What is Kefir?

By Sarah Peterson, Registered Dietitian

Kefir (pronounced kuh-FEAR) is a cultured dairy drink. Perhaps you’ve seen the colorful bottles of Lifeway Kefir in the dairy aisle at the grocery store and weren’t quite sure what it is or how to incorporate it into your diet. Kefir has a tart and tangy taste – it tastes delicious on its own and can also be used in a variety of recipes.

Kefir goes through a long fermentation process, which produces probiotics and bioactive peptides. These substances are being touted in research for their anti-inflammatory, anti-hypertensive and even antioxidant properties – making kefir a great food to support immune, digestive and cardiovascular health. Kefir also has other essential nutrients important for everyday health. One (8-ounce) serving of Lifeway Kefir contains 12 live and active cultures and is a good source of protein, vitamin B12, vitamin D and calcium.

What about lactose? Many people who are lactose intolerant shy away from dairy products, missing out on the many important nutrients the dairy provides. Lifeway’s unique fermentation process and specific kefir cultures ensure that Lifeway Kefir is up to 99 percent lactose-free and suitable for most people who are lactose intolerant – making it an attainable source of dairy nutrients and probiotics.

So how can you incorporate this probiotic powerhouse into your diet? Lifeway Kefir is easy to use in everyday recipes and adds a probiotic boost to any meal. Lifeway Kefir is a great replacement for milk or yogurt in smoothies and overnight oats, can be drizzled on top of oatmeal and soups, is easily added to cereal, can be used as a base for salad dressing, and is a healthy replacement for buttermilk in baked goods.

To learn more ways to incorporate nutrient-packed foods into your diet, consider working with a  dietitian.

Try Lifeway Kefir in this nutrient-packed smoothie recipe!

All you need:

  • 1 cup Lifeway vanilla whole milk kefir
  • ½ cup frozen butternut squash cubes (in the frozen aisle at the store)
  • 1 cup frozen wild blueberries
  • 1 frozen banana (or fresh)
  • Optional: 1 cup fresh spinach for a green smoothie (or to create layers)
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 1 fresh Medjool date or a pinch of your favorite sweetener
  • Ice
  • Garnishes: pumpkin seeds, fresh bee pollen, coconut shreds, etc.

All you do:

  1. Add kefir to a blender and then add the frozen butternut squash cubes, frozen wild blueberries, banana and spinach (if using). Top with cold water, Medjool date or your favorite sweetener, and ice. Blend until combined; it should be thick.
  2. Top with garnishes as desired.

Recipe source: https://lifewaykefir.com/recipes/butternut-squash-banana-and-blueberry-smoothie/

This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.