8 Yummy Ways to Eat Kefir

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Yummy Ways to Eat Kefir

Don’t like plain kefir, even though you know it’s good for you? Well, I have some people like you in my family. ;) So I’ve been on a mission, since we begun making it, to come up with fun and yummy ways to eat it. I hope that you will help me build up this list. First, though, let’s recap why kefir is so good for you (see the original kefir post for more). Kefir:

  • is a natural antibiotic
  • does not feed yeast
  • doesn’t bother those who are lactose intolerant, because the beneficial microorganisms consume most of the lactose
  • provides enzyme lactase, to digest remaining lactose
  • coats the lining of the digestive tract, creating a nest for beneficial bacteria to colonize

Now, onto the yummy ways we’ve been eating — and loving — kefir.

(Interested in water kefir? Here’s info on that.)

1. Kefir Cheese

This is much like yogurt cheese, where the whey has dripped out, leaving a thicker consistency that is spreadable like cream cheese. You can season it with herbed seasoning salt, herbs, or anything else you fancy, and then spread it on bread, biscuits, etc. (See directions here – steps 1 and 2 of probiotic potato salad.)

2. Probiotic Potato Salad

The secret to this probiotic potato salad is the kefir cheese used in the dressing. It is a tangy, delicious potato salad that everyone in my family loves!

3. Salad Dressings

Use in place of yogurt in yogurt-based salad dressings. Experiment with adding it to other salad dressings.

4. Veggie Dip

Season up the kefir cheese (from the probiotic potato salad) and make a dip out of it. Just some homemade herbed seasoning salt is all it takes. (Pictured at top.)

5. Ice Cream

Here’s a recipe for Probiotic Chocolate Ice Cream, featuring — you guessed it — kefir!

6. Smoothies

Try my chocolate kefir smoothie or summer fruit smoothie.

7. Popsicles

Use the kefir smoothie (#6) mix to make popsicles (tip from Annette of Sustainable Eats). My friend Amy suggests using an ice cube tray and toothpicks if you don’t have an official popsicle tray.

8. Parfait

Make a kefir parfait, using kefir as you would yogurt and top it with soaked/dehydrated nuts and seeds, soaked/dehydrated oats, dried fruit, cinnamon, fresh fruit, and a drizzle of raw honey or maple syrup. Yumm for a snack, as a salad, or as breakfast!

What about you? What fun ways have you found to use kefir?

For more on both dairy and water kefir, plus what you can do with them, see our Fundamentals and Lacto-Fermentation eCourse!

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Comments

  1. says

    The popsicle idea is great. This summer I have been using small paper cups when making popsicles. I cut straws in half and use that for the handle, or you could us popsicle sticks. You can’t re-use the paper cups, so that is somewhat of a waste, but the popsicles turn out to be just the right size.

  2. says

    Saw your link on Food Renegade – I’m so excited about trying the probiotic potato salad! I don’t have kefir cheese, but I have some yogurt cheese in the fridge. My husband loves potato salad but I haven’t made any lately as my first attempt at homemade mayo did not turn out so good (too runny, too much coconut taste). Thanks!

    Mary Ellen
    The Working Home Keeper
    .-= The Working Home Keeper´s last blog post… From the Market =-.

  3. says

    I also use the dixie cups for our freezerpops. For the handle I use plastic spoons. I use the spoons over and over. Most popsicle containers are too big, so I like the dixie cups. I have seen another set, I’d like to try. Just need to order it. It uses the wooden sticks, which I like too.

    The chocolate kefir smoothie sounds oh so yummy!
    .-= Michelle´s last blog post… Crime Doesn’t Pay =-.

  4. says

    Wardee,
    This question is totally unrelated to Kefir, but I need some advice.
    I made sprouted wheat over the weekend. I usually make about half as much as I made this time. So my baking sheets that I put the grain on to dehydrate in my oven are very full and about 1- 1 1/2 inches deep. Well, for some reason the grain smells really bad! My kids say that it smells like stinky feet. I don’t know if I didn’t rinse them good enough before spreading it out in my pans, or what? Do you have any suggestions? Has that ever happened to you?
    I did sprout a little bit differently this time. I usually keep the grain submerged in water the whole time. This time I soaked in water overnight then just kept them damp for about another day.
    I don’t think I can let anyone in my house today it smells so bad, it kept waking me up last night. Bleck!! My son just walked past talking to himself, “ugh, I hate that smell!!” Poor kid:)
    Thanks,
    tiffany

    • says

      Tiffany – if they smell bad, I think you should toss them. However, is it a sweet smell? My grains most often will give off that a sweet smell – just like if you sprout barley to make diastatic malt. If it is sweet, I wouldn’t worry about it. But if it is off, I would. Why do you sprout submerged in water the whole time? I would think you’d risk drowning your seeds that way – and would recommend you soak only overnight and then sprout while damp for about a day to a day and a half. Did you rinse at least every 12 hours while they were out of the water but damp? If the temp is warm, three times a day rinse is almost mandatory to prevent spoiling. I’m off for the day, so won’t be back here until this evening, in case you have other questions.

  5. says

    Thanks, I knew you would have the answer for me. I don’t really know why I was sprouting submerged in water. I am pretty sure I didn’t rinse the grains enough, as it was hot. Ugh!! I lost about 12-16 cups of wheat. Bummer, but a good lesson learned anyway.
    Thanks again,
    Tiffany

  6. Janice says

    Wardee, Do you have a kefir ice cream recipe ready yet? I am very lactose intolerant and have GI problems which seem undiagnosable. I have been culturing kefir with kefir grains to supply the probiotics my gastroenterologist wanted me to take in (very expensive) pill form. I am able to tolerate it…thus getting much needed calcium, protein, and calories as well as the probiotics. I would love to make myself some kefir ice cream in various flavors. Do you think it would supply the probiotics in frozen form? Please respond to my email, if you don’t mind. Thank you, Janice

  7. says

    These are awesome ideas. I love drinking homemade kefir daily – and so beyond adding some to a smoothie and putting it in breads , I have not done much with besides drink it straight up! But some of these recipes are making me want to venture out a bit more! :)

  8. Mary in LA says

    What a wonderful site you have here!
    Re: kefir ice cream: My husband and I like to make ice cream for family get-togethers. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law are lactose-intolerant, so for this Memorial Day we got the idea to try frozen kefir instead of falling back on buying Rice Dream or soy ice cream. :-)
    Our ice cream maker is a Sunbeam model 4744. The recipes that came with it were very simple: 2 cups heavy whipping cream to 2 cups whole milk, plus whatever flavoring we wished (fruit, chocolate syrup, raisins, etc.). The rule is to fill the ice cream maker to about half its capacity or a little more (too much and it will overflow). So we kept it simple and just threw 4 cups of raspberry kefir in the ice cream maker, didn’t add anything else to it, and it came out like a very nice and tangy sherbet. Everyone liked it, not only the lactose-intolerant folks. :-) Hope this helps!

    • says

      Mary – Great info! Thanks for sharing what you did. So you didn’t use any sweetener beyond the sweetness of the raspberries? Sounds delicious.

  9. Mary in LA says

    Thanks — glad you liked it! Nope, no sweetener necessary, though I might try adding some next time just to see how much of a difference it makes.

    • says

      Sam – Yes, you can eat them! Most people don’t like them because of the texture, but I quite like them. Like a sour gummy bear. ;) They’re really good for you — all the organisms of the kefir in a high concentration.

  10. Miter says

    I have found that Kefir really helps with Calcium absorption. Sometimes I just stir some molasses and drink it (molasses also a good source of Ca). Before I go to bed I drink a cup of kefir — straight up.
    My older but still very active mother also enjoys Kefir very much (great drink for a senior citizen) she says she has more energy, or maybe she just feels more alive! When I first set her up with the Kefir in a mason jar — she told me she needed more curd grains because she had very little curds left…..
    I said, “Mom you ate all the curds — were suppose to save the keifr grains curds as a starter….”
    LOL….It is okay to eat the grains but – it is important to reserve some to continue the keifr cycle.

    I had to get more Kefir grains for her and give her step by step instructions:

    1) Add the kefir grains/curds to the jar
    2) Add milk to jar,about 1-1/4 to 2 cups.
    3) Cover with loose lid or papertowel secured with rubber band
    4) Let sit 24 (longer if needed or desired is OK)
    5) When kefir milk is ready,stir & then pour milk & grains slowly into a strainer or colander over a bowl, gently separate the grains from the kefir milk — do not smash grains.

    6) TO START OVER: Go back to step (1)

  11. Steve says

    Give the straight stuff a chance. It grows on you. It’s important to let it ferment without the grains for an additional day or two. That changes the taste a fair bit and the texture. It becomes much thinner, less fatty, more nutritious, and sparkily. Very similar to sparkiling lemonade, but much more satisfyling. The other thought is to just dump some over fresh fruit. Mango, or berries go great with kefir.

  12. emily says

    Anyone have any recipes for getting rid of my extra kefir grains? I know it would be better to eat them than throw them out and don’t have the fridge space (or money) to keep them all going. Growing so fast! Any ideas would be great i can’t find any recipes but ones using kefir liquid. Thanks

  13. Wendy says

    Hi There! Thanks for having such a helpful site. Could you do something very basic for me? Could you put up a photo of plain kerfir that it just made and ready to consume? I have had to sort through info and images to figure out which portion to consume. Here is what I have come up with:
    1) the grains (little balls) are used to make more.
    2) The liquid is whey, which I do not yet know how to use.
    3) The yogurty part would then be the kefer…but Can I just sit and eat a bowl of it if I like it that way?

    • says

      Hi, Wendy!

      To answer your questions, you might want to look at this post:
      http://gnowfglins.com/2009/06/01/why-kefir/#

      Also, here are quick answers:

      1) Correct.
      2) You’ll have whey if the kefir ferments long enough. It spills out as the milk curdles more and more. A shorter ferment may not produce any whey. When you do get whey, you can use it in cooking, add it raw to smoothies, add to bread dough, feed to animals, use in lacto-fermentation as a starter culture.
      3) Yes and yes. Or use in salad dressings, smoothies, drip through cheesecloth to make “kefir cheese”. Lots of things you can do!

      • tia says

        I leave the whey and kefir together and make a smoothie. I let the smoothie ferment another day in the fridge and it tastes like drinkable yogurt.

  14. Katee says

    I blended a pint of milk kefir with a handful of basil leaves, the juice from two lemons, and dried garlic, black seed and sea salt for the most flavorful dressing! It was perfect over shrimp salad and I will be making another batch soon!

  15. pegs cafe says

    Hi we do allot with kefir and one cool thing to do is ferment pure cream and make cultured butter so so easy. u then end up with butter milk and when used in pancakes is the best ever! Its the best way to get it into u.

    thanks
    -Shane

  16. Marlene says

    I love kefir with my homemade granola for breakfast. Sometimes I also drink it straight, or have made cheese (everybody loved it!) and mixed it with fruit juice to drink. So many ways to eat it!

  17. Pam says

    Great ideas, thanks. I love adding stevia and a little vanilla extract to my glass of kefir-delicious too!

  18. Daniel says

    I let kefir sit on the counter until it splits – then I strain the curds or the ‘cheese’ from the whey, store the whey for some other use; and mix the cheese with olive oil, herbs and crushed garlic and salt enough to strike out the deep ‘putrid’ taste of the cheese. It is sublime.

  19. Barbara Melrose says

    I use the whey left over after straining the kefir to make cheese. The whey has all kinds of uses. I add a TAB or 2 to homemade mayo and let sit on the counter for a few hours before refrigerating. It inoculates it with the good probiotics and prolongs the refrigerator life. Same goes for homemade mustard. When making homemade bread, instead of adding water for the liquid, add room temperature whey….it conditions the bread and is extremely wonderful for pizza crusts. Barb

  20. Bob says

    Kefir makes great ranch style dressing. Even my kefir hating children eat it like it’s good. Just use it in the place of the buttermilk.

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