What is kefir?
I first learned about kefir from a European hockey player I was working with about 9 years ago! At the time I didn't know much about kefir, since then I have learned a lot about kefir and enjoy it as a regular part of my eating routine.
Kefir is a probiotic rich, cultured milk beverage. Kefir comes for the Turkish word keyif, which means “good feeling”
I enjoy making my own kefir at home, it's relatively simple to make (see step by step instructions and resources in Drink Your Way to Gut Health) or you can buy store bought kefir that is plain or flavored, like Lifeway Kefir (pictured left).
Each cup of kefir (8 fl oz/240mL) provides 11 grams of protein, vitamin D, and calcium too!
Work kefir into your daily routine by adding to smoothies, using plain kefir to pour over cereal, or just enjoy a glass of flavored kefir. Do use have kefir in your eating routine? Share with me in the comments your favorite ways you enjoy it!
Here is one of my personal favorite kefir recipes:
Tart Cherry Kefir from Drink Your Way to Gut Health
Serves 2 (1 cup each)
Tart cherries are known for their anti-inflammatory impact on the body. Researchers from the Oregon Health & Science University presented a small study of 20 women with inflammatory arthritis (osteoarthritis); it showed that having 8 ounces of tart cherry juice twice a day for 3 weeks led to a reduction in inflammation markers. Similar inflammation reduction has been found among athletes who added tart cherry juice while training for long distance running, and the runners experienced less pain. When shopping for tart cherry juice, opt for 100 percent tart cherry juice to gain the maximum health benefits.
1 cup frozen dark cherries
1/2 cup plain kefir
1/2 cup 100 percent tart cherry juice
4 or 5 ice cubes
1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until icy and smooth.
2. Divide between 2 glasses and serve, or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 or 4 days.
Nutrition facts (per serving): 110 calories, 1/2 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 40 mg sodium, 22 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 18 g sugar, 4 g protein, 4% vitamin A, 8% calcium, 10% vitamin C, 4% iron