Milk kefir is a pretty common sight in the dairy aisle these days—or at least it is in California. Much more mysterious is its lactose-free cousin, water kefir. Both drinks are fermented with similar SCOBYs (symbiotic colonies of bacteria and yeast), but milk kefir grains feed on the natural sugars in the milk while water kefir needs additional sugar or fruit juice to get going. Mary Karlin provides recipes for both in her new cookbook, Mastering Fermentatio. Today, we're trying our hand at the water-based version.
'DIY' on Serious Eats
A combination of tart fresh apricots and sweet dried apricots make for the tasty and complex apricot liqueur.
This is a DIY project I would say is all about unique taste and quality rather than cost—at least until the grape season hits locally.
The woodsy, complex flavors of root beer are right at home in a liqueur. Use it in cocktails like you would an amaro or in sweet concoctions for a bold and unusual flavor.
There is perhaps no recipe I've investigated that is as simple and yet as fraught with passionate argument regarding the "correct" way to make it as cornbread. Adding to this battle is not my purpose here.
With pretty much everyone I know battling some form of cold/flu/sinus travesty, I started daydreaming about DIY instant soups free of questionable additives and shocking sodium content.
While Heinz and curry powder will give you curry ketchup, starting from scratch builds layers of flavor and has a complexity that a two-ingredient sauce just can't deliver.
These bars are a serious undertaking. But lucky for them, they are seriously delicious. Based on a bar with a similar name (and I'm sure you can figure out which), the combination of nougat, caramel and chocolate is as classic as it is crave-able.
While similar to the commercial options, this DIY recipe is not an exact replica of what's on grocery store shelves. If you're looking for a cost-saving option that you are free to flavor to suit your own preferences, however, this is a great way to go.
Slightly less molar-cracking than the commercial version, this DIY cereal offers plenty of rich nutty flavor with a light malty sweetness.
Talk about set it and forget it: The only skill culturing your own buttermilk requires is patience.
DIY cranberry-raspberry newtons with a sweet-tart filling and that signature cookie-cake texture.
This version of the iconic cracker is just a little bit more solid, a little richer, and a little butterier than the grocery store option. It will stand up to but not overpower your soup.
A true advantage to making your own is the opportunity for variation. Mix and match the nuts you use. You can also use other oils, or none at all.
Garlic powder can inspire a striking level of animosity. Once ground and sifted into a small jar, just popping the lid off this DIY version of the seasoning sealed the deal for me.
Garnish with dill flower, celery or homemade quick pickles and consider finishing with half teaspoon of salty pickle brine.
Once you see how much you can save by making your own Greek yogurt at home, you may never buy commercial cups again.
Homemade blueberry cereal bars pack real blueberry flavor in a crisp, tender, buttery crust. By using a food processor to do the mixing work, this recipe requires a time investment but is not labor intensive. There is a bit of the devil in the assembly details, however.
When it comes down to it, gin is basically a neutral spirit flavored with juniper berries and a bunch of other stuff. So while it might seem like putting a bunch of berries and herbs in vodka couldn't possibly result in a drinkable gin, you definitely can make a gin just as complex and delicious as what you'll find at the liquor store.
It's rhubarb season, so those gorgeous magenta stalks are popping up at farmers markets and grocery stores around the country. Rhubarb bitters pair well with every spirit and complement sweet, sour, and bitter flavors alike.