July 18, 2014

Kefir Mac and Cheese

Kefir Mac and Cheese recipe- healthier than traditional macaroni and cheese and still super tasty!
Macaroni and cheese is one of my favorite foods but I rarely make it at home. Part of the reason is because I didn't really know how but also because I know it can be pretty unhealthy so I avoided making it. I had the opportunity to pair up with Lifeway Kefir to create a homemade recipe using their product.

Healthy Kefir Mac and CheeseKefir (pronounced kee-fur) is a tart beverage that is similar to yogurt. The texture is a mix between milk and yogurt. Kefir often is sold in fruity flavors and used in recipes such as smoothies. Kefir also comes in a plain flavor which is what was used for this savory recipe. 

Kefir has naturally occuring probiotics and can provide many health benefits. Probiotics are gut-friendly bacteria. They help to support immunity and can help improve digestion. During and after you take antibiotics, kefir can help to restore the healthy bacteria in your body that was killed by the antibiotics.

Healthy Kefir Mac and Cheese
I am a big fan of kefir but had only tried the sweet flavors up until this point. When I knew that I had a recipe to create, I wanted to think outside of the box and make something unusual that would be delicious. My husband and I both loved this recipe and I will make it again.

Kefir Mac and Cheese

8 oz box of macaroni (I used quinoa macaroni)
1 cup low-fat plain Lifeway Kefir
1 tablespoon flour (I used whole wheat)
1 1/2 cups 2% shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (can omit if you don't like spice)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1. Cook pasta according to directions and drain.
2. Combine the kefir and flour in a medium saucepan while stirring with a whisk. Cook over medium heat for two minutes until mixture is thick while constantly whisking.
3. Add cheese, pepper, cayenne, garlic and onion powder and whisk until smooth.
4. Add pasta and toss to coat.

Serve immediately! Enjoy!

Healthy Kefir Mac and Cheese
I loved the use of kefir as opposed to milk which may typically be used in a macaroni and cheese recipe. Knowing that we were getting beneficial probiotics is great. Lifeway Kefir is naturally gluten-free and 99% lactose free which is great for those who cannot have these. It contains not artificial ingredients. Lifeway Kefir comes from cows that are not treated with pesticides, antibiotics or synthetic growth hormones. The cows are grass fed and GMO free.

Healthy Kefir Mac and Cheese
One cup of Lifeway low fat plain kefir contains 110 calories, 11 grams protein, 30% of your daily calcium and 25% of your daily vitamin D. This nutrient packed beverage would be great in many different types of recipes.

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  1. Mmmmm....I have a refrigerator full of homemade raw milk kefir! I make it daily. The grains are reproducing like crazy so I think it's time to freeze some for back up.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    1. Wow! I am so impressed. How do you make kefir? I would love to try someday.

    2. Amanda, it is incredibly simple to make your own kefir and it's superior to store-bought (no pasteurization, no preservatives, no sitting around on a store shelf. Homemade kefir is better than store bought and it is perfectly fresh. I make a gallon a week (we all drink it every day, including my elderly Border Collies--as recommended by my vet). It takes me about 10 minutes or less to make a week's worth. Easy, simple, VERY inexpensive, especially when compared to the price of the inferior store-bought kefir. A simple search on Google will yield all the information you need. You might want to check out this website, too, for info and the price of kefir grains (around $20, and they reproduce endlessly): www.culturedfoodlife.com/what-is-kefir I have no connection with this website other than I am a happy customer. I just want to share the exciting news about making your own kefir!

  2. YUM! I would not have thought to put kefir in something so savory!! looks tasty!! Emily@nap-timecreations.com

  3. I have a suggestion for you. PLEASE get rid of those wavy gray zig-zag lines that appear behind your readers' comments. Those lines make it almost impossible to read the text, especially for older readers.


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