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05 April 2010 @ 10:03 am
Are you finding kefir just too sour?  Is yogurt just too much bother (and the fact that you have to heat the milk...)?
I recommend trying viili (pronounced vee-lee).  Viili is a Finnish culture which is as easy to make as kefir, but without any straining.  The biggest benefit?  The result is very yogurt-like and much more mild than kefir.

I bought a culture from eBay - it came on a cotton ball! 
You soak the cotton ball in 1/4 c milk for 12 hours (might have been 24...) Then, you take out the cotton ball (dehydrate for future use if desired) and add another 3/4 c milk for another 12-24 hours.  Follow with another 12-24 hours in the fridge.  At this point, you should have a yogurty culture with a mild taste. For each further culture, you only need a tablespoon or two viili per cup of milk left out about 12 hours and refrigerated a further 12 hours.  (You only need 12 hour increments for the active culture.)

When I was making sauerkraut the other day, I simply warmed up about a cup of kefir (per half cup of whey needed) on the radiator, lol, and about an hour later, I just had to scoop off the thickened viili and use the whey - dead easy!  (I intend to try this thickened stuff on crackers like cream cheese - will let you know how that one works out - or not.  I'm sure it would be good in lasagne though.)

Viili is super durable too.  I have chronic fatigue syndrome and sometimes it's just too much to tend to - I ended up leaving the viili (in the fridge) for a couple of MONTHS!!!  I would have given up except that I didn't want to have to order another culture (and my cotton ball hadn't survived either!)  I mixed the viili up again and took just a little (1-2 Tablespoons) and added it to about 1/4 c of milk - just like at the beginning.  Lo and behold, it worked!  I had resurrected my viili! 

I now have two jars of viili on the go as one of my children loves to drink it with a little prune juice or a bit of jam.  I also use it in my egg smoothies (subject for another topic, lol).  I even use it to calm tummy upset.
Current Mood: creative
Current Music: B-I-N-G-O in daughter's iTunes (next to me!)
Gracegracified on April 5th, 2010 12:36 pm (UTC)
I did start making my own kefir, and it was just too sour for my tastes... Thanks for this suggestion! I do make yogurt, but it might be good to have such a quick option for smoothies, etc. Thanks!
johnbucha on March 18th, 2011 08:23 pm (UTC)
How do you sucessfully dehydrate the culture
I have a small dehydrator but it is for jerky, fruit etc. I doesn't have temperature control.
clatsopduck on March 18th, 2011 08:56 pm (UTC)
Re: How do you sucessfully dehydrate the culture
I would try just dehydrating it until it's completely dry. Sorry, but my attempt to dehydrate the cotton ball (without dehydrator) was not successful.
johnbucha on March 19th, 2011 02:55 pm (UTC)
How do you sucessfully dehydrate the culture
I have a small dehydrator but it is for jerky, fruit etc. I doesn't have temperature control.