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 to come up with fun and yummy ways to eat kefir.
I hope 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.
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.
Simply line a stainless-steel colander with fine cheesecloth or 100% cotton fabric. Put the colander inside another pot. Then carefully pour kefir into the cheesecloth-lined colander. The whey will begin to drip out.
Tie up the ends of the cheesecloth to keep bugs and dust out, but leave it lying in the colander for about 1 hour. Then tie it better, and hang it so the kefir is suspended over the colander. Let hang for about 24 hours — until it has a thick sour cream consistency.
After 24 hours, take down the hanging bag and scrape the kefir cheese into a storage container. Rinse the cloth with cool water, then wash in a high heat cycle or boil to sanitize for next time.
2. Probiotic Potato Salad
The secret to this probiotic potato salad is the kefir 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 kefir cheese (see method above!) 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!
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.
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 Traditional Cooking School's Fundamentals, Lacto-Fermentation, and Cultured Dairy eCourses!
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