As one of the oldest naturally fermented foods around, people have been cooking and consuming with kefir for more than 2000 years. While these days it’s more commonly enjoyed as a drink by itself or in a smoothie, there are several other ways to use and cook with kefir as an everyday ingredient.
For example, we can marinade meat with it, use it as a base for overnight oats, use in place of milk and water in many of our favorite recipes, and enjoy it as the foundation of our favorite dips, dressings and spreads. To introduce our Cooking with Kefir series, we’re focusing on baking with kefir.
The Basics of Healthy Baking with Kefir
Kefir is an extremely versatile baking ingredient and when substituted for milk, buttermilk or water, will produce a delicious and healthy twist for any dish imaginable. Because it’s fermented and cultured, it adds both texture and taste to any baked good. To explain, here are some kefir properties that help make it a great ingredient for baking:
Kefir has a natural tart and tangy flavor from the presence of lactic acid. This provides similar results in recipes as would buttermilk, but with more protein.
It Has Different Amounts of Fat.
Using whole milk kefir in baked goods adds richness to the final product, without the addition of oil or shortening.
It’s High in Protein.
The high protein content of kefir adds to the nutritional benefit of baked goods, making a healthier and more satiating recipe.
It’s true that when heated, the live and active probiotic cultures in kefir die, but that doesn’t mean you don’t benefit from using kefir in place of milk. Plus, Lifeway Kefir is up to 99% lactose-free, making it a suitable option for pancakes, waffles, muffins, biscuits or bread for those who are lactose intolerant.
Baking with Kefir: Healthy Recipes
It’s easy to incorporate kefir into your favorite baked treats – check out some of our favorite baked recipes with kefir as a main ingredient below. We definitely recommend enjoying them with a cool, creamy glass of your favorite Lifeway Kefir.
This recipe is made with our Organic Whole Milk Kefir and the Simple Mills Almond Flour Pancake and Waffle mix. When we’re craving a sweeter dish, we sub the sautéed veggies for our favorite mixed berries.
This recipe is via the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America 2015 tour. It not only uses our kefir, but our Farmer Cheese as well! It’s sure to impress your guests this holiday season.
Our plain lowfat kefir is the key ingredient to what makes this quick bread extra fluffy. When it’s seasonally available, we use our Limited Edition Cranberry Crème Brulee Kefir for an extra boost of cranberry goodness.
Healthy doughnuts? Sign us up. These mini baked doughnuts are a special treat reserved for the weekends that we feel good about eating, thanks to the wholesome ingredient list and added protein. Plus, they’re made with our Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Kefir, which makes us .
Nothing says the weekend quite like a stack of warm, fluffy pancakes. Thanks to the acidity of kefir, these cinnamon-delicious pancakes are springy and delectable. With the addition of apple, they’re extra high in fiber, vitamins and minerals!
We’re so excited to work with Simple Mills to come up with recipes for you, and this recipe for savory biscuits comes from their team. Find the original recipe here and be sure to check out the rest of our Lifeway + Simple Mills collaborations here.