Well this is a first – a box of refrigerated goods landed on my doorstep!
I was contacted by the food people at Lifeway Foods to see if I would be interested in sampling their kefir. Lifeway Foods is US based company that is now just launching their products in Canada. I’ve been on a big kefir kick lately, so it was perfect timing! I bet you are wondering – what the heck is kefir? Well, according to good ol’ Wikipedia, kefir is
a fermented milk drink made with kefir “grains” (a yeast/bacterial fermentation starter) and has its origins in the north Caucasus Mountains. It is prepared by inoculating cow, goat, or sheep milk with kefir grains. Traditional kefir was made in skin bags that were hung near a doorway; the bag would be knocked by anyone passing through the doorway to help keep the milk and kefir grains well mixed.
Fermented foods are definitely “it” foods right now, because of their ability to promote healthy gut flora. And with so many studies coming out about how the microbes in our gut can impact our health, fermented foods are a great addition to our diets. And while everyone has been all over yogurt for years, kefir is a relatively new player in the North American market. I always made a point of offering some for taste testing when I was teaching groups of families about nutrition and healthy eating choices – makes it less scary to pick up and buy when you are out grocery shopping when you already know what it is and how it tastes.
Lifeway Kefir comes in 4 different flavours – Plain, Strawberry, Blueberry, and Peach. It also contains 12 different bacterial cultures, and each 3/4 cup serving has 7g protein, and 25% of your daily value of Calcium. I received both the blueberry and peach flavours to try. While I am normally a plain fan (because I like the versatility so I can add my own flavours), I was ready to try these out. I totally get that not everyone is into plain, and want a product that is ready to drink as is.
These kefir products don’t have the same effervescence that some other kefirs do. I actually like when they are effervescent, but know that not everyone does. They have a nice mouth feel – suitable to drink as is, or to mix in to a smoothie. For me, they were a little too thin to use in place of yogurt with granola (which I sometimes do with some other kefir brands I have tried). As for the flavours…
Blueberry Lifeway Kefir
The blueberry was my favourite of the 2 flavours I tried. Even though it is sweetened, it wasn’t overly sweet, retaining that tart flavour that kefir should have. I liked that the colours wasn’t excessively purple either.
Peach Lifeway Kefir
I was less of a fan of the peach flavour. I’m not sure what is was about this flavour, but it just didn’t do it for me. It wasn’t offensive or anything – I just didn’t think it was peachy enough? And it had a more sour flavour than the other as well, which I don’t mind, but thought it didn’t play well with the peach. But again, I liked that it wasn’t overly orange in colour – no need for hyper coloured kefir!
Overall, the Lifeway Kefir products are a tasty drink option, especially if you are new to kefir, but like things such as smoothies. I would personally forgo the flavoured ones and just buy plain, as it is more versatile and has less sugar, but a sweetened and flavoured kefir is still going to offer you more nutrition than say, a can of pop. Plus they make fermented foods (and all of those good probiotics) more accessible.
But wait – there’s more!
Lifeway Foods has offered to give one lucky reader a prize pack that includes 1 bottle of each of the 4 flavours available – that’s right, you too can have kefir delivered to your doorstep! And you’ll get to try the strawberry and plain, which I didn’t even get to try. There are 2 easy ways to enter:
- Leave a comment on this post letting me know what flavour of Lifeway Kefir you most want to try (1 entry)
- Post the following on Twitter (1 entry):
RT to enter to win a @Lifeway_Kefir prize pack from @Evergreen_RD http://wp.me/pkngt-6A8
This contest is open to Canadian residents only. The contest will close at 23:59 on Sunday, July 19th, and I will randomly select and post the winner on July 20th. Prizes will be shipped to the winner directly from Lifeway Foods. Good luck!
Disclaimer – all samples were provided to me free of charge from Lifeway Foods. All opinions are my own.