A “cultured milk product” may sound foreign, but if you’ve ever eaten yogurt, you’re closer to kefir than you thought. Find out what makes it just a little more special.
What Is Kefir?
Kefir has the mild tang of yogurt, only with a thinner and more drinkable consistency. Plain is the traditional variety but its increasing popularity has caused manufacturers to produce flavors like cherry, strawberry, chocolate, cappuccino and pomegranate. Low-carb flavors are also available but are sweetened with artificial sweeteners.
Kefir is available in non-fat, low-fat and whole milk forms. Brands such as Lifeway also offer frozen, scoop-able versions, with a texture similar to frozen yogurt.
One cup of low-fat, plain kefir has 110 calories, 2 grams of fat, 12 grams of carbs and 11 grams of protein. It’s comparable to milk in the calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin D department but does contain more iron than milk – 30 percent of your daily needs per cup (milk has 1%).
Kefir is perhaps most well known for its digestion-promoting healthy bacteria known as probiotics. Regular ingestion of these “healthy bacteria” help to keep a balanced environment in the intestines, which can help with regularity.
Yogurt is also a good source of probiotics but kefir tends to have more per serving and its thinner consistency is often easier to digest.
5 Ways to Love Kefir
- Make a creamy low fat salad dressing
- Blend into a smoothie
- Use in place of buttermilk when baking
- Swap out yogurt for kefir in your favorite frozen yogurt recipe
- Toss with shredded cabbage, carrot, cider vinegar and celery salt for a tangy coleslaw
Tell Us: Have you tried kefir?