John D. Ivanko
May 9, 2012

Kefir Pancakes with maple syrup
Photo by John Ivanko

As more Americans discover they’re either allergic to cow’s milk or are lactose intolerant, research also suggests that enzyme- and probiotic-rich kefir and yogurt are essential to digestive health. A healthy digestive system depends on millions of beneficial bacteria thriving in our intestines. The importance of eating yogurts, kefir and other foods with “good bacteria” is becoming manifest to maintaining great health. Certain bacteria found in yogurt and kefir help us digest food or naturally strengthen our immune systems.

Redwood Hill Farm’s dairy products may be more easily digestible alternatives to typical cow’s milk products because they’re made from goat’s milk or lactose-free cow’s milk. We like Redwood Hill Farm’s kefirs (in orange pineapple, blueberry pom acai or traditional plain flavors) and goat’s milk yogurt (in blueberry or apricot mango). Also, the company’s Green Valley Organics-brand lactose-free yogurts and kefir contain a probiotic blend of 10 live active probiotic cultures: L. bulgaricus, L. ccidophilus, L. paracasei, L. rhamnosus, L. lactis, L. diacetylactis, S. thermophilus, L. cremoris, Leuconostoc and B. bifidum. If you can’t pronounce them, don’t worry. Neither can we. But the names of these good bacteria are one exception to the general guideline of being able to pronounce what’s on the label of what you’re eating.

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Our kefir-based pancake recipe below boosts our intake of beneficial bacteria in our cooking while yielding a delicious, fluffy pancake. This recipe is inspired by the popular pancakes served up in Brenda Carus’ urban-farmstead kitchen. She and her family are a “kitchen table talk” feature in our Farmstead Chef cookbook.

Recipe: Fluffy Kefir Pancakes

Yield: 17 pancakes


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1½ cups lactose-free kefir or plain goat’s milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup canola oil (for cooking)

In large bowl, mix dry ingredients in large bowl. Mix kefir, eggs and water in separate bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, stirring briskly with fork or whisk until smooth. Add water as needed to slowly pour mix.

Grease an electric fry pan or stove pan with oil. Using a 1/8 cup measuring cup, pour pancakes onto electric fry pan (set around 325 degrees F) or stove pan on medium heat. Cook pancakes for about 2 minutes or until they begin to bubble on one side. Flip to other side, and cook until golden brown.

Serve immediately with maple syrup or homemade preserves. Garnish with fresh berries if in season.

Savoring the good life,

John and Lisa's Signatures

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