Friday Feature: Kefir

Eaten any Marmite or frog eggs lately?

Cindy at Fix Me a Snack likes to try out obscure and interesting foods with her children and post their experiences on her blog. It doesn’t necessarily make me want to run out and try it all, but it certainly makes for entertaining reading.

And it gave me an idea.

There are lots of good, unusual foods out there in the market that could, no, should be a little more mainstream.  Things I’ve tried or would like to try which could be introduced here on Table Talk.

The first one that comes to mind is currently in my refrigerator.  I have been hooked on the stuff over the past several months.

Ever heard of anyone with a kefir addiction?

Sam calls kefir “liquid yogurt”.

It’s made by fermenting milk with kefir grains, a mixture of yeast and bacteria which slightly sours the milk.  And it does taste a lot like a drinkable yogurt.

You can find it at most large stores and health food stores.  It often comes in sweetened fruit flavored varieties which are tasty but loaded with sugar.  I prefer the plain, unsweetened kind.  Buying it this way allows me to use it in all sorts of ways.

Here are 5 of my favorites:

  1. Smoothies.  Blend it up in place of yogurt in smoothies.  Sam likes his blended with frozen banana pieces, cocoa powder, maple syrup and a dash of vanilla.
  2. Over oatmeal.  I’ve making a lot of baked pumpkin oatmeal lately.  Instead of using milk, I pour thick, creamy kefir over the top and drizzle the whole thing with syrup.
  3. As a replacement for heavy cream.  It’s a bit tangier than cream I’ll admit, but it certainly has far less fat and calories.  Last night I made creamy pesto pasta, using equal part pesto and kefir.  Delicious.  I’ve also used in soups and casseroles.
  4. In salad dressing.  Use in place of yogurt or buttermilk in creamy salad dressings.
  5. Just drink it.  I have to admit I love it plain.  Sometimes I mix in a spoonful or two of the sweetener, Xyla, for a cool, very light and refreshing dessert.

According to the nutrition facts on the back of the kefir we buy, it has a good amount of calcium, lots of protein and is loaded with probiotics.  I find it addictive (in a good way).

Do you use kefir?  Any more suggested uses for the rest of us?

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We have Clover brand kefir at our store.