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Lactose Survival For The Modern Day Homesteader – How To Do Dairy All By Yourself

Human beings love dairy. It has been a part of our diet for centuries, and is used in many recipes in many cultures across the globe. Dairy is important to us. In fact, we are actually hardwired to have a weakness for the stuff, genetically programmed to enjoy things like milk and cheese so much they induce a mild opioid effect in the brain. Yeah, you read that right, opioid – we’re literally addicted to the stuff. Casomorphins (protein fragments derived from digesting cheese) are known for their opioid-like effects on the human brain. Cheese addiction is a real thing, and you might be surprised how many of us are affected by it every single day of our lives. So it comes as no surprise that lactose survival may be important in a SHTF scenario. Bear with us on this one.

-This post was originally published on Survival Life and has been shared with permission-

Lactose Survival – How To Do Dairy

Lactose Survival For The Modern Day Homesteader - How To Do Dairy All By Yourself

Could you imagine a world without dairy? No milk for your cookies. Cheeseless pizzas. No butter for your toast. Sounds like hell. A hell that many of us might have to live through someday. Because, consider this: in an extended emergency situation (a plague, nuclear winter, social revolt, etc.) the frivolous parts of life will be the first to go. That is to say, anything not necessary for survival will likely become extremely difficult to come by. Especially if it needs refrigeration…

So what do we do? Continue living like savages in a cheeseless apocalypse? Give up on dairy altogether and just relinquish lasagna and ice cream to history? No! I won’t stand for it. And neither should you.

(Unless you are lactose intolerant, in which case you don’t particularly care – but I urge you to KEEP READING. Because, even if you hate everything dairy with all the fibers of your being, there is still an advantage to knowing what I’m about to divulge. Because dairy products might have a lot of economic potential in a post-order world, a lot of capital weight, if you will.)

Unfortunately, the art of dairy is not so easily mastered. Artisan cheese makers and experienced dairy farmers spend years learning and perfecting their trade. Just like any other exercise, practice makes perfect, and you’ll never master anything from reading just a single online article. Things like this take time to get the hang of, and you will probably fail a number of times before you ever experience the creamy taste of success.

That is not to say you shouldn’t understand the basic concepts behind making dairy products. Because, years from now if SHTF and you have to retreat to and live within the wilderness, understanding the basic concepts of making dairy might enable you to become the lactose king-pin of your region. So read on, study up, and try to remember what you learn – it may change your life someday.

How (and What) to Milk

All things dairy start with milk. Now, it doesn’t really matter what you get your milk from so long as it’s fresh when you get it. That means cows, sheep, deer, mares, goats and any other mammal are all viable sources. Which is bizarre and makes you really realize how freaky it is that we collect and consume and enjoy the mother’s milk of different animal species. No other creature on Earth does that… But put that strange thought in the back of your mind, cover it up and forget about it. Just note that different animals produce different tasting milks, which will produce different tasting creams and cheeses.

Whatever you find yourself milking, the concept behind the practice is the same. Pardon me if this next bit gets weird, but that’s the nature of dairy.

  1. First, get a female mammal.
  2. Wash your hands.
  3. Locate the mammal’s teat and give it a good wash too (on a cow this is the udder, it is different on other animals but I’m sure you can figure that out on your own).
  4. Snap on your latex gloves (if you’ve got some) and grab hold, gently but firmly of the teat.
  5. Express milk from the teats into a container, making sure you milk each teat evenly.
  6. Ideally, disinfect the teats when finished. But if you don’t have any teat disinfectant laying around, soft soap and water should do.

And you’re done! You’ve got a container full of mammal milk and you are ready to move along to the next step.

The Next Step: Making Dairy Products

Lactose Survival For The Modern Day Homesteader - How To Do Dairy All By Yourself

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Cheese

  1. Start with fresh, warm milk.
  2. Acidify the milk: this is the first decision you have to make. Because there are two distinct ways to acidify milk and they both produce different types of cheese. You could use direct acidification and pour vinegar or citric acid directly into the milk – this will result in cheeses like ricotta and mascarpone. Or you could use cultures or bacteria, to acidify the milk – these cultures will eat up the lactose in the milk and produce lactic acid.
  3. Add a coagulant: Coagulate is a funny word – it means, “to change to a solid or semi-solid state”. Which is the next thing you need to achieve in your cheese making endeavors. Coagulants can be a number of things, it just needs to have the enzyme “rennet” in it. This can come from within animal stomachs, it can come from the sap of fig trees or milk thistle, or it can come from fungi. You have a number of options here, and while it may seem gross to add the inner mucosa of the fourth stomach chamber of young mammals to your cheese, it is how things need to be done. I’d prefer using fig tree sap, but alas, I do not know where to find fig trees…
  4. Give it time to congeal. Test the “doneness” by pressing a clean hand against the curd. When it has transformed from a liquid into a gel, it is ready.
  5. Cut the curd down from one gigantic blob into a number of smaller cubes using a knife. The smaller you make these cubes the drier, and more ageable your cheese will end up. So if you want a very dry cheese that will last a very long time, make a bunch of very fine cubes.
  6. Stir the curds in the vat for up to an hour. Gently heat the vat as you do so. The longer you stir the drier your cheese will be
  7. Drain the curds with cheesecloth. Use the porous fabric to strain the cheese of the liquid that has separated from the curds. Let them drain over a colander or sink for 10 minutes and then press the curds to force out any excess fluid.
  8. Start extracting cheese chunks from the vat. This step is somewhat time sensitive because if you move too slowly the cheese will cool and won’t dry into a wheel properly, likely falling apart. Press the still-warm cheese into wheels (or whatever shape you feel like).
  9. When the curds have been separated from the whey, you can add salt. At this point you can either choose to eat the cheese right away, or save it to age it.

Cultured Dairy

Cultured dairy produces things like yogurt, cottage cheese and sour cream. Dairies that are cultured are some of my favorites and often contain a lot of probiotics, so knowing how to make these is healthy knowledge.

  • Yogurt: This dairy product is relatively unique from other cultured dairy products because it requires a constant source of heat to culture. Culturing is achieved by adding heat and a number of different lactic acid producing thermophilic bacteria – like lactobacillus bulgaricus. Add the starter culture and keep a constant source of heat on the yogurt.
  • Cottage cheese:
    • Start with raw milk and scrape the cream off the top with a turkey baster (or something similar) and save it in a jar in a cool place for later.
    • Pour the skimmed milk into a container and cover with a cheesecloth. Leave this to sit for about 2 days, or until it has achieved a jello-like consistency and there is no watery whey on top. The culture should exhibit signs of whey and curd separation.
    • Skim off any leftover cream.
    • Take the thickened milk and dump it into a large pot. Put it on a low heat for 5-10 minutes until you can actually see the curds and whey separating.
    • Find a bowl and place a CLEAN dishcloth over it, pour the curds onto the cloth and allow them to strain for up to 5 hours.
    • When finished, take curds off of the cloth and place into a bowl. Add salt to taste, and pour ¼ of the leftover cream over the top and mix well.

Lactose Survival For The Modern Day Homesteader - How To Do Dairy All By Yourself

Lactose Survival For The Modern Day Homesteader - How To Do Dairy All By Yourself

Butter

Ohhhh, ho ho, butter. If dog’s weren’t already man’s best friend, you surely would be. Butter goes well with just about everything, and is one of the greatest treats one can have in a survival situation. Here is a quick version of the old churning method:

  1. Scrape the cream off the top of fresh milk and pour it into a jar, which you can screw a lid onto.
  2. Shake the jar vigorously until butter starts to form from the cream into a soft lump, separated from the liquid buttermilk.
  3. Pour the contents into a fine mesh strainer to get rid of the unwanted buttermilk. You will be left with solid butter, which can be salted to taste and refrigerated for later use.

A Dairy Economy

Today if you want milk or butter or ice cream or cheese you just go to the grocery store and buy it. But that kind of easy access to dairy won’t always be so readily available to us. If things start to go really south to the point where electricity is out for extended periods of time, or to the point where grocery delivery trucks stop delivering, or dairy farmers stop farming dairy, dairy products are going to become a rarity. Their value will elevate to become an exceptionally precious resource for trade and cooperation. And they taste good, which is also very nice.

Maybe someday you become the dairy tycoon of a post-apocalyptic world. Maybe not. Either way, understanding how to make something humans have such a severe weakness for is valuable knowledge. So know how to do dairy. It isn’t rocket science, humans have been doing it for thousands of years with less equipment and technology than you’ll probably ever have.

That isn’t to say it’s easy. Making dairy products like those described above all on your own will be an endeavor of trial and error and effort – just like anything worthwhile. But mastering the art of dairy will feed the dairy addiction within you and those around you. And who knows, maybe you use it to become the post-apocalyptic champion of cheese commerce. What more could anyone really want?

Up Next: 10 Coconut Oil Survival Uses | Basics For The Savvy Survivalist

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NYC Adds Nearly 4,000 People Who Never Tested Positive To Coronavirus Death Tolls

New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll Tuesday, bringing coronavirus-related deaths in the city to around 10,000 people.

The city decided to add 3,700 people to its death tolls, who they “presumed” to have died from the virus, according to a report from The New York Times. The additions increased the death toll in the U.S. by 17%, according to the Times report, and included people who were suffering from symptoms of the virus, such as intense coughing and a fever.

The report stated that Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio decided over the weekend to change the way the city is counting deaths.

“In the heat of battle, our primary focus has been on saving lives,” de Blasio press secretary Freddi Goldstein told the Times.“As soon as the issue was raised, the mayor immediately moved to release the data.”

The post New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll appeared first on Daily Caller

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Self Sufficiency

How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

The thing about homesteading is you get to create your own ingredient right from scratch! Cheese, yogurt, butter and now sauerkraut, a delightfully sour and crunchy ingredient you can use on your meals — or consume by itself — while on a homestead, or while facing this health crisis!

This homemade sauerkraut is a great meal because it has a long shelf life. You can either make plain sauerkraut or mix it with herbs and spices. In this tutorial let us make Lacto-fermented sauerkraut that preserves all the good probiotics in a jar, good for your guts.

So how to make sauerkraut in a mason jar?

RELATED: How To Make Buttermilk On Your Homestead

Delicious Sauerkraut Recipe Every Homesteader Should Know

Why Make Sauerkraut?

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Not only does sauerkraut spoil a long time, but it is also a meal in itself, and it is also easy to make! You don’t need to be an expert cook, all you need to do is follow these simple steps.

So let us get started. Here are the steps in making sauerkraut in a mason jar.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cabbage or 2 1/2 lbs cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon of salt

Tools Needed:

  • knife
  • bowl
  • mason jar
  • smaller jar
  • rubber band

Step 1: Wash & Clean the Tools & Ingredients



Wash all the equipment and utensils you need. Wash your hands too.

You don’t want to mix your sauerkraut with bad bacteria, anything that is going to make you sick.

Next, remove the faded leaves from your cabbage. Cut off the roots and the parts that don’t seem fresh.

Step 2: Cut the Cabbage Into Quarters & Slice Into Strips



Cut your cabbage into quarters and remove the core. Then, slice it into strips.

Step 3: Place in a Bowl & Sprinkle With Salt



Put the stripped cabbage into a bowl. Sprinkle the cabbage with 1 tablespoon of salt.

TIP: Use canning salt or sea salt. Iodized salt will make it taste different and may not ferment the cabbage.

RELATED: Homemade Yogurt Recipe

Step 4: Massage the Cabbage



Massage the cabbage for five minutes or more to get the juice out.

TIP: You’ll know it’s ready when you see a bit of juice at the bottom of the bowl and will look similar to coleslaw.

Step 5: Press Cabbage Into the Mason Jar



Add the cabbage to the mason jar gradually. Press it in hard to allow the juice to come out. Do this every time you add about a handful of cabbage.

IMPORTANT: Food should be covered by the liquid to promote fermentation. Add any excess liquid from the bowl to the jar.

Step 6: Press a Smaller Jar Into the Mason Jar



You want to squeeze every ounce of that juice from the cabbage. To do this place the mason jar in a bowl and get a smaller jar.

Fill it with water or marble to make it heavy. Press it into the bigger mason jar. Allow any juices to rise to the surface.

Step 7: Cover the Jars With Cloth & Tie With Rubber Band



Leave the small jar on. To keep your jars clean from annoying insects and irritating debris, cover your jars with a clean cloth. Then, use a rubber band to tie the cloth and the jars together, putting them in place.

Step 8: Set Aside & Check Daily

Set it aside in a cool dry place, away from direct sunlight. Check the water level daily. It should always be above the cabbage.

Step 9: Taste Your Sauerkraut & Keep at Cool Temperatures

Homemade Sauerkraut Cumin Juniper | How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

After about five days, you can taste your sauerkraut. If the taste is to your liking, tightly cover it with the lid and store in the fridge or cellar.

NOTE: If after five days it’s still not your desired taste, leave it for a few more days. This will allow the fermentation process to continue.

You can now enjoy your sauerkraut in a mason jar. Enjoy its goodness! You can use it as a side dish or mix it with your favorite sandwich.

Things to Remember in Making Sauerkraut

  • Store away from direct sunlight and drafts.
  • Colder weather will make the process longer. Spring is the best time to make them since the warmth helps activate the fermentation.
  • Always make sure that the cabbage is below the water level during the entire fermentation process.
  • If the water level decreases during the fermentation process, you can make a brine and add it.

Let us watch this video from Kristina Seleshanko on how to make delicious Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar!

So there you have it! Making Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar is as easy as slicing the cabbage into strips. Remember that as long it remains unopened, your sauerkraut can last for months. Best of all, you can partner this sauerkraut in many recipes.

What do you think of this homemade recipe? Share your best sauerkraut recipe in the comments section below!

Fellow homesteaders, do you want to help others learn from your journey by becoming one of our original contributors? Write for us!

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Self Sufficiency

9 SPRING VEGETABLES FOR YOUR GARDEN

Having plants in the house will bring peace to people. Having a little garden with vegetables is even better! You can grow these vegetables in your backyard garden easily as well!

RELATED: Microgreens Growing Guide

In this article:

  1. Tomato
  2. Eggplant
  3. Beet
  4. Spinach
  5. Pea
  6. Carrot
  7. Radish
  8. Cauliflower
  9. Asparagus

Growing veggies in your garden will give you an opportunity to understand what you eat and value it more. Early spring is when most vegetables are being planted. Keep reading to learn about 9 spring vegetables that anyone can grow in their garden!

Tomato

Tomato is the most popular garden vegetable in the States! There are different varieties to choose from. Tomatoes need to be planted in early spring because they won’t survive a frost.

Because tomatoes are consumed daily, try adding them to your garden! They’re not difficult to grow either.

Eggplant

Eggplants are known to have low-calorie, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Plus, they are delicious! So why not plant them in your garden?

Eggplants shouldn’t be planted too early because they won’t be able to survive a frost. So you could consult an expert in your area before you plant your eggplants.

Beets

Beets are known to be a superfood for its various health benefits. They’re easier to grow in the garden, usually around late March or early April.

If the weather is always cool, beets will keep getting bigger and bigger. Once the weather starts to warm up, you’ll need to harvest them, or they’ll go to waste.

Spinach

Spinach is a delicious early spring veggie, and it’s also very beneficial for health. And it’s not difficult to grow spinach in your garden!

Spinach needs cold weather to grow. Getting spinach to grow is easy, but keeping it growing will require some extra care.

Pea

Peas are usually planted in late April. Peas will die in freezing temperatures, but they also won’t survive the heat either. So make sure you plant your peas in early spring.

Peas are widely used in many different ways, and there are different types of peas. The soil you’ll be planting your peas should be suitable for them, so make sure you ask while buying seeds.

Carrot

There are different types of carrots, but regardless of their size and color, it’s a fact that carrots are both delicious and rich in vitamins.

They’re root vegetables, so with proper sun and watering, they can be picked up as baby carrots as well.

Radish

A radish is an excellent option for beginners because it doesn’t require too much care. Radish is easy to harvest.

Radish grows fast, so it’s better to keep an eye on it after a few weeks. Radish usually is grown pest-free, but there’s always the chance of unwanted guests, so watch out for worms. Radish can be eaten raw or can be added to garnish recipes.

Cauliflower

Cauliflower isn’t the easiest vegetable to grow at home, but it is very popular.

Cauliflower grows better in colder weather, so before you plant it, consider the climate of your garden. Cauliflower can be eaten raw or cooked, and it is known to be very beneficial for health.

Asparagus

Freshly picked, tender asparagus is very delicious!

Asparagus plants get more productive with each harvest, and mature asparagus harvest can last for months! Make sure you plant them at the correct time, or else they might go to waste.

All the vegetables listed above are great for your healthy diet, and it’s fun to watch them grow. So don’t miss out on the opportunity to grow your own veggies and eat healthy this spring!

So tell us which veggies will you be growing this spring? Tell us in the comments section!

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