For thousands of years, kefir has been a dietary staple for many around the world. While it is commonly enjoyed as a drink that is consumed by itself, there are a lot of creative ways to make this nutrient-packed beverage an everyday ingredient in your cooking.
Here are 5 Different Ways to Enjoy Kefir in your Diet.
What is Kefir?
While non-dairy alternatives are becoming increasingly available, kefir (pronounced ‘kə-feer’) is traditionally a fermented dairy beverage that mostly resembles yogurt, but with a more fluid-like consistency. From a nutritional perspective, what most distinguishes these two ingredients is that kefir offers a much higher and more varied probiotic density.
What are probiotics, you ask? Essentially, probiotics are these tiny living organisms that live in your gut and aid with digestion. There are different types of probiotics, and when consumed in adequate amounts, they can provide the body with a host of health benefits. It is because of this that probiotics are often referred to as the ‘good bacteria.’
Kefir is also a source of non-digestible carbohydrates that help to fuel the growth of probiotic bacteria. Additionally, most dairy-based kefir is available in reduced fat varieties; making them a calorie-conscious source of protein, vitamins B and D, as well as, valuable minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium.
How To Enjoy It:
1. As a substitute in baked goods
Heating kefir will kill some of the living bacterial cultures. However, there are still several reasons why substituting it into your baked goods is a good idea. Like buttermilk and yogurt, kefir can also lend a natural tart and tangy flavour. Swapping kefir for either of these ingredients when baking can additionally help to boost the protein content of your finished product. To add richness in texture, opt for a kefir made with whole milk.
2. In frozen treats
Calorie-wise, using kefir in place of heavy cream in your frozen treats is undoubtedly a healthier alternative. Plus, when made with the right ingredients, you may be able to pass off a popsicle as your breakfast on a hot summer morning. Blend kefir with fresh fruits of your choice, pour it into a popsicle mould, and patiently wait until your delicious and nutritious frozen treats are ready.
3. As a marinade
Because of its naturally acidic properties, using kefir as a marinade helps to tenderize meats. Acids help to break down protein walls, thus supporting the optimal absorption of moisture and flavour while softening the meat.
4. In salad dressings
If yogurt-based dressings are a thing, kefir-based dressings certainly can be too! Create your own, fresh spin on popular creamy dressings by playing around with various combinations of kefir, spices and fresh herbs.
5. As a spreadable cheese
With a little patience and the help of a cheesecloth or coffee filter, you can quickly transform kefir into a tasty, spreadable cheese. Whether you go sweet or savoury with the flavouring, kefir cheese makes a great addition to any charcuterie board or sandwich.
With all of these different ideas, you might find yourself enjoying kefir at every meal! Don’t forget to tag us on social media with your culinary creations that feature this superstar ingredient!
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