The link between your gut microbiome and good health is an emerging topic of research revealing a lot about how we can make the food we eat count!
If you love the rich flavours of a good life and think that good health means eating less of the food you love then you might appreciate a bit of quark to dip, spread or bake with for a delicious flavour that adds a rich healthy cream to your meals or snacks.
Quark is soft cheese made from cultured milk, especially good if made with kefir.
According to abhaspobiotics.com, “...Kefir is a powerful probiotic unlike any other. It contains a large number and variety of different microorganisms, making it a much more potent source of probiotics than other fermented dairy products like yogurt. Whereas yogurt or curd (dahi) have just one or two strains of lactic acid bacteria, Kefir has generally between 30 to 50 (sometimes more) different strains of bacteria and beneficial yeasts! Moreover, the microbes in Kefir are resistant to gastric acid, and so find their way alive ... fighting the ‘bad’ bacteria and so protecting against infections and carrying out toxins from the body.”
This is why kefir is the best cultured milk to make quark with and here are the basic instructions for making quark at home with kefir.
- First mature your kefir by introducing fresh hydrated kefir grains to raw milk and allowing the milk to ferment for a minimum of 24 hours. If you like the sour taste of a fully matured kefir, let it go for longer. Have a look at this training video to hydrate dry grains if necessary. To get really chunky curds especially good for quark, add a little extra cream and keep the kefir at a snug temperature for the period of fermentation.
- After fermenting for a minimum of 24 hours, remove the kefir grains completely by putting the kefir through a colander and seal in a glass jar in a cool place and wait for the curds to separate from the whey. This may take a few hours or a few days and is usually dependent on the environmental temperature.
- Strain the kefir from the whey (the clear liquid) and place in a colander lined with cheesecloth or a nut-milk bag, or even a coffee filter and leave the kefir to drop all the remaining liquid out through the lining. It is not unheard of to tie it above a basin until it is light and creamy and ready to eat. Refrigerate in a sealed container for lasting freshness.
You can flavour quark with finely chopped herbs and eat as a dip or use for salad dressing and in any way you might normally use any soft cheese! The good bacteria kefir delivers will probably be the lasting effect that makes kefir quark so good for you.
NuMeSa is proud to be building a happier South Africa, one microbiome at a time! Healthy tummy, healthy Life!
Written by Viv Brown