Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Product Review - Lifeway Kefir


 Have you ever tried Kefir?

Have you ever tried what?

I, for one, had seen this product, heard of it, but never actually tried it, until Influenster and Lifeway teamed up to provide a free, full-size sample of the Kefir product of  my choice.

Until trying Kefir, I thought of it as a cross between milk and yogurt, and after giving it a go, I'd say that's pretty accurate.  To further clarify, from Lifeway:

"Kefir is a cultured probiotic beverage similar in taste and texture to drinkable yogurt, and made from milk fermented with kefir cultures. Originating over 2000 years ago in the Caucasus Mountains-where many people live well over 100 years-kefir has been associated with a long list of health benefits."

I picked up the plain, nonfat kind, but I saw so many others - blueberry, strawberry, coconut, even chocolate truffle!  I picked the plain kind because it mimics plain Greek yogurt in my opinion - low-sugar, low-calorie, high-protein, and minimal ingredients.  One serving (one cup) of Lifeway Kefir in the plain, non-fat flavor is 90 calories, no fat, 12 grams of carbohydrates, and 11 grams of protein.  It also contains lots of probiotics.  And exactly what are those?  I will let Lifeway tell you:

"Probiotics, which literally mean "beneficial to life," are live cultures that provide health benefits beyond basic nutrition. Most probiotics include the live active cultures often added to foods like yogurt. Researchers have studied bacteria extensively and considerable evidence indicates that there are several strains of essential good-for-you bacteria that have an ability to promote healthy gastrointestinal functions. Lifeway Kefir contains seven to ten billion CFU’s of 10 strains of bacteria, plus ProBoost, our exclusive pair of probiotics. That’s 12 live and active cultures per cup to produce a wide array of health benefits."

So, what do you do with Kefir?  At first taste, the plain, nonfat kind is VERY tart - think plain yogurt, but double how tart it is.  I tried giving some to my 2-year-old, to which he handed the cup back to me and said, "Mommy, I can't like this."  So, not toddler-approved, but I stirred in the tiniest bit of honey and enjoyed a yummy treat!

I also like this as a smoothie with peanut butter, cocoa powder, honey, blueberries - just one of those ingredients, or all of them mixed together!  You could also stir Kefir into some oatmeal with fresh fruit for a delicious breakfast.  The possibilities are endless!  I think of it this way - replace any yogurt with it and enjoy!

There are also tons of Kefir products - frozen, organic, traditional, Greek-style - I really want to try the frozen and Greek-style!

And the price wasn't bad at all - $3.99 at Whole Foods for a 32-ounce bottle - that's cheaper than a 32-ounce generic brand of Greek yogurt.

So tell me, are you a Kefir fan?

(Full disclosure - I received a coupon to try the Lifeway Kefir product of my choice.  All thoughts and opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any other way.)