Both Milk Kefir and Water Kefir are packed with beneficial bacteria, probiotics and yes, they're incredibly tasty drinks. But it’s not just another health kick to try over the weekend. Kefir is proving to be much more than that.
Research suggests that we shouldn't just be taking Kefir grains more seriously in terms of their nutritional effect, but also taking a hard look at their weight loss properties.
Below we serve up the evidence and some simple Kefir grains recipes that will have your tummy rumbling (albeit flatter) in no time.
Benefits of Kefir
An exciting research study published recently suggests that there may be a good reason to eat your extra Kefir grains along with Kefir to flatten your tummy this summer.
We know Kefir promotes weight loss as suggested by Kim et al (2017) and a study Anti-obesity Effect of Exopolysaccharides Isolated from Kefir Grains by Lim et al (2017), stated that Exopolysaccharides or EPS (which are the material that makes up both water kefir grains and milk kefir grains), shows significant anti-obesity effects possibly via changing your gut bugs. The study also highlighted that EPS supplementation significantly enhanced the abundance of Akkermansia species in faeces. This is fascinating because Akkermansia, a type of bacteria found in the gut, is causally and inversely associated with obesity, diabetes, cardiometabolic diseases, and low-grade inflammation (Cani et al, 2017). Akkermansia is a species closely being looked at by Australian Microbiome Testing provider, Allele Microbiome. You can find out how much Akkermansia you have in your gut by ordering one of their test kits.
So, rather than throwing out your extra grains, why not try some of these kefir grains recipes below. A spare tablespoon in a smoothie for some gut-loving goodness could well take some inches off your waistline this summer.
Homemade Kefir Grains Recipes
The good news is that Kefir is super versatile. A well-known and delicious fermented drink, Kefir grains in the form of the traditional water kefir or milk kefir drinks boast huge benefits to gut health, and overall well-being, not to mention weight loss.
Here are some out-of-the-box scrumptious recipes to try out at home.
1. Berry-Kefir Smoothie
Yep, you read it right. This delicious concoction shouldn’t be missed. The perfect morning energy-hit - but with a healthy twist, you can mix and match your favourite berries or even sub in a frozen banana if you're feeling like changing things up.
- 1 Cup Strained Kefir Grains
- 1 ½ Cups of frozen berries
- 1 Banana
- 1/4 Teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine all this goodness into a blender, and go for it.
Pro tip: if you’ve got some nut butter hiding in your cupboard then throw a tablespoon in while you're blending.
2. Kefir-lime dressing
This delicious salad dressing should make an appearance whenever you’ve got a tasty Mediterranean spread on the table. The tanginess of the Kefir and the hint of citrus with the lime should be perfectly balanced out by the coconut sugar. Mix in with cucumber or rocket salad for best results.
- ½ Cup Kefir
- 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Half of 1 Garlic clove, crushed
- 2 Juiced limes
- ½ Teaspoon coconut sugar
- 1 Small sprig mint/dill finely chopped
Mix well, and add salt to taste. This dressing is also notoriously good to drizzle over warm falafel balls. Do it. You’ll see.
3. Salted Kefir Butter
Let's be honest: everything tastes better with butter in it. But imagine the delicious layers of complexity that Kefir grains bring to this simple yet fantastic food. Here’s how straightforward this is:
- 200 Grams unsalted butter
- 3 Tablespoons Kefir
- 1 Pinch of sea salt to taste
Mix up well. And if you’re lucky enough to have a loaf of sourdough bread lying around - spread generously and enjoy!
4. Kefir Horseradish Dip
Packed with probiotics and bursting with healthy goodness, this dip is the pinnacle of healthy, fermented dips.
- 1 Cup Kefir
- 240 Grams of cream cheese or Kefir cheese
- 2 Tablespoons horseradish
- 3 Tablespoons Smooth salsa
- 1 Pinch of garlic salt (or 1 garlic clove crushed and a pinch of sea salt).
Start by mixing the Kefir and the cream cheese. Once well combined, add and mix the rest. Leave refrigerated for a few hours before serving for the ultimate flavour bomb.
5. Kefir Ice Cream
Who said eating healthy didn’t include having sweets every now and then? Kefir may be packed with beneficial nutrients and overflowing with healthy bacteria but that doesn’t mean it can’t become delicious creamy ice cream.
- 1 Cup Kefir
- 1 Tablespoon honey or maple syrup
- 1 Dash of vanilla syrup
- 1 ½ Cups frozen berries or bananas. (For chocolate fans add 1/2 cup chocolate chips and a tablespoon of cacao powder).
Blend ingredients together until it’s as frothy as possible. If you have an ice cream maker then you can churn until creamy.
Store in the freezer until served and consume within the week for the best flavour.
Pro tip: If your Kefir ice cream is totally frozen solid after days in the freezer, make sure to leave it at room temperature before serving up.
Start making your Kefir grains recipes today
When it comes to your health, it’s best to stick with organic brands you know and trust. Here at Nourishme Organics, we stock premium 100% organic Kefir grains plus all the tools you need to start making your own water and milk Kefir from home.