What Is Kefir Yogurt?

Cynde Gregory

By now, most people know that yogurt is both delicious and healthy, offering beneficial bacteria to the digestive tract that can minimize illness and enhance colon health. Kefir yogurt is not new; in fact, kefir is an ancient food that hails from the Caucasus mountain region bordering present-day Russia, Turkey, and Iran. Kefir yogurt, too, brims with healthy bacteria that support digestion, but unlike other yogurt, some of these bacteria are capable of establishing long-term colonies rather than simply aiding bacteria naturally found in the intestinal tract.

Kefir yogurt is thinner that regular yogurt.
Kefir yogurt is thinner that regular yogurt.

Kefir has a taste very similar to that of the more familiar yogurt available in grocery and health food stores around the world. Like yogurt, it is a tart, fermented dairy product, but there are notable differences. Kefir yogurt, while being thicker than milk, is much thinner than yogurt. In fact, many people consider it a drink rather than a yogurt and call it simply kefir to avoid confusion with its denser, thicker cousin.

Kefir yogurt can be safely consumed by individuals who are lactose intolerant.
Kefir yogurt can be safely consumed by individuals who are lactose intolerant.

In addition to some types of beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacillus caucasus and acetobacter, which aren’t found in most yogurts, kefir yogurt also offers beneficial yeasts that attack virulent yeasts throughout the body. Kefir is becoming increasingly available in grocery stores and can be found either beside the yogurt in the dairy case or in the health food dairy section. It is fermented, so people with lactose intolerance can consume kefir yogurt without problems.

Kefir typically contains a larger variety of cultures than those found in yogurts.
Kefir typically contains a larger variety of cultures than those found in yogurts.

Kefir purchased from stores is a bit pricey for some budgets. Making kefir at home is simple and inexpensive. All that is required is milk or a milk substitute, such as coconut milk or water, soy milk, or almond milk, a glass jar, and some live kefir grains. Under the right conditions, kefir grains proliferate rapidly, so introducing this healthy food to friends is easy. In addition, kefir grains that have been well tended will never lose potency or die.

Yogurt may be used to improve digestive and colon health.
Yogurt may be used to improve digestive and colon health.

While difficult to find in health food stores, the kefir grains that are available may be powdered or otherwise compromised. The best kefir yogurt grains do not have a limit to the amount of kefir they can produce. Packaging that specifies the number of times the grains can be used or the amount of kefir they will create are not the best investment.

If true, uncompromised kefir grains are not available locally, fans can order them inexpensively from a wide range of Internet sources. It’s important, though, to ensure the quality of the grains by reading the fine print to determine that they are not limited in the number of times they can be used. Checking a company’s reputation with a quick online search is also recommended.

Either milk or a non-dairy substitute can be used to make kefir yogurt.
Either milk or a non-dairy substitute can be used to make kefir yogurt.

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