5 Smart Ways You Could Be Using Kefir in Your Cooking

updated Nov 9, 2022
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(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

Tangy kefir is like a pourable, drinkable version of yogurt. It’s praised for containing good-for-you probiotics that aid in healthy digestion. While kefir makes for a delicious beverage all on its own, there are a lot of other smart ways you can put this fermented drink to work in the kitchen.

This fermented dairy drink is similar to yogurt and buttermilk, and makes an ideal stand-in for both. You can pick up a bottle of kefir in the dairy aisle at the grocery store, or you can skip the lines and make your own at home.

→ Make your own kefir! How To Make Milk Kefir

1. Salad dressings and dips

Making a creamy dressing that uses yogurt or buttermilk? Try swapping in some tangy kefir in its place. You’ll get the same tang you would from buttermilk, along with the bonus of probiotics.

2. Smoothies

Smoothies and lassis are an easy way to use kefir, especially if it’s new to you. It has a thick yet pourable consistency, similar to what you’ll get with a smoothie, so you can use it exactly the same way you would any type of milk or yogurt.

3. Ice cream and popsicles

Kefir also has a delicious place in some of our favorite desserts. Blend it with fresh fruit or use it in place of yogurt for popsicles. The next time you make homemade ice cream or frozen yogurt, use kefir in place of milk or yogurt for some extra tang.

4. Overnight oats

Try something different with your next batch of overnight oats. Along with water, stir in a couple spoonful of kefir when soaking the oats. Similar to the way yogurt would function, the kefir kicks off the lacto-fermentation process, which breaks down the tough structure of the oats, and adds extra flavor.

  • Why You Should Be Lacto-Fermenting Your Oatmeal

5. Quick bread and muffins

For even more moist quick bread and muffins, consider using kefir anytime you see regular milk or buttermilk in the ingredient list.

What other ways do you use kefir? Anything we didn’t mention here?

This post was requested by leapkate for Reader Request Week 2015.