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I could easily spend hours a day dabbling in the kitchen with cultures. Trying new combinations of vegetable ferments, spinning a batch of kefir into something new and exciting, or baking up something sweeter than usual with my sourdough starter all sound like a great way to spend the day to me. It’s part of my job, and I love it!

But let’s face it, I can’t afford to spend that kind of time in the kitchen unless it’s for work. And I’m guessing I’m not alone in saying that.

So, instead of spending free time I don’t have experimenting in the kitchen, I generally keep it very simple. Here are a few ways I streamline my making of kraut, kefir, and sourdough.

Salad Kraut

On a day when I decide to make kraut, I spend a bit of time at the counter chopping cabbages. I mix them all up in a big bowl with salt and whatever other flavorings I have around and then give them a bit of a pounding.

Before I decant this deliciousness into jars to ferment, I serve a portion of it up as a salad. I just drizzle apple cider vinegar and olive oil (or kefir) over it and it becomes a side dish.

Kefir in a Jug

Lately we’ve been digging kefir for breakfast. So, I have gotten on a routine where I make a quart of kefir every 24 hours, straining it out first thing in the morning. This coincides with breakfast time, which is when we use most of it.

As a means of saving on dishes and headaches, I just strain our kefir into a little jug that goes right to the table. Then we serve it up and flavor it as desired.

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Sourdough Mornings

Most morning we are eating sourdough something for breakfast, along with eggs and the aforementioned kefir. Because of that I try to time my sourdough feedings at night accordingly.

I usually feed the sourdough with extra water and flour in order to have at least a couple of cups of “discarded” sourdough to work with for breakfast. That way our grains are already fermented and I don’t have to worry about starting a separate bowl of soaking or fermented grains when the baby is extra fussy.

In the morning I dump it into a bowl with eggs and butter for pancakes or crepes. And then, of course, we pass around the kefir.