Kefir – far more than a trendy new health drink

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Wrapped in cool packaging and promise to deliver billions of beneficial live microorganisms, essential vitamins, minerals and amino-acids helping to support and maintain your digestion, immune system, energy levels, weight management, healthy skin and bones… Is this a hidden secret finally out or just another food hype?

In the Scandinavian diet skimmed buttermilk and kefir is as common as any other diary product.

I remember my mum drinking a glass of ‘skummet kulturmelk’ (sort of skimmed buttermilk) in the mornings. And every so often we would be served a bowl of ‘kefir’, topped with breadcrumbs and sometimes also berries.

Kefir is among the oldest types of soured milk, more than 2000 years and apparently it originates from the Caucasus Mountains. What differentiates kefir from buttermilk is that kefir is milk with added kefir grains, a special kefir culture.

Both kefir and buttermilk have a fresh and full flavour, with kefir having a more round and creamy taste.

Of recent years Kefir has been popping up everywhere, from blogs and in food articles to wholesome food stores, presented as a healthy and trendy drink.

With consumers growing tired of processed foods, sugars and unhealthy fats messing up our digestive system we flock to ancient natural remedies such as healthy bacteria, which Kefir is all about.

But to us Kefir is more than a refreshing drink with health benefits. It’s part of our diet in so many ways as an ingredients in several of our dishes; on it’s own or as a smoothie. Served as part of breakfast together with breadcrumbs and berries. As the milk in waffle and in the popular Norwegian ‘sveler’. Chocolate cakes becomes even more moist and tasty with kefir – and try using kefir inasted of buttermilk in your scones.

Kefir is also great as marinade for meat! Place the meat and the kefir marinade in a zip lock bag and keep it in the fridge for seven days. Turn the bag around daily. The Kefir will not only ensure succulent meat but also add a fantastic taste.

An kefir is being introduced to the UK… Just recently!

I went to my nearest wholesome food store and picked up three brands; Nourish Kefir, Biotiful Dairy Kefir and Biona organic Kefir. I’m a bit surprised how fancy it was presented in the store, in small cool bottles and jars. In Norway the kefir would be sitting next to the milk, in similar sized and looking litre cartoons as whole milk and so on. No cool drinking bottles there… Just a cartoon and a glass, pour and drink.

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But you also have the opportunity to make your own kefir. If you do, not only do you get to decide the taste of it as you choose what milk to produce it from, you also have a an even healthier version. Homemade kefir is said to have an even greater health benefits as it will have a wider variety in the good bacterias. If you are feeling adventurous; follow the step by step method here, growingupherbal.com

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So if not fancy bottles in trendy store have convinced you… Planet Organic is one of many stores with a selection of kefir in the UK. And let me know how what you think and how you use your kefir! x

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