Previous to getting married, my future mother-in-law first started to try to win me over to the kefir user crowd, and I thought, “I am not that crazy of a health-nut! I will never use that stuff…” Low and behold it wasn’t long before I thought I would give it a try. Maybe it was to impress her, I don’t know. Now I am an avid supporter and user of kefir in almost anything.
If you are asking, what in the world is kefir? Read more about it here. If you already know, read on. To the left you will see a picture of a kefir grain.
Here are a few ideas of how I use kefir on a regular basis.
First off, morning smoothies! I love loading up my morning smoothie packed with nutrients. It is very reasonable to make, simple, and will give you lots of energy for the day! I try to make a smoothie at least once every other day.
Ingredients I love to throw in:
orange juice, concentrate
an assortment of fruit: bananas, berries, etc
little maple syrup for sweetener
oils – coconut oil or olive oil
Other ideas: protein powder, oat bran, eggs (as long as they are farm fresh)
Another thing I use my kefir for on a regular basis is soaking my grains. Soaking is encouraged because it assists in breaking down the phytates in the grain and allowing your body to be able to digest the nutrients and minerals in the whole grains. It is a very simple process. All’s you have to do is add at least 2 Tbls of kefir to whatever flour is called for in your recipe.
For example, I am preparing rice for dinner. For one cup of brown rice, I add 2 1/4 cup fresh water and 2 Tbls of kefir. The recommended length of time for soaking rice is 7 hours. So it just takes a little thinking ahead! Once it is done soaking, I cook it as normal. Your body will now be able to assimilate the nutrition so much better!
For our regular twice a week breakfast of oatmeal, I soak 1 cup of rolled oats with 1 cup of water and 2 Tbls of kefir (or more!). I let it sit covered overnight. In the morning I put 1 cup of water to boil on the stove. When it is rolling, I add the soaked oats and let it simmer for 15 minutes or so. We then add ground flax seeds, dried cranberries, chopped apples and sometimes a little mashed bananas and there you have an excellent high fiber breakfast.
For quick breads that contain some sort of liquids (water or milk), replace up to half your liquids with kefir and soak the liquid, kefir and flour for 12-24 hours. That is the standard recommended soaking time for the best assimilation. For homemade bread, you soak the flour with the liquids, and kefir for the same amount of time.
My favorite breakfast recipes are all soaked, including waffles, crepes, and pancakes. These recipes I have found from Sue Gregg cookbooks. I will share these recipes in upcoming posts.
The benefits of soaking definitely out way any thinking ahead preparations.
REPLACE ALL BUTTERMILK WITH KEFIR
For any recipe that calls for buttermilk or yogurt, I replace it with kefir! Works perfectly every time.
Do you have any other kefir ideas to share?