A Dairy Lover Who is Ready to Let Plastic Go

Are you a Dairy Lover who is ready to let go of saran wrap and plastic quart containers?

Well here are some good alternatives to dairy in plastic!

For yogurt lovers, one option would be to make Kefir at home, which you can make with raw milk and it tastes very similar to yogurt. You can purchase kefir grains (they are called grains but they are actually colonies of beneficial bacteria and yeast, gluten free) on Amazon or see if anyone in your neighborhood has any. As you make more kefir, you’ll start having more kefir grains, which look like cauliflower. You can share them with neighbors and friends.

Kefir is really easy to make and maintain. It will come with directions but I will quickly explain how to make and care for them.

Kefir directions; Put whole milk in a glass container with your kefir grains, cover the top with cheese cloth and leave it out on the kitchen counter for as little as 24 hours and up to a few days. The temperature of your kitchen, how much milk you put in and how thick you like your kefir will affect how long it sits out for. When your kefir is ready, strain it into a glass or plastic bowl using a plastic or ceramic mesh (kefir does not like metal). The strained liquid is ready for consumption, though if you don’t want to consume it right then and there you can cover it and put it in the fridge. You can also put the strained thick liquid in a couple of layers of cheese cloth and hang it for at least 24 hours and make kefir cheese with it. The yellowish clear liquid that drains from it is whey. You can use it for pickling or you can add it to your smoothies. The grains that end up in the plastic strainer can go back in a clean glass container with whole milk and the same process begins again. If you’re going on vacation for a few weeks, just put the kefir grains with whole milk in the fridge (open top) and that’s it. When you get back strain in plastic mesh and re-start the process. The low temperature of the fridge slows down the bacteria and the yeast growth. If you’re going away for a few months, I suggest dropping off your kefir grains with a neighbor.

Another option would be to make your own yogurt in mason jars. You can buy grass-fed milk in glass containers (the store or farmer usually will reimburse you if you bring the glass back) and you can make your own yogurt. There are many yogurt recipes online. We have a few posted on the #NoPlasticAprilChallenge Facebook event page. If you are comfortable with raw milk and yogurt, I highly suggest starting with raw milk and not bringing the milk to a boil. I recommend grass fed, whole fat, unhomogenized milk (cow, goat or sheep, whichever you prefer and digest easiest)

Cheese lovers can either make their own cheese or buy cheese straight from the farmer. Most farmers use paper, waxed on one side, when they sell their cheese. If you need an alternative or need to re-wrap your cheese because the paper ripped, you can dip cotton cloth in vinegar, and then wrap your cheese in it or you can follow the instructions on http://www.mommypotamus.com/diy-reusable-food-wrap/ to make your beeswax cheese wrap. You can also take your home-made reusable food wrap to the farmers market and ask for the farmer to put the cheese directly into your food wrap. You will be reducing your waste by doing that.