Lifeway Kefir is helping to keep us healthy this holiday season! Kefir, sometimes called the “champagne of dairy” is a cultured probiotic dairy beverage that’s been around for more than two thousand years. With the consistency of drinkable yogurt and a tart and tangy taste, kefir’s versatility ranges from granola to smoothies, salad dressing, to holiday treats.
Here are the health benefits of kefir plus a delicious recipe for “Strained Kefir with Fresh Pear, Nuts and Seeds,” brought to us by Lifeway Kefir.
- Kefir contains live and active probiotics, live organisms that provide a myriad of health benefits. Like other fermented foods, including miso, sauerkraut and kimchi, kefir supports a healthy gut, where 70-80% of the cells that make up the immune system are located.
- Kefir may help to maintain a healthy weight. It is high in protein, which increases satiety and reduces hunger cravings throughout the day.
- Kefir can improve your skin, as it contains Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA), a popular ingredient in skin care products.
- The live and active probiotic cultures found in kefir may help support healthy digestion.
- Not all brands of kefir are lactose free, but Lifeway Kefir’s unique fermentation process and specific cultures ensure their kefir is 99% lactose-free. Unlike other dairy products, it is suitable for most people who are lactose intolerant.
- Kefir can improve mood, as it contains tryptophan, the amino acid that helps raise levels of serotonin in the brain.
- Kefir supports bone density, as one serving provides 30% of your daily calcium needs.
Strained Kefir with Fresh Pear, Nuts and Seeds by Lifeway Kefir
- 1 32 oz bottle Lifeway Plain Whole Milk Kefir
- 1 ripe pear, sliced*
- 1/4 cup mixed nuts and seeds
- 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Ground cinnamon, to taste
- Ground nutmeg, to taste
- Honey, to taste
- Pinch of sea salt
The night before, or up to three days in advance, line a fine mesh strainer with cheese cloth or coffee filters. Rest the strainer over a deep bowl, careful to make sure the bottom doesn’t touch, and pour in the kefir. Cover the bowl and strainer with a lid and place in the refrigerator overnight, or for at least eight hours, to strain. After the kefir has strained, transfer the thick cream to a container with a lid and place in the fridge until ready to use. Discard the liquid whey, or save for use later. You will have 2 – 2 1/2 cups of thick kefir cream. To prepare the pears: clean, slice and remove the core of the pear. Add to a bowl with lemon juice and toss to coat. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
To serve: add 1/2 – 3/4 cup strained kefir to a bowl or parfait glass. Top with sliced and seasoned pears, nuts and seeds of choice. Drizzle with honey, if desired, and serve cold. Feel free to use sweet or sour apples, plums, bananas or berries – whatever is in season and you have on hand!
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