I love Idaho Falls . . . part 3 of 3

I’ve been emailed by 12 Steps to Whole Foods support groups all over the U.S., who meet monthly and make the recipes and share ideas and love and encouragement.

But in Idaho Falls, I went to have lunch with one such group, led by the indomitable Michele, who is amazing and so honest and genuine….and makes the most incredible “cheesecake.” The “advanced” group members, Mandy and Danna, each came with a LIST of questions, hehe. Bring it on. I love overachievers and list-makers.

The theme of their 12 Steps group this month seems to be Chapter 8, especially featuring KEFIR. That step is so important, and when we started doing homemade yogurt 14 years ago, everyone in my family stopped getting sick. Maybe a little thing here and there that lasts a day, but never anything requiring an antibiotic, or going deep into the lungs, or causing stagnant yellow or green mucous.

I always make my kids whole-milk kefir, and I make myself coconut-liquid kefir (which I now use in Hot Pink Breakfast Smoothie, Ch. 11)….SO easy to ferment foods, just a habit you learn and adopt for life to keep your digestive system in perfect form.

Michelle’s cheesecake recipe:

Almond Flour Crust

¼ cup agave

3 Tbsp maple syrup

1 ½ tsp vanilla

1/8 tsp almond extract

¾ tsp sea salt

4 ½ cups almond flour (almonds blended in the blender)

Mix first 5 ingredients in a bowl then stir in Almond Flour and press into a pie plate. Chill! Makes 2 pie crusts.

Cheesecake Filling

½ cup hot water

1 cups non-instant dry powdered milk (2 cups if you’re using instant powdered milk)

1 cup powdered raw coconut sugar (blended to powder in your blender)

8 oz yogurt cheese

¼ c lemon juice

1 t vanilla

Combine hot water, dry milk and stevia in a blender and blend until smooth. Add yogurt cheese, lemon juice and vanilla. Blend until smooth. Pour into prepared Almond Flour Crust. Decorate with strawberry slices, optional.

How to make yogurt cheese:

Pour yogurt into cheesecloth or coffee filter over a bowl or quart jar (allowing the yogurt to drip freely into the bowl or jar as the whey is squeezed out).   Cover and place a weight on top (either a bag of water or piece of fruit).   Allow whey to drain for 4-8 hours depending on whether you would like Greek yogurt (less thick) or yogurt cheese (like the consistency of a soft cream cheese). I place mine in cheesecloth, in a fine mesh strainer over a bowl. Here is how I learned to make my yogurt cheese.

 

24 thoughts on “I love Idaho Falls . . . part 3 of 3

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    1. Yogurt cheese is a good, homemade probiotic food. Powdered milk is not something I personally use; however, I have it in my food storage from 20 years ago so I probably would use it for this recipe, to avoid it going to waste. It’s a far cry healthier than cream-cheese-and-sugar-and-lard-and-graham-cracker-crust cheesecake!

      1. On how to make yogurt cheese, from Michelle:

        Pour yogurt into cheesecloth or coffee filter over a bowl or quart jar (allowing the yogurt to drip freely into the bowl or jar as the whey is squeezed out). Cover and place a weight on top (either a bag of water or piece of fruit). Allow whey to drain for 4-8 hours depending on whether you would like Greek yogurt (less thick) or yogurt cheese (like the consistency of a soft cream cheese). I place mine in cheesecloth, in a fine mesh strainer over a bowl. Here is how I learned to make my yogurt cheese.

  1. Great. Thanks for clarifying. I always avoid yogurt because I have a severe case of being lactose intolerant. But for those that don’t, I’m sure this would be good. Looks pretty anyway.

    1. Melissa, many who are lactose intolerant do great with homemade kefir or yogurt, because the proteins are broken down by the friendly bacteria. If you don’t eat yogurt, hopefully you’re doing other probiotic-rich foods to develop a strong internal terrain in your GI tract.

  2. This cheesecake is definitely an occasional dessert. Wishing we had a photo of the first one we ate since it did set correctly. What a great day! Thanks Robyn!!!

  3. Can you tell me what form of stevia was used? What I have is pure extract, which is 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar. Obviously a cup of that would be off the charts. Thanks.

  4. Robyn,

    Is it important to use whole-milk for making kefir or does 1 or 2% work? And how much is enough to give your kids each day to be truly effective?

    Thanks,

    Sue

    1. Sue, you can do any kind of milk though skim doesn’t work too well–whole, raw milk is best nutritionally. (Yes, I know, higher in calories too–definitely best for kids.) Any amount is better than none but I give my kids a big glassful a day–just kefir blended with a banana.

  5. Helen, I changed the recipe to use raw coconut sugar. That way we’ll avoid the wide variability in stevia (or Truvia, a molecularly changed version of stevia I would prefer you not use).

  6. My sister makes an awesome raw cheesecake using either cultured brazil nut milk or cultured cashew milk (which turns into a “cheese” of a sort). It’s blended w/ either agave or coconut sugar, raw coconut oil, and fresh berries and poured into a nut crust. It’s rich, but definitely treat worthy!

  7. Robyn,

    You said that there are 12 Step Support Group’s all over. How do I find one. I am a newbie and want all the help I can get.

    Thanks,

    Alecia

    1. Alecia, we’re working on that….my webmaster Chris is out of town, but when he’s back I will ask him to open the nationwide forum we set up last year for the group buy, for you to find or found a 12 Steps group.

  8. I just bought our first gallon of goat’s milk and after being mostly vegan for 6+ years, my whole family finds it very yucky. I finished the kefir today and I don’t know how we are going to get it down. I didn’t like milk or eggs as a kid and I only drank milk for the health benefits until I found it doesn’t help much at all. Now I want the nutrition for my children, I hope it is worth it, because it is going to take some getting used to!! I don’t think I will need it, I like Rejuvelac, but nobody else does and they are growing children who I think will benefit if I can find a way to feed it to them.

    1. Amber, when your tastes are already set, I think goat’s milk is a VERY difficult thing to get used to. I weaned my babies onto raw goat’s milk, but like you, I can’t stand the taste. I now make my own kefir out of coconut liquid.

  9. Hey Robyn! Not sure if you’ll get this. I have so many questions for you especially after reading the 12 steps (and starting over again….I’m super obsessed and it’s changing my life but I’ll send you a message about that someday) and I’m mostly wondering how I go about getting kefir grains like you have in your video? I’m all the way in Canada and have no idea how to go about getting some. I really want to make kefir but I also think my cousin could really benefit from it because she has severe Candida. Oh how I wish I could ask you a million questions!! Hopefully you get this one. Thanks for everything!

    1. Kristi, it’s a strange deal that you have to send $20 cash, but you can get kefir grains from thekefirlady.com—they work great and come very clean, with instructions.

  10. How much sugar do you use in the cheesecake part of it, it is not listed in the recipe unless I missed it? And would dry coconut milk work in the recipe instead of reg milk, which we have no part of unless on special occs in homemade ice cream but seriously considering that one….

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