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I've been reading online about Kefir (a fermented milk drink). I love any kind of dairy products and I'm curious to give it a try so I think I might pick some up at the store this weekend.

Has anyone tried it and know if it's any good or what flavor I should get?

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Kefir is great, especially for digestion. It has quite a strong taste - if you like greek yoghurt or plain one, you'll like kefir as well. I would try plain one first and if it's too strong I would go with vanilla one.

 

Thanks ntesan! I imagined it would be similar to greek yogurt. Plain yogurt is my favorite, so I think I'll get plain to start with. For some reason I just really love that sour/tangy taste :] The stronger the better!

I love kefir. Skip the flavoured stuff - it's a total sugar bomb. Get the plain one and if it's too tart you can just put it in a smoothie or something. If you like kefir and want to start drinking it regularly, do yourself a favour and track down some kefir grains so you can make your own - it's as simple as making tea, and it's much fresher and less processed than the storebought stuff, not to mention much cheaper! Last time I saw kefir in the store it cost like 5 times more than milk, which is obscene when you know how easy it is to make. 

WRT plain versus flavored, plain Kefir has 12g of sugar per 8 ounce serving whereas flavored versions have 20g of sugar per 8 ounce serving. That tells me there's only about a teaspoon and a half of added sugar in every cup of kefir (the rest is naturally occuring in the milk used to make kefir), which doesn't really fit my personal description of a "sugar bomb."

I haven't had plain kefir, but I have had strawberry and chocolate. They're still more tangy than sweet in my opinion. I really should try the plain version since I do love plain yogurt.

Edit: I don't drink kefir on a regular basis. I have it in my head that it's in the same category as yogurt, and I enjoy yogurt more than kefir.

bierorama, i ended up getting the plain and it's really good. You would definitely like it if you like plain yogurt. I've just been drinking glasses of it with my breakfast, but I want to start making smoothies with it. I don't have a very good blender right now though, I really need to get one of those lol

and thanks for the tip epinephrine, I'll look into finding the kefir grains too, I wasn't aware you could make it at home.

Glad you like it! I suggest you go on some kind of social networking site like Facebook or even Craigslist or something like that and just make a post saying you're looking for someone with kefir grains to share. They naturally grow and reproduce with time, so anyone who has some is bound to have a surplus. People who make their own kefir at home are always trying to find a home for their extra kefir babies and spread the kefir gospel. 

Well, for me it has a strong cheesy taste, but I eat it with oats and raisins so it is ok and the cheese/yeast feeling is not so strong. Other than that, it is great for digestion and in terms of good available bacteria 

 

ETA: Sorry, I forgot to add, I buy cups of already made Kefir in supermarket, I don't know anything about fermenting your own

Trader Joe's has a strawberry-flavored kefir that tastes just like strawberry milk (I think they also have a chocolate one, but I haven't tried it). I haven't gotten it in a while, but it's probably got a lot of added sugar. The regular unflavored kind just tastes like plain yogurt to me, so I think it's pretty gross.

I don't know about making it yourself, but I know Whole Foods and similar grocery stores sell kefir starter, and the internet is bound to be full of homemade kefir recipes (So you could skip most/all added sugars, artificial flavors, etc).

#9  
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Kefir is great if you have tummy troubles, I drink about 8oz. everyday and hardly ever have gas or bloating. I love all the flavors and use it in smoothies instead of milk or in conjunction with almond mild.

I use the plain kefir and just add a packet of Splenda to it to sweeten it up a bit. I love it . The plain has less calories than the ones with fruit, which is fine with me. Sometimes I will add bob's old country muesli to it.

Sarahtea, thanks for mentioning that, I forgot - I was having chronic stomach problems for months and months last year and I noticed it improved considerably around the time I received my own kefir grains and started drinking kefir daily. I've heard the same thing from other people, as well. I think the bacteria also consume a lot of the lactose, making it much more digestible than uncultured milk. 

^ After a bout of e. coli a couple years ago, my doctor told me to really push the yogurt and kefir to get my "good" gut bacteria back up to where it was, after it was wiped out by the hardcore antibiotics I had to be on. I recovered pretty quickly, considering the severity of it.

If you have a good international market, middle eastern market, or cheese shop you can look for labne(h).  It's a cheese made from either yogurt or kefir.    It has a cream cheese texture, although not quite as thick, a great tang, and two tablespoons has about 60 calories and less fat then cream cheese.  There's even a half-fat labneh with about 35 calories, 25 from fat, for 2 tblsp.  I put a couple of bites on my multi-grain toast, yum.  I had it with lox and it was great.  Even better because it retains all those probiotics.  

#14  
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Labneh is just yogurt that has been strained of the whey and salt - very similar to Greek yogurt, but with salt.  Also, if the container does not say "live cultures" then it is not a good probiotic.  Kefir also must say with "live cultures" or again the strains of bacteria and yeasts are basically dead.  I make my own milk and water kefirs - basically the natural tastes similar to buttermilk; you can choose a flavor that your like or make a smoothie with the natural flavor and fruit of choice.  Since kefir will populate your gastric system with good bacteria, unlike yogurt, it is best to start with 1/2 cup/day before a meal for a couple days to get your system used to the new bacteria and yeasts....

 

I make my own Kefir using goats milk. Available at health food stores, You can pick up a pack of sachets of Kepir culture powder to which you stir in a litre of any kind of milk to your liking. I beleive the process of fermentation eats the sugar in the milk therefore making it lower in calories. Leave the mixture for 24 to 36 hours in a dark area of around 20deg or until the kefir starts to settle then place infridge for 12 hours. the kefir is ready to drink when at a smooth consistency similar to thin yogurt. before making the next batch (while still using the current batch, add half a cup of the Kefir to anoher litre of milk. Repeat up to another 3 times to make 5lt Kefir total then for next batch use a new sachet.

I use half a cup as the base of my daily shake, sweet or savoury. Depending on the climate of where you live you will find the process changes with the tempreture. You can find a lot more information on the net.

sealungs...all you need is a wand blender...much cheaper, a lot less hassle and does a fab job. Use a tall plastic beaker to do the blending...works better in smaller base space..

 

Have not seen ready made Kefir in the supermarkets in Australia, at least not in my state. would be nice to be able to pick up some ready made for when I am on the road.

#18  
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I like it but haven't had it for years.  Flavor would be your preference.  I would compare it to a yogurt milk shake but not as thick.

I especially like it for my kiddos when they weren't feeling well.  It's a bit like yogurt in that it has cultures so it's good for balancing stomach bacteria.  It's a must if one is on an antibiotic.

It's a little tart similar to yogurt.  I've had strawberry and pomegranate.  Both pretty good.  Also frozen Kefir is delicious.

Labneh can be made from either kefir or yogurt.  Since it isn' heated in the draining of the whey the odds of losing the probiotics is fairly low.  If you can, purchase it freshly made, or make it yourself.  Just drain the kefir of whey either using something like butter muslin or at least a double layer of cheese cloth or even a dish towel would work better.  There are also a growing number of artisnal cheese makers who are using kefir for the bases of their hard cheeses.  

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