Christmas is just a few days away, and if you’re like the members of the Lifeway team, you’re probably overwhelmed with all of the cookies, candies, treats and desserts that are showing up in our kitchens, at the office and on our dinner party menus. We love dessert as much as anyone, but do our best to enjoy it only on special occasions, and to make them as healthy as possible when we do indulge.
To satisfy our desire for a sweet treat while not going overboard, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite kefir recipes that require little work, plus a bonus recipe we love that’s a bit more involved (but nonetheless incredible). We hope they help you enjoy the holiday season and help you feel your best at the same time!
Simply Delicious, Deliciously Simple
The first thing you’ll notice about this list is the absence of Christmas cookies, pies and cakes. By now, we’ve had quite enough of them and are looking for something a bit different that will not only satisfy our sweet tooth, but keep us from crashing into a sugar coma.
Strained kefir is the perfect base for a variety of healthy desserts and dishes – sweet and savory. Here we serve it with thinly sliced fresh pears, honey, nuts and seeds, but it’s also delicious with berries, bananas, granola and figs. Strained kefir sits well in the fridge for a few days, so you can make this dish in advance and save yourself some time and pressure.
We’ve talked in the past (in our Baking with Kefir post) about the benefits of using kefir in baked goods, as it makes them extra moist and fluffy, without adding additional fat or oil. This recipe is also great because guests can choose to eat whatever portion size they need, and it keeps well for the next day. Serve it warm topped with Farmer Cheese for an easy, delicious and satisfying dessert.
We made these Farmer Cheeseball Bites to serve at a party we attended earlier this and they were a big hit! They require no cooking and, like the strained kefir, can be made ahead of time. Mix and match with different nuts or seeds, and choose gluten-free pretzel sticks, if you have an allergy.
Sometimes we want a touch of savory with our sweet, which is when we turn to these Whipped Farmer Cheese Crostata with Pomegranate and Honey. They’re a they’re impressively light and creamy and come with a satisfying crunch. They’re perfect for a large crowd, too, and require little prep and mess. Consider using different chunks of fruit, or salted seeds and pistachios, in place of the pomegranate.
Surprise, it’s a cake! Ok, so while the vast majority of our recipes tend to be closer to a “health food” than a “dessert food,” sometimes you just have to have cake. Our bonus recipe, this Kefir Rhubarb Coffee Cake is just one of those recipes – we couldn’t leave it out! While it does require some extra prep and ingredients that might be hard to find, it’s a comforting treat that we love served with hot tea on cold winter nights. Even better? It’s also as breakfast or part of a brunch table! Yes, we just gave your permission to eat cake for breakfast.
We hope you enjoy these recipes! Do let us know if you make them yourselves – we’d love to hear from you? We’d also like to know – what are your favorite, healthy holiday treats? Let us know by visiting us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Find more recipe inspiration in our Recipes section, or by visiting us on Pinterest.