Let's talk about Kefir for a moment. It's something that most Europeans are quite accustomed to and have grown up drinking, but it's not as popular here in the United States. Kefir carries an abundance of probiotics, but because it taste like a yogurt smoothie the kids love it, making my life a little easier. However, there's something else that I haven't thought of earlier. Because it is a close cousin to buttermilk, adding Kefir to a batter can make the outcome more fluffy and delicate - and adding flavored Kefir is a game-changer.
There are so many flavor options and I've thought about using fresh strawberries with strawberry Kefir, but I settled on blueberries because unlike any other fruit, a blueberry will burst into the batter while baking and create a jam-like pocket. Blueberries, therefore, were what I chose for this recipe and I was not disappointed. Mini loafs are the perfect size to hand out as gifts to friends and neighbors, but I've also made these as muffins. Either way, I hope you give this recipe a shot! Enjoy.
Blueberry Kefir Mini Loafs
Makes 3 mini loafs or 12 standard muffins
1 1/4 cup Kefir, blueberry flavor
1/4 cup neutral oil, such as avocado or grapeseed
1 large egg
1 very ripe banana
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Zest of one lemon
Juice of half a lemon
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh blueberries, cleaned and thoroughly dried
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare 3 mini loaf pans by greasing with butter or non-stick spray (if you are making muffins instead, prepare a muffin tin with muffin cups), set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. To a large bowl, add the ripe banana and mash it with a fork or whisk until it is relatively smooth in texture. Add in the kefir, oil, egg, vanilla extract, and the lemon juice and zest, and whisk until smooth. Add in the flour mixture in two batches, whisking with the first batch and switching to a wooden spoon or spatula with the second batch (batter will be too thick to use a whisk at this point). Then fold in the blueberries.
3. Divide batter between the 3 prepared mini loaf pans (or muffin tin, if using). Bake for approximately 25-28 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely on a cooling rack before serving. Enjoy.
Recipe adapted from Lifeway Kefir