04/11/2016 12:05 EDT | Updated 04/13/2016 04:35 EDT

What Is Kefir And How Can You Eat It?

We see bottles of Kefir on grocery store shelves but what is it exactly and how can we eat it?

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Cold soup with yogurt and vegetables and herbs close up

Kefir. We see bottles of it on grocery store shelves and hear its name touted by our health nut friends, but most of us know nothing about it. In collaboration with iögo and their new Kefir beverage, we explain what it is and the ways you can consume it. You’re welcome.

What Is It?

Like yogurt, kefir is a fermented milk product with a good source of calcium, potassium and B vitamins. The thick beverage is a great source of probiotics -- living bacteria that are known to contribute to healthy digestive tract flora by balancing the good and bad bacteria in your body.

Where Did It Come From?

Like most traditional foods, it’s difficult to say who started drinking kefir first. According to one tale, Prophet Muhammad brought kefir grains — the bacteria-and-yeast culture used to start fermentation — to the Caucasus Mountains in Eastern Europe. Locals named it the “Grains of the Prophet” and used the bacteria to ferment milk like Muhammad had taught them.

The origin of the name “kefir” is uncertain, too. Many sources trace its use to 1880s Russia, while others say it’s derived from the older Turkish word “keif” meaning “feeling good.”

How Can I Eat It?

Kefir is thinner than yogurt, so people generally drink it rather than eat it. iögo’s new Probio Kefir drink—made with 14 active cultures— comes in strawberry and mango flavours and is now packaged in single-serving bottles. That makes it easy to sip the drink when you’re on the go.

But there are many other ways to enjoy kefir. Depending on the recipe, plain or flavoured kefir can replace milk, buttermilk or yogurt. Here are just a few ideas.

iögo Probio Kefir is a new probiotic drink available in a convenient individual size that provides 2 billion probiotics per bottle. Goodness on the go!