherwise you will end up with a thick cream cheese-like consistency.  Add a little salt, olive oil and zaatar and voila, you have Labne.  GC explains that you need not toss the whey but you can drink it, make Whey Kefir, compost it in your garden, etc.  I generally reserve the whey and use instead of water when making pizza or bagel dough.  For those of you who like to make beer, I believe that you can make mead/stout from whey, but I digress…. 

Chapter Seven provides recipes for Plant Milk (non-dairy) Ferments.  There is a chapter on non-dairy ferment that might appeal to vegan.  Chapter Eight instructs on cultured butters, cultured creams and Yogurt and Kefir cheeses.

Regarding the equipment necessary to take up this new delicious Yogurt-making hobby, do not be thwarted by the utensils described in the earliest chapters, nor by the lengthy temperature discussions and preparations.  It takes GC until Chapter Three, under Tools and Equipment, to let you know that there are any number of appliances that will facilitate the process.  She did not mention my favorite, some bread machines like mine (Morphy Richards) have a Yogurt cycle.  GC does list something called a Bread Proofing Box but I don’t know what that is – maybe it’s the same.  If you use my bread machine the preparation time for plain delicious Yogurt is about 30 seconds.  All you need to do is to put in some Yogurt as a starter (you can use some of your own home-made Yogurt or store-bought) and pour in a quart of milk, stir briefly, shut the machine, set the cycle, and walk away.  In about eight hours the Yogurt is done.  As GC explains, you might have to experiment with the types of milk and Yogurt that you use (over processed milk or Yogurt that has stabilizers and additives will have weaker results).  By now I have the right Yogurt starter and the right milk to make a thick creamy Yogurt.  When I first got started my Yogurt was tasty but too loose, now when I try to pour the from the glass bottle where I store it in the fridge, I have to shake it vigorously like a ketchup bottle in order to release (and usually have to stick in a knife or spoon to help release from the bottle).  

Now, going back to the more scholarly aspects of the book (rolling your eyes again?), there is no need to panic, I will cut to the chase.  Just start by making the Yogurt and fooling around with the different ideas GC proposes throughout the book.  Once you get the knack, you too can become an expert and connoisseur in very little time, at which point you will probably want to go back and reread the earlier chapters (I have done so twice) for the more scientific aspects of the process because there is much to learn from her treatise.  GC gives ideas to experiment with, and to perfect your home-made Yogurt by understanding the chemical process involved and even culturally (no pun intended) with regional and ethnic preferences.
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How could someone write so much about fermented milk and make it interesting? Gianaclis Caldwell has found a way. With clear instructions, beautiful photos, and delicious recipes, this book is a must-have for anyone wanting to make their own yogurt, kefir or cheeses. The author provides helpful resource links and addresses in the appendix. I appreciate that she has a dedicated section on non-dairy yogurts and even how to make non-dairy milks.  She includes how to use store-bought equipment in addition to equipment-free options.  There really is something for everyone who wishes to make their own yogurt or kefir.  I made my first batch when we first went into quarantine (before the book) and it was good. Then, this book became available and my second batch was much better. Perfect timing!

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an eARC in exchange for an unbiased review.
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A useful guide by a real expert in yogurt products, and how to make them at home.  There are recipes and detailed instructions in making different yogurt styles and kefir. This was a very informative book with photos to show the different foods. I will be referring back for some time to perfect the methods and try new foods. 

Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this ahead of publication in exchange for an honest review
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I recently just discovered how to make homemade yogurt, it was not that difficult as I thought it should. And when I saw this book, I thought I am going to give it a try because I want to know more about how to make yogurt. Especially the plant-based yogurt. 
The book begins about explaining yogurt and how the fermentation works there. Not just that, also explaining the history of yogurt. I received new knowledge about many different kinds of yogurt around the world. And this book will tell you how to make each of them. But I find this rather difficult to make at home because in the recipe it's mentioned to use a specific culture to reach a certain kind of yogurt, sometimes getting that culture is inevitable. Anyway, you can still follow other recipes from this book though which are easier. 
The instruction is simple and straightforward. If you are new in yogurt making world this book is a start for you.
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This book contains A to Z  of yogurt making techniques . You want to make yogurt cookies, boom you have the recipe. Great pictures too.
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Homemade Yogurt and Kefir is a a must have for everyone who loves milk based ferments or wants to start making them. I have a kefir culture that has been going now for years and aside from just making kefir smoothies or drinking kefir daily, I haven't been very adventurous with my culture, I love kefir, but just drinking tart, bubbly milk every day isn't always fun. Sometimes, despite knowing it's good for me, I just don't want to drink the kefir because I'm bored with it. For that problem, this is a great book to have. I can have cheeses, smoothies, desserts, all sorts of creations with my kefir. I can have the probiotics and different flavors and applications.

I didn't know the history of Kefir or where it comes from and so learning all about it was actually really great. I also learned about so many different things, types of yogurt, how to change the flavors and how to keep my cultures healthy. I'm encouraged now to try some ferments for yogurt and to try more recipes with my kefir. And maybe even branch out into Kombucha or something. I'm very excited about this book. I hope the author explores other ferments, pickles, and lactofermentation methods.

5 Stars.
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An interesting book. We drink kefir daily to help with tummy upsets and it really makes a difference. Having a book that explains the health benefits and more is great. A super selection of recipes and actually really easy to make!
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A useful, informative and well written book that explains how to make yogurt.
It's an interesting read and I found a lot of interesting ideas.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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This is a gloriously beautiful book with informative sections. I would read this cover to cover, just because it is fun, and then read it again to actually use the recipes. I was delighted to find a box titled "A Bit about Taxonomy." Anyone willing to write a cookbook and talk about history, geography, biology, and taxonomy deserves to be on the shelves in every kitchen and library. The best cookbook I've read this year--I highly recommend it.
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A very thorough book on the topic - I thought I knew a good bit about cultured milks, but it turns out I did NOT.  Interested readers will enjoy the background information, but it's easily skippable by those looking to go straight for the recipes.  Also includes vegan recipes for cultured plant milks, which was a surprise.  

Long story short, here I am buying heirloom kefir grains when I was only reading this to evaluate it for the collection.
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If you've ever wanted to make yogurt or kefir, this is the book you need! And if you've ever made your own, you know what a treat it is and so much better than store bought. It's a lengthy process, but not difficult and well worth the effort in my opinion. This book gives you some history of yogurt making, as well as detailed instructions on how to make it yourself and also recipes that you can use the finished product in.  The recipes, with some wonderful photographs,  include dips, soups, salad dressings, smoothies, cocktails, even mousse and crème brulee. I can't wait to try some of these for myself!
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