Milk Kefir Pancakes Recipe

Having grown up in the Midwest and being of German and Dutch descent, I LOVE all things bread. Unfortunately most types of commercially available baked goodies can leave me with excess phlegm build up – a biofeedback signal from my body that some ingredient is not quite jiving with my physiology. So for the most part, Alex and I avoid consuming commercially produced bread and pasta. But from time to time, I just have to whip up a batch of these lovely milk kefir pancakes to feed the carbo-craving beast that lurks in my DNA!

Milk Kefir Pancakes

“Oladi” (Оладьи), as they are known to Russians, are nearly identical to buttermilk pancakes except with milk kefir. These days its easier for most people to whip up freshly fermented milk kefir than it is to find authentic buttermilk. While seemingly convenient, the store bought cartons often contain unnecessary ingredients and honestly, by the time I want the pancakes, I’ve already forgotten to buy the buttermilk and the kefir is right here in the cupboard! True confession: I’m a bit of a lazy cook and an even lazier baker; so to execute any recipe I have to a) really love it and b) it has to be easy. Thankfully, this recipe is both.

CLICK HERE FOR FRESH MILK KEFIR GRAINS

Hannah Crum, the Kombucha Mamma!Did you know? Buttermilk, the bacteria rich “milk” leftover after butter churning, was once a staple in every home. Buttermilk creates light and airy baked goods due to the chemical reaction between the acids from the buttermilk and the bases in the baking powder providing fantastic lift to otherwise limp biscuits (or pancakes in this case!). ~ Hannah

So while buttermilk may not be lurking in most fridges, if you are fermenting milk kefir, it can serve as a bacteria & yeast rich substitute with spectacular results. Especially if it’s a little old and perhaps not as palatable to drink, the healthy acids and tangy flavor give rise to a batter that yields fluffy “light as air” pancakes FROM SCRATCH in only 30 minutes!

WHY SOURDOUGH & FERMENTED BREADS ARE EASIER TO DIGEST

Soooooo – I went to research this question thinking I had a simple answer and just needed some additional resources but when I scratched the surface, I found all kinds of contradictory information regarding whole grains, phytic acid and phytase. When that happens, I just have to refer back to our “Trust YOUR gut” philosophy. For me, when I eat these pancakes, I don’t get the typical phlegmy biofeedback that I get when I consume commercially prepared grain products. Is that due to the fermentation? Is it due to the lack of other commercially added preservatives or ingredients? I honestly don’t know for sure. What I do know is that these milk kefir pancakes taste great and I don’t feel crappy after eating them. Let us know your biofeedback in the comments below!

 CLICK HERE FOR FRESH MILK KEFIR GRAINS

Milk Kefir “Light as Air” Pancakes

The bacteria and yeast in the kefir feed on the flour and sugar while the batter is resting and create air pockets leading to light, fluffy pancakes that melt in your mouth. The tangier the milk kefir, the more savory and sour the pancake – ideal for serving with sweet fruit or maple syrup.

Yield 6-8 pancakes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Add flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt to a large bowl.
  2. Stir or sift to combine evenly.
  3. Pour in milk kefir and stir into a semi lumpy but evenly mixed batter.
  4. Cover the bowl with a towel and set aside in a warm location for a minimum of 30 minutes up to overnight.
  5. Gently stir in the egg and vanilla mixing only until combined.
  6. Heat a well oiled pan (we use ghee*) until drops of water sizzle on the surface.
  7. With a ¼ cup measure as a scoop, pour batter into pan. 2-3 pancakes may fit in the pan depending on size.

    air bubbles are visible as pancakes made with milk kefir cook on a hot pan
    CO2 manifests as air bubbles giving the pancakes a nice rise.
  8. When bubbles dot the surface of the cake, use a spatula to flip it over. The more you make, the more quickly the bottom may brown due to the butter.
  9. Add more ghee to the pan between batches as needed to prevent pancakes from sticking.
  10. Place pancakes in a warm oven (200F) and slather with butter until all are ready.

Serve with your favorite toppings!

Our favorite topping for these pancakes is
strawberry jam and yogurt or creme fraiche!
What’s your favorite topping?
Comment below!

Helpful Tips for Fluffy Milk Kefir Pancakes

  • To keep the cakes extra fluffy, pour the batter into the measuring cup rather than scooping them out which can break some of the delicate air bubbles.

    pancake batter poured from a cup rather than scooped yields fluffier pancakes
    Kefir pancakes on the left were poured into the measuring cup. The ones on the right were scooped.
  • Ghee is clarified butter. It greases the pan easily but without the burning mess that usually occurs from the protein solids in butter.
  • Check out our fantastic Kombucha sourdough recipe. It is a bit denser since our yeast is different but it yields a rich flavor.

CLICK HERE FOR FRESH MILK KEFIR GRAINS

Top 5 Tips for Bottling Kombucha Tea, Jun, Water Kefir and Milk Kefir Safely In Hot Weather Without Explosions, Geysers or Blowouts

Who loves bubbles in their beverage? We do! In fact, most Kombucha homebrewers desire more fizz in their brew. Any why not? It’s fun, adds texture and flavor, looks cool in the glass and reminds many people of good times. How exciting when a new Booch is opened, bubbles rush madly upward, increasing exponentially, frothing to the top of the bottle and spilling forth gently!

There may even be a secret reason we crave those carbonated quaffs…could it be nutrition? Natural fizz – the kind found when bottling Kombucha, JUN and Kefir homebrews – indicates the presence of living yeast, which contain B-vitamins that the body can use in bioavailable form.

Usually, if carbonation is a problem, the issue is not enough bubbles (See Carbonation Techniques Basic & Carbonation Techniques Advanced for more help with those issues). However too much of a good thing can transform pleasantly bubbly Booch to messy geyser or even bottle bomb under the wrong combination of conditions. Signs of over-fermentation when bottling Kombucha, Jun or kefir include bubbles leaking from the top, hissing sounds as CO2 tries to escape any which way, and stressed or bulging caps.

Bottling Kombucha, Jun, Water Kefir, and Milk Kefir Safely at All Times of YearThe good news is that it’s pretty easy to avoid a mess when bottling Kombucha or any fermented drink at most times of the year, especially cooler seasons when carbonation can be a fickle friend. But as temperatures rise, the yeast become more active, and coupled with sugar in the form of fruit or flavorings (especially pureed fruit – see below), the excessive pressure produced by this dynamic duo is the issue to be on the lookout for.
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Part 2: Diving Deeper Into Detoxification

…with Trish Carty

Hannah Crum, the Kombucha Mamma!We are thrilled to introduce Trish Carty, who is not only an amazing holistic chef, nutritional therapist and a whole foods advocate but also a great friend. We first met a few years ago at the Freestone Fermentation Festival and have been exchanging health tips and advice ever since. I really love her enthusiastic nature and gentle approach. If you have a question for Trish, leave it in the comments! ~ Hannah

rocks with healing words

In part 2 of the detoxification series, we will cover an in-depth study of the body as it relates to detoxification. How do the systems within your body operate optimally? What are the 5 foundations that are considered top priority when addressing detoxification? What happens when the body is overloaded with toxins? What are the modern day toxins we need to be aware of? How do we remove them from our surrounding environment?

In part 1 of our study of detoxification, we covered what, why and how to start a safe detoxification program. How did you rate in the toxicity quiz and did you start the 14 day elimination challenge?

In this five part series, we are going to discuss all aspects of detoxification.

PART 1: We will start with: what, why, and how to start a detoxification process for your body.
PART 2: What are the 5 major factors that impact your body? What are the modern day toxicants to be aware of and how to remove them from the surrounding environment?
PART 3: Herbal remedies, foods and ancient methods to enhance the detox process.
PART 4: A 21 day challenge- How to properly clear the toxins out of your detox pathways.
PART 5: Reintroduction of foods and how to maintain a constant natural chelating process.

How Do The Systems Within
The Body Operate Optimally?

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Cucumber Salad w/Milk Kefir Dressing from Nourished Kitchen

Yay! Jenny McGruther’s new cookbook is here! If you are not familiar with Jenny’s work, she is the artistic eye and culinary genius behind Nourished Kitchen. We first met Jenny at the Freestone Fermentation Festival in 2011 where she was one of the speakers. Her passion for fermentation was obvious as she spoke of the myriad families that had been healed through eating a traditional foods diet that also included ferments.

McGr_Nourished Kitchen
First cookbook from Jenny McGruther of Nourished Kitchen!

At that time, I was just learning about the research of Weston Price and deepening my own understanding of the role fermentation has played in the evolution of humankind. What I’ve gradually come to realize is how much chaos the Industrial Foods Revolution has wrought on the health of our entire nation. Home cooks were enticed away from the hearth with easy bake cake mixes and TV dinners that purported to be just as nutritious as their homemade counterparts.

Gradually, convenience foods along with innovations such as microwave ovens have led to an erosion of basic cooking skills. Moreover, packaged food itself is now comprised of chemicals, additives and generally lacking in the very things we eat food for in the first place – nourishment!

Enter Jenny McGruther’s beautiful blog (now turned cookbook), Nourished Kitchen, featuring recipes with traditional ingredients and cooking classes to help people reclaim the lost skills that had traditionally been handed down generation to generation. Jenny’s writing style and striking photos illustrate the simple beauty of how to make bone broth, ferment kefir and prepare nutrient dense organ meats with mouthwatering appeal. Paired with the science of nutrition, Nourished Kitchen closes the knowledge gap created by our wholehearted adoption of “the foods of commerce.”Continue Reading

Ask a Nutritional Therapist: Spring into Health!

…with Trish Carty

Hannah Crum, the Kombucha Mamma!We are thrilled to introduce Trish Carty, who is not only an amazing holistic chef, nutritional therapist and a whole foods advocate but also a great friend. We first met a few years ago at the Freestone Fermentation Festival and have been exchanging health tips and advice ever since. I really love her enthusiastic nature and gentle approach. If you have a question for Trish, leave it in the comments! ~ Hannah

Part 1: Rites of Spring – Detoxification

We all know that one of the important benefits of consuming kombucha, is its ability to detoxify the body in a gentle way. Detoxification is important because we are exposed to many toxicants on a daily basis. We are exposed to over 800 different types of chemicals in the air, water, and the food supply. While the amount of toxicants might be minute, over time they accumulate in the body. If the buildup is not removed, it leads to many problems in the body.

In this five part series, we are going to discuss all aspects of detoxification.

PART 1: We will start with: what, why, and how to start a detoxification process for your body.
PART 2: What are the 5 major factors that impact your body? What are the modern day toxicants to be aware of and how to remove them from the surrounding environment?
PART 3: Herbal remedies, foods and ancient methods to enhance the detox process.
PART 4: A 21 day challenge- How to properly clear the toxins out of your detox pathways.
PART 5: Reintroduction of foods and how to maintain a constant natural chelating process.

What Does It Mean To Detoxify Your Body?

GreenLiving_Detox
Photo credit from Green Living Magazine

How is the toxic load in your body? Take this quiz and see! (pdf)

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