If you are conscious about your gut and you prefer natural beverages, you have probably tried kefir drinks, kefir milk, or a kefir cup.
A tall glass of kefir milk always makes for a good breakfast smoothie or a late-afternoon drink, but it can do so much more.
You can include this deliciously healthy, probiotic rich drink with a wide variety of dishes. It is best to use home-made kefir because these can have as many as 35 different probiotic strains as compared to only 8 – 12 in store bought ones.
Here are 15 yummy ways to use kefir milk in your cooking.
Creamy dressings are preferred by all and pair well with almost every main dish. However, they are high in fat content and devoid of proteins, unless you use kefir as your base. Low fat Greek yogurt adds a nice creamy texture to this ranch dressing while keeping calories on the low.
Combine 1/3 cup nonfat Greek style yogurt, 1/3 cup low-fat kefir milk (dairy), 3 tablespoons mayonnaise, 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives, and seasoning in a medium mixing bowl.
You can add some minced parsley and thyme for additional flavor.
This probiotic enriched potato salad is vegan, gluten free, and absolutely delicious. This is one of the best ways to have kefir if you cannot stomach its taste otherwise. Potato and spices do a great job of masking kefir milk flavor.
Season one cup of plain kefir milk with any herb seasoning salt (homemade or store bought) by whisking it gradually until a smooth consistency is achieved. Whisk in 1 tablespoon of pickle juice or lemon juice till a thin salad dressing like consistency is achieved.
Meanwhile, boil 12 medium sized potatoes and dice them once cooled. Add in chopped onions, celery, olives, and any other veggies to the bowl. Don’t mash the potatoes before adding herbed kefir dressing. Toss lightly and serve warm.
You can also substitute potatoes with eggs or add them both to this yummy salad. You can add other ingredients like parsley, dill, garlic, and root ginger as well.
Kefir Ice Cream (Chocolate)
Imagine having a dessert guilt-free because it is actually good for you. Everyone knows the havoc wreaked by sugar on the body, especially the tiny probiotics working diligently to keep you healthy.
By adding kefir milk to this recipe and using date pieces you get the same sweetness (minus) the damage.
Blend 2 cups whole coconut milk or cream, 1 ½ plain kefir cup, 2 cups raw whole milk, ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 absolutely ripe avocado, 3 egg yolks, 2 tablespoon vanilla extract, and 1 cup date pieces or raisins, in a in high-powered blender.
Blend until smooth and chill thoroughly. Finally, freeze as per your ice-cream maker’s instructions. You can also pour this in muffin cups and leave in the refrigerator for kefir cream bowls.
Don’t worry about the probiotics freezing to death since kefir probiotics are known to withstand resilient temperatures. In fact, people freeze their grains for months if they want to take a break from fermenting kefir batches at home, with no damage to them.
Make-Ahead Kefir Parfait
If there is something everyone likes, it is an easy, nutritious, and yummy breakfast. You can make this kefir parfait a night earlier and enjoy it as a probiotic enriched breakfast or an afternoon snack.
Simply layer 1 serving milk kefir (almond or coconut kefir milk can be used), 1 cup pureed raw fruit, chopped raw fruit, or berries, soaked rolled oats, 2 tablespoons each chopped nuts, dried figs, and raisins in a tall parfait glass.
Top with a drizzle of honey, sprinkle of cinnamon, nutmeg and shredded toasted coconut. Leave it in the refrigerator and enjoy chilled.
Jaffa Orange Kefir
Jaffa orange kefir can make a great snack in between meals. Pour 1 plain kefir cup milk in a bowl. Peel and cut 1 whole blood orange into 8 pieces. Zest the orange and mix it with the kefir milk. Place orange pieces in the bowl and garnish with grated dark chocolate.
You can serve this with a few mint leaves and a drizzle of maple syrup. Make sure you leave some white pith of the oranges since they are high in bioflavonoids and increase the absorption of vitamin C.
Kefir Cottage Cheese
Kefir cottage cheese is quick and easy to prepare and results in a fresh, sweet curd cheese with just two ingredients. Heat 1 gallon milk to 140°F in a heavy bottom pan and slowly pour in 2 cups of whole fat kefir milk. Stir gently until the curd starts separating from whey.
Turn off the heat and set aside for 10 minutes. Strain the curdled milk using cheesecloth. Save the whey to be used in other dishes. Tie the curd in the same cheesecloth and place a heavy weight on it to help set it quicker.
Kefir Pumpkin Cobbler Topping
Sometimes an inane looking dish or stew can be spruced up and made to look ‘hell’s kitchen’ ready with a simple topping. This kefir pumpkin cobbler topping goes well on top of baked beans and robust venison stew.
Blend ½ cup self-rising flour, 4 tablespoon each kefir milk, butter, parmesan cheese, and raw grated pumpkin, 2 tablespoon ground almonds, and a pinch of nutmeg, pepper, and salt.
Place the topping and bake your casserole for 30 minutes. Serve hot.
Kefir Flat Bread
This is a great alternative to gluten breads available in the market. You can use almond, quinoa, or amaranth flour. Add ¾ kefir cupƒ to 1 1/2 cups flour and knead to make smooth dough. Don’t forget to add some salt and leave overnight in a warm place.
Kefir milk does the work of a leavening agent and makes the dough rise. Make little smooth round balls (16 – 18) and roll them into an oval shape. Leave them on a prepared baking tray for 30 minutes. Gently brush the tops with melted butter and bake at 2000F for 8 minutes.
Kefir Sourdough Bread Starter (milk free)
This is for people on a lactose intolerant diet since kefir granules work very well as a sourdough starter. Mix 1 cup flour of choice (prefer whole wheat) with 2 cups water to make a lump-free thin batter.
Place in a jar and put a tablespoon or a lump of kefir grains. Cover and leave at room temperature. The starter is ready when you see bubbles coming up from the dough.
Simple sauerkraut can easily become a highly dense probiotic dish by fermenting it with kefir grains. Pound 2 medium sized cabbage heads to bruise it completely and then shred the leaves.
Fill a large glass jar with brine solution halfway. Place a tablespoon of kefir grains at the bottom and pack in the cabbage leaves. You can add caraway seeds, garlic, basil leaves, and peppercorn for added flavor as well.
Make sure the cabbage is always submerged in water. Your kefir kraut is done when you notice bubbles appearing.
Kefir Chia Pudding
This tasty treat is high in probiotics and omega-3s. Combine 1 cup low fat kefir milk, 3 tablespoon chia seeds, and sweetener of choice in a bowl.
Cover the mixing bowl and set in the refrigerator for at least 5 hours or overnight. Spoon chilled pudding into serving cups and top with mint leaves, blueberries, and pomegranate arils.
Kefir Waffles (Prep-meal)
You can quickly whip up these easy kefir waffles the night before for an unhurried morning meal. Blend 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, ½ cup each whole wheat flour and rolled oats, and 2 tablespoon ground flaxseed meal.
Add 2 ½ cups plain whole milk kefir, 3 tablespoon each maple syrup and coconut oil, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Cover and place it in the fridge for the ingredients to soak overnight.
The next morning add 2 teaspoon baking powder and 1 large egg to the blender pitcher and pulse 3 times until everything is nicely combined. You can add additional flour or kefir milk as necessary.
Make the waffles as you normally would and serve hot with maple syrup, fresh berries, or peanut butter.
Lemon Kefir Marinade
This marinade can be used on chicken, tempeh patties, fish, and steak. Whisk together 1 cup kefir, 2 cup of olive oil, 1/32 cup fresh lemon juice, 4 tablespoons lemon zest, and chopped garlic, rosemary, and thyme.
Add a teaspoon of Dijon mustards and season with salt and pepper. Your marinade is ready. The marinade goes best with chicken skewers served with pineapple and spinach salad.
Combine 1 cup plain whole milk kefir, 2 cups vine ripe tomatoes, 1 cup seedless watermelon, 3 cloves of garlic, ⅛ cup white wine vinegar, ½ cup red bell pepper, and ½ cup English cucumber. Let the ingredients soak overnight.
Add ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil to the bowl next day and blend until smooth. Serve in a tall glass garnished with diced avocado and watermelon.
Kefir Goddess Dressing (All Green)
Blend ½ cup plain whole milk kefir, 1 small ripe avocado, 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 1 green onion, 1 large handful each of parsley leaves and cilantro leaves, and 1 medium garlic clove. Serve immediately with your favorite dish.