Friday, July 10, 2009

Kefir

The latest obsession of mine is kefir, fermented milk commonly found in supermarkets. You may have seen these thinned-out-yogurty drinks at race expos and wondered who would possibly like them.

I have nearly completed my first huge bottle of this stuff, which is approximately ~$2.50/bottle (32 oz). I've been running around to different stores to compare the prices and even found coupons for the stuff so that my kefir habit can be sustained.

I get the low-fat plain variety, which has 110 calories and 14 grams of protein per cup serving, plus 30% of my daily calcium requirement. Given that I don't drink milk due to my slight lactose intolerance and don't care to drink straight-up soy milk very often, I can have my dairy fix (albeit thicker and more sour) and maintain my bones. One would be surprised at how satisfying dairy is until it is unavailable, or in my case, indigestible.

There are many other flavors such as pomegranate, cherry, vanilla, and blueberry, but I would rather go for the pure stuff and save myself some unnecessary sugar and weird aftertaste. The plain one is just sour, much like plain yogurt, and to me tastes best when used to wash down other food I've eaten. I generally just drink the stuff on its own, though I'd like to blend a smoothie or at least throw some berries in it one day. So far I've smashed a banana into it and poured some in my oatmeal (yes, it tasted weird).

So far, my stomach has handled this product fine. The probiotics (10 times more than yogurt) are supposed to help me digest the lactose. Kefir is actually very popular in Russia. "The Ukrainian" schooled me by reminding me that it is pronounced "keh-FEAR" instead of what I had been saying, "KEE-fur." He and I have been drinking the stuff for satiation and muscle repair.

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