Daily Breads Blog

Articles written by Daily Bread workers and friends.

There is nothing quite like milk kefir – it really is a delicious drink. It closely resembles a yoghurt drink but is packed full of extra probiotics.

Milk kefir is a fermented beverage and is made by leaving special reusable living cultures, called kefir milk grains, in milk to ferment for 24 hours.
The result is a slightly tart tasting like fizzy feta, creamy drink that is both great to drink and healthy too. The grains eat the sugar from the milk – the lactose, to turn that into probiotics. So kefir is a dairy product that lactose intolerant people may be able drink without symptoms.

Kefir milk grains are yeast and bacteria in a symbiotic relationship. Milk kefir grains are actually alive and when cared for and cultured they will reproduce. When you produce kefir milk from your grains, it can provide you with probiotic bacteria that could benefit the digestive tract. Kefir is rich in antioxidants, antibodies and metabolites and essential vitamins and minerals.

Can I use a milk alternative for my milk kefir?  Yes, you can prepare non-dairy kefir too. Non-dairy milk kefir can be made using both coconut or nut milk. Remember, your milk kefir grains will need time to adjust – you may even find that the initial batches may not be as good as you would like. You will need to be patient, as an adjustment period will be necessary to get your milk grains back to their old selves!

To revitalise your milk grains, you can use regular milk for fermentation before switching back - this will ensure that your milk grains are getting enough food.

Kefir jar Materials Needed:

• Kefir grains (milk kefir grains for dairy, water kefir grains for non- dairy)

• Milk (or another liquid if using water kefir grains),
 Whole and organic milk, raw milk even better.

• A glass jar or the Kefir jars we sell which are designed to ferment Kefir • A plastic or wooden spoon (metal can react with
 the grains)

• A plastic or nylon strainer (avoid metal strainers) • A breathable cover (like a coffee filter or cheesecloth) and a rubber band.

 


Activating Milk Kefir Grains:


1. Dehydrated milk kefir grains. Fresh milk (preferably whole milk)

2. Place the dehydrated kefir grains in a small glass jar. Add about 1 cup (250 ml) of fresh milk to the jar.

3. Cover the jar with a breathable cover (e.g., coffee filter or cheesecloth) and secure it with a rubber band.

4. Let the jar sit at room temperature (18-29°C) away from direct sunlight for 24-48 hours. Check the grains periodically. The milk may not thicken much during the initial rehydration period.

5. After 24-48 hours, strain the grains using a plastic or nylon strainer, discarding the milk. Place the strained grains back into the jar and add fresh milk (1 cup).

6. Repeat this process every 24-48 hours, using fresh milk each time, for about 3-7 days. The grains are fully activated when they start to thicken the milk and produce a tangy smell and taste.

Steps for Making Milk Kefir:

1. Measure the kefir grains: typically, 1 tablespoon of grains per 1-2 cups of milk.

2. Combine Kefir Grains and Milk: Place the kefir grains in a clean glass jar. Add milk to the jar (leave some space at the top for expansion).

3. Cover the jar with a breathable cover and secure it with a rubber band.

4. Fermentation: Let the jar sit at room temperature (18-29°C) away from direct sunlight. Ferment for 12-48 hours. The duration depends on the temperature and your taste preference. Shorter fermentation results in a milder taste, while longer fermentation results in a tangier kefir.

 5. After 12 hours, start checking the kefir. The milk should thicken slightly and have a tangy smell.

6. Once fermented to your liking, strain the kefir to separate the grains from the liquid. Use a plastic or nylon strainer to catch the grains and pour the liquid kefir into another container.

7. Store the Kefir: Store the strained kefir in a sealed container in the refrigerator. It can be consumed immediately or kept for several days, during which it will continue to ferment slowly and may become more effervescent.

8. Reuse the Grains: Place the kefir grains into a new batch of milk to start the process again. • If not using the grains immediately, store them in a small amount of milk in the refrigerator for up to a week. For longer storage, consider freezing them or drying them for extended preservation.

Tips for Success:
 • Quality of Milk: Use fresh, whole milk for best results. Non-dairy alternatives can be used, but the grains may need to be refreshed in dairy milk periodically. • Temperature: Warmer temperatures speed up fermentation, while cooler temperatures slow it down. • Hygiene: Maintain cleanliness to avoid contamination. • Troubleshooting: If your kefir has an off-smell, unusual texture, or you notice mould, discard the batch and start fresh with cleaned equipment. There are many recipes that the milk Kefir can be used in. Adding fruit like bananas and blend to make a kefir smoothie for example. More information - https://kefirko.com/learn/

Uhh-mami

Pioneered by Michelin-star chef Frank Lantz, Uhhmami is a vegan brand that transforms classic dishes we all know and love into yummy, plant-based alternatives.

Uhhmami isn’t all about imitating the elements of meat-based flavours but rather reinventing them to create brand new tastes using fresh, organic and cruelty-free ingredients.

The driving force behind the brand is to encourage us to move towards a meat-free future. Not only would this have tremendously positive effects on our health, but it would also contribute to a happier planet. Uhhmami demonstrates that plant-based doesn’t mean bland and boring – quite the opposite.

Zerowater

We now sell a range of Water filters From Zerowater
Tap water can contain a lot of dissolved solids and some other filters simply struggle to remove them. Unlike Brita Filter's three-stage system, ZeroWater's Five-Stage Filtration System removes virtually all dissolved solids.

 The FDA requires the TDS level in PURIFIED bottled water to reach 000-010ppm. ZeroWater is the only filter in its class to achieve this level. ZeroWater's first layer of filtration, activated carbon and oxidation reduction alloy removes the chlorine taste you are accustom to with tap water.

The Ion Exchange stage removes virtually all dissolved solids that may be left over from public water systems or even leached into your water from piping such as Aluminum, Lead, Zinc, Nitrate and more. Three additional stages are included to remove other contaminants and to ensure your water receives the appropriate amount of treatment time to deliver a "000" reading on your water quality meter.

 

We are currently celebrating National Vegetarian Week here at Daily Bread! Come in store and grab one of our leaflets to see how including more veggie meals in your diet can have a great impact on the planet. It also includes a delicious recipe for a plant-based Budget Banana Bread!

You can also access the leaflet online 😊

It’s Vegan Month and we thought we could offer some thoughts on tackling an ingredient that can cause a few issues when deciding to lead a vegan lifestyle: and that’s cheese. It seems to be the one thing that can hold some vegetarians back from taking that final step, but it can be easy to never look back at.

Many of us have grown up with melted cheese on various things, grated cheese, cheese sandwiches, cheese sticks, cheese sauce and a number of dessert options at restaurants so it can be a flavour and texture hard to remove from your diet. However, deciding you are making that final transition, should be a celebration, it’s a positive choice full of wonderful ingredients so maybe taking on board a few helpful tips maybe useful.

• You could either go completely “cold turkey” (sorry, “cold turfu” may be more appropriate) and decide to just remove it from your shopping list altogether. This requires a lot of will power and hard work if you really felt deeply for your cheese though. However, some of us can manage these changes much better when there is no temptation in the way, nothing in the fridge to catch you at a weak moment.

• You could use the reduce it gradually method to move on from cheese and start replacing cheese-based meals you had regularly been eating with new favourites. This is a great way to explore new ingredients and fall in love with new dishes as it is all too easy to reach for meals we have grown up on.

• How about learning a little about food and dishes from different countries and being totally distracted by them? If you were to visit Vietnam, Thailand or Cambodia for instance, and ate traditional meals there, you wouldn’t even see a piece of cheese and if you fall in love with their lemon grass, coconut, lime and ginger favours, cheese will in fact be the last thing you could imagine eating! There are a number of world cuisines that don’t use cheese, explore them!

• One other way to manage removing cheese from your diet and not feel like you are missing out, is to view vegan cheese in a different way. Some people feel a little disappointed when trying vegan cheeses, as they are expecting a pretty similar product to dairy ones (and may add “ooh, that tastes nothing like cheese” when trying it). However, you could view vegan cheese as something simply delicious in its own right? Some of them are wonderfully flavoured, with different herbs and spices. Some are made from nuts and provide a great source of minerals and proteins. Some are creamy, easy to spread, simple to cut and taste like a whole new product and maybe shouldn’t even be labelled as cheese?

Having said all this, we do sell a number of vegan cheeses which do have cheesy tastes. With new cooking methods and ingredients being developed all of the time, vegan cheeses are getting more a like dairy ones and some can behave like them too. Melting and grating is now possible and can be quite similar to what we have been used to.

Vegan Month is a great time to consider a short cheese break, just one month! You never know, you may just surprise yourself and never look back.

Some examples of products you can buy from Daily Bread below:-

Violife Vegan Cheese Creamy Original 200g

Violife Creamy Original with its mild flavour & velvety texture is the perfect match for all your dairy-free sweet & savory recipes. Try it in a Passion Fruit New York Cheesecake or as a topping for baked potatoes, otherwise.....simply spoon it out of your container!

Violife Greek White Block Cheese 200g

We’ve looked to our Greek heritage for inspiration with this flavour, toss in a crispy salad with olives and cherry tomatoes or melt into a Portobello mushroom for a delicious snack.

Cheesy Stars

Gluten free and vegan

Ingredients

Cheesy Stars

100 grams Ground almonds
60 grams Oat flour
1/2 tsp Xanthan gum
1 tbsp Nutritional yeast
1/2 cup Dairy free “cheddar” style cheese, grated
1/2 tsp Garlic powder
1/4 tsp Salt
70 grams Dairy free butter, cubed

To Sprinkle

2 tbsp Dairy free milk
1 tbsp Poppy seeds
1 tbsp Nutritional yeast

Cheesy Stars Directions

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6 and grease or line a baking tray.

Place the ground almonds, oat flour, xanthan gum, nutritional yeast, grated “cheese”, garlic powder and salt into a bowl and stir to combine.

Tip the cubed dairy free butter into the dry ingredients and using your finger-tips, rub the butter into the flour to create a mix that resembles bread crumbs (tip – if a small child is doing this, try and make sure the dairy free butter is very cold, as it will be less sticky).

Depending on how soft your butter is, you may be able to just squeeze the mix together to form a dough, if not, stir in a little water to help.

Roll the dough out to about ½ cm thick and using a star shaped cookies cutter, cut out shapes and place on the baking tray.

Using a pastry brush, brush over a little of the dairy free milk and sprinkle over the poppy seeds and extra nutritional yeast.

Place in the oven and cook until just golden.

Nutrition facts

vegetarian

Per Serving

sophieNovember is Vegan month so we have a blog post by Sophie on why she is a Vegan.

The reason why I'm vegan

With it being World Vegan Day November the 1st and World Vegan Month for the whole of November, I thought now is the appropriate time to celebrate how great I think veganism is in my first ever blog. So please forgive me if it’s not perfect!

I’ve been vegan for 4 and a half years now, and wow- what a life changing experience it’s been.
Veganism, for me has opened up a whole new world. It’s given me more compassion, more sanity (gosh I need that), more energy, more meaning and more life.

My whole family are vegetarians. I have been a vegetarian since the age of 1 (ish) so I've never experienced meat (queue the ‘but bacon’). Initially, I went vegan for my health. I experienced some eating disorder tendencies and lost a lot of weight in a very short space of time… One night I thought enough is enough, I need to sort myself out and so I came across Deliciously Ella. I’d been toying with the idea of veganism for a while so overnight I became a vegan (just to note, veganism doesn't always mean healthy!).

I started to get more fascinated with health and how food can have a massive effect on our body. I came across daily bread a few years ago and was so chuffed that a wholefood shop like this existed, with all my favourite things! I am also currently doing a degree in nutritional therapy as I would like to help other people to regain back their health.

Now I'm a vegan for everything, for the animals, for the planet and for my health. Vegans and vegetarians look set to make up a quarter of the British population in 2025 so it shows how much mainstream It has become. For me, food is a BIG part of my life and I’ve never felt deprived.
I am a snacker and am obsessed with our range of Pulsin bars, Montezuma 100 percent chocolate and Ombar mylk buttons.
I order in a range of brilliant vegan food from suppliers, including Flo’s kitchen, Naturally vegan cheese, Vork pie, The raw chocolate pie company, Pure and raw and Nat’s (No bad stuff) so please do pop along and have a look at some yummy treats that we sell!

Why not try vegan one day a week? We don’t just eat lettuce leaves or grass, promise. :)

Sophie

Welcome National Baking Week!   14th - 20th  October 2019

DoubleChocoOatCookies300sThere really does seem to be a national day or national week for most foods and diets nowadays. This a great way to support food producers, special diets and show compassion and interest towards various dietary choices and lifestyles, but there are some of course, that may be seem a little ridiculous: World Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day, Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day and World Drive-Thru Day, to name a few! However, finding some of your favourites to add to your own family calendar can create quite a lot fun at home.

A new kid on the National Week block, is National Baking Week and this is one that October should embrace. Running during the week 14-20th October, this is a great opportunity to put a little time into cooking something from scratch. Baking has become a national favourite over the past 10 years and it’s a pastime or hobby that just keeps getting stronger.

Baking is social. Firstly, the actual “making” brings a kitchen to life. The smells of various bakes wafting through the house is heart-warming, comforting and creates a heart in a home. Baking is something to be done together and talked over and it brings a “togetherness” to a family or friendship.

Baking of course brings bakes! And this is just as social as the making! Whether you are providing a cake for tea, bread for breakfast or a cookie for a treat, they all bring smiles and a sense of happiness. There is something to be said for knocking on a friend’s or neighbour’s door with a homemade cake, just because they had been having a tough time. This is an act that requires little effort but brings delight and pleasure to many of us.

Growing up with baking is also wonderfully useful and important for the future. Not only do you make memories with children, stirring and laughing over the mess being made, you are also providing the building blocks of cooking. When it so easy to take something from a packet or box, already made, we should all maybe make the effort to endorse the magic of creating something ourselves from raw ingredients. There is something quite fascinating of how measures of flour, sugar, butter and eggs can create something so amazingly tasty!

Ok, maybe you’re not one for cakes and biscuits, but baking doesn’t have to be about the sweet stuff. The raw ingredients that are available to us now can create other bakes. Savoury crackers and breads can be just as much fun and can provide functional food to add to homemade soup, stews and salads. Flapjacks, pie toppings and flat breads can all be savoury, using flavours and spices from different parts of the world and can be easily made.

However, as we all embrace National Baking Week and start buying large quantities of sugar and butter, it is important to add the words “all things in moderation”. Many of us have healthy eating and better food choices at the front of our minds, but baking doesn’t have to be bad for you. There are a wealth of alternative natural sweeteners, dried fruits, seeds, nuts, flours and fats to choose from and when using healthier recipes, you can actually produce bakes that don’t just taste good but are functional too. They can provide energy and essential nutrients to your diet, which can help build a healthier you.

So yes, enjoy National Baking Week! Treats can be enjoyed in moderation, but enjoy the time looking through healthier recipes and learn a little about cooking from scratch. There are so many ingredients available to try, so have a browse and most importantly, have fun, as making memories with loved ones is worth every effort.

 Here are two recipes designed for little hands to make at home. They are low sugar and full of energy and can help towards reducing a sweet tooth in the future.

Cheesy Stars

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

National Allotment Week

Rhubarb Crumble CookieNational Allotment Week is upon us and during the week of the 12th-18th August, we should all take a moment to think about this fantastic initiative!

Since the WW2 Grow For Victory campaign, allotments really have become part of many communities, offering many health benefits and providing cost savings for families and this has progressed over the years.

With many of us growing up with warm memories of time spent tending a plot, the National Allotment Week initiative aims to continue to promote, support and provide opportunities for each generation over the years. This year sees the 12th official week and with Open Allotment Days and events going on, it’s worth having a look to see what’s on around you.

garlicWe’re reaching the end of the season for foraging the mild leaves and flowers from the Wild Garlic but before wondering where to find this pungent taste from next, maybe you planted some autumn garlic last year? These juicy bulbs will be ready to harvest shortly and provide a wealth of health benefits and taste to any diet.

But what makes garlic so popular?

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