ClockWednesday, 03/07/2024 10:19

Raising… cultures

TTH.VN - As an indispensable ingredient for creating cool, healthy drinks, probiotics such as kefir grains and scoby have recently gained more attention, especially during the hot summer weather.

Summer refreshments: Keep fit and nourish beautiful skin

 Ngoc Oanh filtering fermented yogurt from kefir grains

Deliciously cool

Gently using a wooden spoon to stir in a plastic sieve, after just a few minutes, Ngoc Oanh has filtered a cup of yogurt fermented with kefir grains. There is no need for an incubator and the grains can be reused in subsequent batches. For this 24-year-old girl, kefir grains are an attractive choice because the process is simple and still produces delicious, high-quality yogurt.

“Last year, my sister gave me some yogurt made from kefir grains. I found it intriguing and not too complicated, so I took some grains home to make my own yogurt. I was surprised at how easy these grains were to cultivate,” shared Ngọc Anh. 

According to Ngoc Oanh, kefir grains are commonly used by people in Eastern Europe and Southwest Asia to ferment milk. Due to the numerous beneficial bacteria, they contain, yogurt made from these grains is not only is delicious but also helps balance gut microbiota, supporting digestion and boosting the immune system.

 Sharing scoby to make kombucha

It is said that raising kefir grains is very simple. Ngoc Oanh explained the way to do this as follows, “Just put the grains into a glass jar filled with fresh, unpasteurized milk (pasteurized is better than ultra-pasteurized), then cover it with a breathable fabric or paper to prevent dust. With the hot summer weather in Huế, it only takes 12-15 hours to consume the yogurt without any additional steps.”

However, due to their aversion to metal, those raising kefir grains need to ensure that no metal objects come into contact with the grains, from the container and sieve to the spoon used for scooping. Therefore, all of Ngoc Oanh’s tools for raising the grains are made of plastic and wood and kept clean to avoid mold.

Being friendly

Along with kefir grains, in the past two years, the trend of making kombucha from scoby has also become popular. Besides sharing experiences, kombucha-making communities and groups are very active. Ms. Hue (Phuoc Vinh ward, Hue City) shared that “More than two years ago, I came across kombucha through a video on Facebook. I then searched for groups and learned from other kombucha enthusiasts. For me, kombucha not only is just a delicious fermented drink, but it also has many useful benefits.”

Raised in black or green tea, to make delicious kombucha, one must balance the ratio of tea and sugar so that the scoby (formed during the fermentation of lactic acid, acetic acid, and yeast) can thrive. During this process, bacteria, acids, and alcohol yeast are formed, creating kombucha’s distinctive flavor.

“Kombucha is a perfect drink for hot summer days because it’s carbonated, has a sweet and sour taste, and a distinctive aroma. Additionally, kombucha can be combined with various fruits to create different flavors such as pineapple, mango, plum, watermelon, guava, banana, dragon fruit, rambutan, etc.”, shared Ms. Hue.

Not only a healthy drink, scoby also has many other benefits such as making hair and skin masks, apple cider vinegar, pickles, scoby candy, sauces, food marinades, and environmentally friendly dishwashing liquid.

In addition to kefir grains and scoby, other fermented cultures like water kefir grains and viili are also generally easy to cultivate. To ensure success in raising these beneficial bacteria, the most important factors are cleanliness and the quality of the starting ingredients. “Therefore, in the future, I plan to open a shop specializing in selling scoby, other cultures, and accompanying ingredients such as sugar and tea. I hope that more people will know and enjoy cool summer drinks made from these beneficial cultures,” shared Ms. Hue.

Story and photos: MAI HUE
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