7 Uses for Probiotic Milk Kefir or Yogurt--Recipes and Tips
Milk Kefir Uses
1. Drink it plain
Milk kefir is a wonderful source of protein, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, tryptophan, Vitamin B12, B1, K, D, A, and most importantly, it is rich in live active probiotic bacteria and yeast cultures, which improves function of our digestive and immune systems. Milk kefir is well tolerated by people who are lactose intolerant, because most, or sometimes all lactose has been digested by the bacteria. Kefir has a similar tangy taste of yogurt, only it's drinkable and is much more superior than yogurt as far as probiotics go. Kefir can be made at home, all you need is kefir grains, which can be purchased on-line, and plain dairy milk.
2. Make smoothies with kefir
Fruit and berry smoothies are great for healthy breakfast or a snack. I make a smoothie every morning. It is very versatile and easy to make, all you need is to mix frozen or fresh fruits or berries or both with kefir and add a little bit of sweetener, I prefer honey or agave nectar. Blend it together and enjoy it's taste and health benefits.
3. Make popsicles with kefir
Popsicles, or probably I should call them creamsicles, are made the same way as smoothies. All you do, is make a smoothie, pore it into a popsicle mold and freeze.
4. Make a healthy ranch dressing or a dip
I do not buy ranch, but make my own using kefir. It is very simple to make.
I usually make just enough for a day or two.
1/4 cup of kefir
sea salt to taste, usually just a pinch
pinch of black pepper
1 tsp of chopped herbs of your choice, I pick dill
1/2 tsp of non-salt seasoning, such as the one made my Mrs Dash
1/8 tsp of garlic powder
Mix everything well together and use as you would ranch.
5. Probiotic kefir cheese
Kefir cheese is very tender, soft and delicious, you would use it the same way you would cream cheese. My family and I use kefir cheese to spread on breakfast breads and pancakes. Also, sometimes I mix it with fruit or berry jam and make a filling for crapes with it. Kefir cheese can be used as a dip for vegetables, just add herbs and spices to taste.
To make kefir cheese, line a mesh strainer with a high quality, durable paper towel, put the strainer over a glass bowl, pour kefir in it, place into the fridge. Let it stand overnight, in the morning, all the liquid will be collected on the bottom of the bowl, now just take the cheese out of the paper towel and store in the glass container.
6. Homemade face mask
Due to kefir being rich in lactic acid, it works excellent as a homemade face mask. If used over extended periods of time, it actually works as a chemical peel would, only in a more gentle way. Lactic acid removes dead skin cells, promoting skin regeneration, resulting in smoother, younger looking skin.
To make the face mask you can use plain kefir, or add ground oatmeal to thicken it a little bit, oatmeal has additional benefits for the skin, anti-inflammatory and soothing. Spread the kefir over cleaned face and leave it on for about 10-15 mins. Wash off with cool water and apply moisturizer. Use this face mask about two times a week.
7. Kefir can be used in recipes to replace sour cream or milk
Depending on the recipe, of course, but I have successfully replaced sour cream and milk in recipes by kefir many times. It might take some practice and it will depend on the recipe. You will also have to take into consideration the fact that kefir is more runny than sour cream, so it might be necessary to add more flour in some recipes.
Note: Plain yogurt can be used the same way as kefir, for all of the above recipes. I prefer kefir over yogurt because kefir is far more superior nutritionally.