I've been getting a few people asking me lately why their kefir (home-made Turkish yogurt) won't set at this time of year. Quite simply- its because the weather is cold!! During the colder winter months when the temperatures drop the lacto-fermnetation process slows right down. Even after a couple of days of leaving your yogurt on the bench it won't thicken but remains runny. That's ok- its still full of good bacteria (essential for strong immunity and good digestion) and much of the lactose has been removed (eaten up) by the lacto-fermentation process but don't expect the milk to thicken as it does in warmer weather. I still make kefir even over winter but I just consume it as a drink or in smoothies as opposed to eating it like yogurt. So for those who make their own kefir- continue to make it but try to put it in the warmest part of the house when its out at room temperature then transfer it to the fridge after a couple days. For those who want to learn how to make it, I will run a kefir-making workshop when the weather warms up over Spring.
When you start making your own food from scratch (such as cultured vegetables or lacto-fermented yogurt) you start having a greater appreciation of how our food supply is connected to the seasons. Coconut oil hardens, lacto-fermentation slows down, and different produce appears on the shelves of organic stores. In stark contrast, buying food from supermarkets disconnects people from the food chain because they are buying the same produce all year round regardless of the season, temperature and where it came from.