5 Ways to Make Kefir Part of Your Daily Diet

07 May

As we’ve learned here at the Cellulite Investigation, healthy digestion is a critical aspect of cellulite recovery.  Last week, I posted instructions for making homemade kefir, a powerful probiotic drink that is much more effective than fiber at clearing up digestive issues.

Kefir is a cultured dairy drink that is excellent at building up the beneficial bacteria that live in the digestive system. It is similar to yogurt only not as thick and the flavor is more tart.

Since kefir is so tart, a lot of people don’t like to drink it straight but instead use it as a main ingredient in other recipes.  Now that we know what kefir is and how/why to make it, here are five ideas for tasty ways to make kefir part of your daily diet.

  1. Smoothies: This one is a no-brainer. You simply throw some kefir in the blender along with whatever fresh fruit you have on hand.  Sometimes I add some honey or maple syrup, depending on the sweetness of the fruit. Use any leftovers to make popsicles.  You can really get creative here. A prime example is this recipe for spiced pumpkin smoothies from Elizabeth at the Nourished Life.

  2. Pancakes: I love making soaked whole wheat pancakes. They are so easy to make and filling, too. I never experience the mid-morning hunger that I used to feel after eating normal pancakes. The hardest part of this recipe is remembering to mix the flour with the kefir the night before.  Once that’s done, all you have to do in the morning is add eggs, salt, baking soda, and butter. They have a slightly tangy flavor that I love.  You can use this same soaking technique for making waffle batter. Thanks to the Nourishing Cook for providing the recipe for soaked waffles.

  3. Ice Cream: Lucky me, I received an ice cream maker for my birthday last year. How does probiotic chocolate ice cream sound? Follow this link to Wardeh’s fabulous blog for the recipe.

  4. Salad Dressing: While you’re over at Wardeh’s, don’t miss this post with more creative ways to use kefir. I never would have thought to use it in creamy salad dressings, but the tanginess would make for a nice twist.

  5. Baking: Depending on how adventurous you are in the kitchen, you can use kefir in place of milk to make your favorite baked goods. Here is a recipe for Banana Bread from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.

I’m sure there are many more great ways to enjoy kefir.  What’s YOUR favorite?

A Cellulite Investigator Update

Thanks for stopping by The Cellulite Investigation.  Things are a little quite around here at the moment.  I’m taking an extended break as I get married and settle into married life and a new home.  Don’t worry, I’ll be back soon!

Comments

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Liz says:
5/7/2010

I made my morning smoothie with kefir and coconut milk this morning — yum!

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That sounds divine! You know I love the coconut.

Mine was with kefir, banana, and cantaloupe. Mmmmmmm…

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A Green Spell says:
5/7/2010

Yum! Thanks for sharing!

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Elizabeth Walling says:
5/7/2010

Thanks for the shout-out, Melissa! :) So weird, but I got out of the habit of making pumpkin smoothies and now they sound like a great treat. Need to go hunt down some pumpkin…

I like kefir in smoothies, it seems to be a pretty effortless way to eat it. Often I would just put a little vanilla and stevia or maple syrup in a glass of milk kefir and it's a great way to end a meal. Kind of like dessert, except, you know… healthy. ;)

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Magimom says:
5/8/2010

Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest! Interesting recipe and tips – I might have to try it!

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WhisperingWriter says:
5/8/2010

A friend of mine drinks kefir. I tried it and nearly gagged. Just not for me :)

Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!

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Melissa B. says:
5/9/2010

I prefer to get my fiber the old-fashioned way…

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It's hard to get more old-fashioned than kefir –unlike Metamucil, it's been around for centuries!

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Lo says:
5/10/2010

Kefir is definitely awesome in a smoothie. Been drinking one every morning just to make sure I get my beneficial critters!

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Wardeh @ GNOWFGLINS says:
5/11/2010

Melissa, thanks for linking to a couple of my posts. And also for talking about one of my favorite foods! I'm about to try a sourdough bread using kefir as the starter – yes, the starter – people are saying it is great.

This is a really long link to the recipe, sorry:
http://f1.grp.yahoofs.com/v1/cFXfS9Ka60JO8UZQ5YHHkhiUwCiuSmpzjmWywhXRbcRkFrtTt4aGXh0BFQGAgB2CGPgz7Pu2MIbInXBcwfre49CKX1zmNw/Recipes%20/Bakery/Bread/No-knead%20Kefir%20Bread

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Jessie says:
5/11/2010

I feel like this is maybe a stupid question – but do you really get the probiotic benefits of kefir if you cook with it? Wouldn't you destroy all the good bacteria by baking the banana bread dough for example? It still could be useful to cook with – in terms of providing a acidic medium – but the bacteria part maybe not.

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Anonymous says:
5/12/2010

I just tried the link for the banana bread and it stated "page not found."

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Wardeh @ GNOWFGLINS says:
5/12/2010

In the recipe to which I linked, the benefit of the kefir is that it does the work of fermenting the grain for better digestion and nutrition. After that, yes, it expires during baking.

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Lisa says:
5/12/2010

I was just going to say what Jessie said: cooking with kefir is great, but don't do it for probiotic benefits- the heat kills them. I'm also wondering how much of the bacteria holds up to being frozen (ice cream)? Not much I would think? I make a lot of kefir smoothies. I also like to add in some greens (like steamed kale or spinach) which get masked under the fruit flavor, and a couple of tablespoons of avocado every now & then give it amazing creaminess too- try it! :)

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Great question, Jessie! Thanks for the info, Wardeh. We're all about improving digestion here at the Cellulite Investigation so it's useful to understand how these things work.

Anon– I wasn't able to access the recipe either, so I'll shoot an email to Wardeh and ask for it directly.

Lisa –I'm going to have to try that avocado tip. Sounds intriguing!

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Wardeh @ GNOWFGLINS says:
5/14/2010

I think it has been taken down. :(

I have a partial copy of it that someone posted on my eCourse forum. I can email that to you, Melissa and then you can pass it on as you see fit.

I'm sorry!

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Thanks, Wardeh! I'll keep an eye out for it!

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Mandie H says:
9/16/2010

I love kefir! I always put a tablespoon of coconut oil in my kefir smoothies for some extra healthy fat. Thanks for this blog. I just started reading a few days ago and I love it!

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Melissa says:
9/16/2010

I do that too, Mandie. Thanks for your comment. So glad you found us!

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