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.


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.