Lets talk kefir. And I am not referring to the Sutherland variety. Ha ha! I'm talking about the super nutritious probiotic dairy food. More specifically, it is a fermented milk that is low in lactose and high in beneficial bacteria which may include Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus, Lactobacillus helveticus, Lactobacillus kefiranofaciens, Lactococcus lactis, and Leuconostoc species. Probiotics promote healthy digestion and immune function.
Lifeway Kefir is a family run company from Chicago that has brought their products to Canada. They generously sent me their original and peach varieties to try. Their kefir are described as a tart and tangy cultured milk smoothie that is high in protein, calcium and vitamin D. Thanks to our exclusive blend of kefir cultures, each cup of kefir contains 12 live and active cultures and 7 to 10 billion beneficial probiotic strains.
Lifeway Kefir is extremely creamy but just slightly higher in calories than skim milk (120 calories per cup instead of 90). The peach has added cane sugar, which I don't love, but the girls - particularly - Big A, really enjoyed it and the whole jug was gone in 48 hours. The plain variety, is very strong tasting and, in my opinion, best suited for cooking, salad dressings, marinades, etc. I froze it in cubes and attempted to make the family strawberry vanilla softserve, but they found the tang a bit overwhelming. It definitely is an acquired taste so if you don't love it the first time you try it, try it again or try using it in a different way.
If you like the taste of kefir and don't like overly sweet things, you may like this recipe, otherwise I would stick to using it for savoury recipes.
Strawberry Vanilla Kefir Softserve
Plain Lifeway Kefir, frozen in ice cube trays
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 dropper full of vanilla stevia liquid
1/2 cup baking stevia
1 tsp konjac powder
Drop about 8 kefir cubes along with strawberries, protein powder, vanilla, and stevia into high powered blender. Use ice cream setting. Add milk, as needed to get desired consistency. Serve immediately.