By Lynnie Stein / March 6, 2021

Syrups are reminiscent of Elizabethan times.

Often used as remedies

Rose syrup, for example can ease a sore throat and peppermint helps indigestion.

For desserts … Toppings galore to make a proper ice cream sundae.

Serve kefir ice cream drizzled with syrup, infusions or a shrub.

Can also mix about one tablespoon of syrup into one cup of kefir / cream and add to ice cream mixture.

Date ice cream served with warm sauerkraut brownie.

Our kitchen has a strong love affair with wild/ foraged and native food …. Pigface (Carpobrutus rossi) alternatively: noon flower, ice plant and cutwort.

It makes tasty syrup with the pretty flowers and fruits.


Flowers or herbs to fill a one liter jar

1 kg sugar

3 drops oil

600 ml water / tisane

Add freshly picked flowers to the water, bring to boil.

Turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Leave to cool for a further 10 minutes, then strain and top up the water level to reach 600 ml.

Heat sugar and water together, slowly stirring until the mixture thickens – the longer it cooks, the thicker the syrup.

Add to the syrup the oils and a few more flowers for effect.

Pour into jars and store.

Choose flowers to complement the oil – lavender flowers with lavender pure food grade organic essential oil, for example.

Wild rosella syrup

Dissolve 5 cups of sugar of choice in water overheat in a saucepan.

Add 4 cups of prepared flowers.

Bring to boil.

Simmer on very low heat until water is reduced by a third.

Remove from heat.

Strain and bottle the syrup while hot.

Serve cooked calyces with ice cream

Syrup has a shelf life of one year. Once the syrup is opened keep refrigerated for up to 3 months.

To prepare flowers – harvest flowers when entire calyx is red.

Remove petals, seeds and stems.

Chop to make syrup.

Leave whole to serve with 2nd ferment vanilla and cacao nibs kefir (Champagne of Milk).

Kefir ice cream with Berry shrub strawberries or wild berries pieces,apple cider vinegar + balsamic vinegar (use ½ white balsamic) + tarragon, black peppercorns (an interesting old timey favourite) substitute tarragon and peppercorns with basil.

One shrub camp macerate the fruit in sugar, extracts as much juice as possible from the solids, and adds vinegar to taste.

Another infuses the vinegar with the fruit, strains the solids, and adds sugar to taste. Some simmer the syrup on the stovetop.

In our kitchen we prefer to do it cold, a process that takes longer but captures the pure, bright colour and flavour of the fruit when it is seasonal and fresh.

Drizzle the shrub over kefir ice cream with baked berries or grilled stone fruits or poached guavas.  

Lightly poach guavas in simple syrup.

Chop them up and add to vanilla kefir ice cream and serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Baked berries Combine wild berries or raspberries and strawberries with 1/8 cup of rosewater and 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and toss until well coated.

Dump berries onto a half baking sheet and spread into an even layer.

Bake low oven for 20 minutes. Allow to cool and serve on top of your kefirs!

Native syrup

Cut the flesh from the seed of Kakadu Plums, to make syrup.

Illawarra Plum behaves in a similar way to gooseberries, can turn bitter with over cooking, the bitterness disappears on cooling.

Munthari (native cranberry), small green and red fruits have a crisp Granny Smith apple flavour.

Quandong (wild or desert peaches) red fruit have a tart apricot and peach flavour.

Riberry are small pink berries with a cinnamon and clove character.

The zest and juice of wild limes added to churned ice cream and are great stewed in syrup to accompany kefir ice cream also makes for a great kefir mayonnaise.

Cherry and vanilla bean syrup (Makes about 2 cups)

2 1/2 cups cherries (we use our own grown tropical cherry), stemmed and pitted

1 vanilla bean, split

1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup coconut vinegar

1 3/4 cups rapadura sugar

1/4 cup raw honey


Place the cherries and vanilla in a clean jar and lightly crush with a fork.

Combine the fruit and vinegar in a large jar, tightly screw on the lid and shake vigorously for 10 seconds.

Let infuse in a cool, dark place such as a cupboard up to 2 weeks, shaking daily. The longer it infuses, the stronger the flavour.

Strain the juice through a double layer of muslin /cheesecloth and funnel into a clean glass bottle. Add sugar and shake to combine. Pour into the original, clean jar or another jar or bottle.

Refrigerate for one week before using, shaking daily until sugar has fully dissolved. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

Date syrup

Pit and soak soft dates in water for at least an hour.

Can use the soak water alone for a light syrup or blend soaked dates together with soak water in blender for heavier syrup.

Adjust water to adjust heaviness of syrup.

This can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge.

Cacao syrup

Combine 3 tablespoons of raw cacao powder, 2 tablespoons honey, 4 tablespoons coconut oil (melt if required) 1 teaspoon vanilla paste.

Pour into a pouring bottle and refrigerate. If sauce is too cold and too thick, place bottle into a bowl of hot water.

This is the bomb!

Vanilla kefir ice cream adds sliced bananas, whipped kefir coconut cream, kefir activated nuts and a good drizzle of cacao syrup, and you have yourself probiotic banana split!

Ginger ice cream

We love fresh ginger from our tropical garden, especially in desserts, it compliments other flavours so nicely.

It is especially welcome with things that tend to be sweet; tropical fruits, and peaches come to mind.

We have plenty of left-over ginger after making ginger beer, preserved ginger and turmeric in lime juice and flavouring kombucha and tibicos.

The left-over ginger is turned into ginger syrup for ice cream, or patted dry and chopped further, then added to just-churned ice cream.

Honey infusions

Vanilla Beans previously used to make kefir ice cream and syrups – let steep for three months in mild raw honey.

Calendula, rose petals, mint, anise, chamomile and lavender are other popular choices for flavouring honey.

1 to 2 tablespoons of herbs per cup of honey should be plenty.

The flavour takes a little longer to permeate the honey, a minimum of a month, although if you are using strongly flavoured herbs, two weeks may be enough.

Berry infusion

Put cleaned wild berries into clip-top bottle, pour over apple cider vinegar and leave to infuse for at least a week or more.

Kombucha kefir spiders  

Scoop kefir ice cream into a tall glass.

Pour Kombucha (plain or flavour of choice) directly over ice cream.

Fruito bars

Make simple syrup

Remove from heat and let cool.

Puree 6-8 large mangoes or fruit of choice.

Add to syrup + 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.

Stir to combine.

Put half of the mixture into a slice tin and freeze.

Whilst that is freezing, add in 300ml of kefir cream to the remaining other half of mango mix.

Once base has frozen, pour the remaining kefir cream/mango mix over the top and freeze again.

Leave in freezer covered. Slice into small bars with a warm knife to serve.

To make simple syrup

; combine 1 cup water with 1 cup sugar (un-refined of choice) in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved. Cool before using. Simple syrup will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Wattle Seed Christmas Pudding

500 ml thick kefir cream 1 teaspoon each cinnamon and ground cloves mixed spice and ground wattle seed to taste

1/2 cup fresh fruit juice, gurgle of sherry, brandy or rum (if desired) 3 cups organic fruit of choice …. dried figs, goji, incaberry, raisins, sultanas, currants, soaked almonds, dried apricots, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, rinsed preserved citrus peel, slither of fermented ginger.

Chop up fruit where necessary and soak overnight in tibi (water kefir) / juice and grog, if using.

Next day, add wattle seed, spices and nuts etc. Stir through thick kefir gently.

Pour into a mold and freeze.

For a chocolate pudding, dissolve 2 tablespoons cacao powder in a little water and stir through the mixture before adding kefir.

Serve drizzled with Kakadu Plum Shrub 

Decorate with nuts, flowers, candles etc.

Remember, it is Christmas!! This is very rich, so you only need small servings.

Celebration ice cream cakes are easy peasy to prepare.

Take a double layer kefir sponge cake and blitz each layer.

In one layer add pink colouring (beetroot juice / kvass) optional kefir-soaked almonds and strawberries or cherries and blitz, the other layer add cacao powder and blitz.

Arrange layers of ice cream, pink cake, crumb mixture, ice cream, chocolate cake crumbs, finishing with an ice cream layer in a spring form pan,

Use kefir and coconut kefir ice cream (vanilla or different flavours).

Cover with eco foil and freeze over night.

Turn out on ice cold plate, decorate and enjoy!

Serving tricks

Creative grandma and butter

Although many peeps use water or heat to help a knife cut through desserts, butter works better in many cases.

When it comes to crumbly things with air pockets, a buttered knife keeps it gliding through.

Just wipe on a small amount and cut away.

Things like hard ice cream or chilled raw slices can benefit from a warm knife.

Try a large glass filled with the hottest water possible.

Dip the knife in the glass and quickly wipe it clean and cut away.

While heat helps many items, cold can also do the trick. It is usually reserved for sticky items.

An ice-cold knife used quickly can cut through caramel without pressing or rounding down the edges.

It does not squish, it just cuts.

The trick?

Work quick and use a towel on the handle of your knife so your hands do not get too chilly!

Petals and leaves make wonderful decorations for kefir desserts and cakes.

Beat egg white until stiff, pour into an egg cup and add 1 drop of essential oil.

Dip the clean petals into the mixture then place on a wire rack to dry.

You can sprinkle with organic unrefined sugar if desired.

Chocolate leaves truly are a glam decoration.

The leaves require to be washed well in advance, so they have time to dry completely.

Rose leaves or fresh bay leaves

75 g best quality organic chocolate

Break the chocolate into a small glass bowl.

Put a little hot water in to a large bowl and stand the small bowl in it.

The water needs to come above the level of the chocolate in the small bowl. Any more water if required but be careful not to splash any water into the chocolate as even a drop will spoil it.

Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

Gently dip the backs of the leaves in the chocolate and place carefully, chocolate side up, on the baking tray.

Place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, until the chocolate is quiet hard.

Carefully peel off the leaves.

Make kefir dessert extra special by using vanilla sugar.

You make this by leaving a vanilla pod in a jar of unrefined sugar of choice for a few days.

You can re-use the pod to flavour many batches of sugar!

Love and bacteria, Lynnie xo


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