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5 Delicious Recipes with Kefir

Whether you culture kefir and have produced an abundance of it and need to figure out ways to use it up, or you'd like to buy some and try your hand at cooking with it, kefir is an excellent addition to your kitchen. You can easily use it in baked goods and many other recipes; its properties make it versatile and ideal for use in many ways. Its acidity makes it tangy like buttermilk, and its fat content makes it rich and creamy. Do keep in mind that it will curdle, unlike sour cream, so it should be added toward the end of the cooking time in things such as sauces. Kefir is an ideal probiotic, so get more of it into your diet with the following recipes.

Green Goddess-Style Kefir Dressing

This is a delicious cultured version of a classic. For extra probiotics, try using Lacto-fermented Mayonnaise.

INGREDIENTS:

·       1 cup mayonnaise

·       ½ cup milk kefir

·       ½ cup fresh parsley, finely minced

·       ¼ cup fresh tarragon, finely minced

·       3 Tbsp. chives, finely minced

·       3 Tbsp. anchovy paste

·       3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar or kombucha (well fermented)

·       1 Tbsp. lemon juice

·       1 garlic clove, (finely minced or grated)

·       Salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

1.     Whisk together mayonnaise and kefir until smooth.

2.     Whisk in other ingredients.

3.     Cover and chill for several hours before serving.

Chilled Cucumber-Avocado Kefir Soup

This soup is rich in enzymes and probiotics as well as refreshing and cool – perfect for a summer day, a snack after a hard workout, or as a light side dish to homemade veggie pizza.

INGREDIENTS:

·       1½ lbs. cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and chopped

·       1 large avocado, peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped

·       ½ small red onion, roughly chopped

·       1 cup milk kefir

·       1 handful of fresh cilantro, dill, or parsley

·       a handful of fresh cilantro, dill, or parsley

·       Chopped radish, scallion, or cucumber to garnish

INSTRUCTIONS:

1.     Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until very smooth. Chill for a couple of hours before serving.

2.     Top with chopped radish, scallion, or cucumber and/or crumbled feta or goat cheese.

3.     Serve cold.

Banana Smoothie

Most kids love bananas, and this recipe is an excellent way to introduce kefir into your child's diet. You can even add a spoonful of peanut butter to make the flavor more familiar and agreeable if you'd like.

INGREDIENTS:

·       1 cup yogurt, kefir, or buttermilk

·       1 banana

·       1 tsp. vanilla

·       1 Tbsp. Raw honey or maple syrup, or a small amount of stevia

INSTRUCTIONS:

1.     Add all ingredients to a blender and process until smooth.

2.     Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Coffee Kefir Ice Cream

Yes, even ice cream can be healthy in moderation. This recipe combines the roasted flavor of coffee with the creamy, tangy flavor of kefir to form an irresistible treat.

INGREDIENTS:

·       2 cups milk kefir (replace 1 cup with kefir cheese for a creamier result)

·       2 cups cream, half-and-half, or milk

·       1/2 cup strong coffee or espresso

·       3/4 cup sugar

INSTRUCTIONS:

1.     Add sugar to hot coffee or espresso, stir to dissolve.

2.     Whisk coffee-sugar mixture with remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Chill 1-2 hours.

3.     Once thoroughly chilled, pour into ice cream maker and churn as directed. Serve as soft serve or freeze to harden.

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Waffles

These soft, tasty waffles are the perfect way to start your morning; they also make an easy, quick meal or snack any time of day.

INGREDIENTS:

·       2½ cups finely ground wheat flour

·       2 cups yogurt, buttermilk, or kefir

·       3 beaten eggs

·       3 Tbsp. honey

·       2 Tbsp. Butter, melted

·       1 tsp. salt

·       2 tsp. cinnamon

INSTRUCTIONS:

1.     Mix the flour and the yogurt, buttermilk, or kefir. Cover and place in a warm area overnight.

2.     Stir in the eggs, honey, butter, salt, and cinnamon. Mix well.

3.     Cook in a hot, well-oiled waffle iron until golden on both sides.

4.     Serve with butter and honey or syrup, jam, peanut butter, or fresh fruit.

You can also use kefir in many of your own recipes! Try substituting it for buttermilk in any recipe, or just using it as a salad dressing – its creaminess makes it perfect as a dressing on its own or along with some added herbs and spices. You can use it as a marinade to add flavor and tenderness to meat or to dip chicken into before breading. Kefir is also perfect for cool treats such as popsicles, smoothies, and ice cream; simply substitute it for any milk in the recipe.

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