Smooth and Silky Italian Panna Cotta with Lifeway Kefir!

Authentic Italian Panna Cotta recipe using Kefir! Yes, kefir panna cotta! Not only is this recipe silky smooth and irresistible- it is high in protein and easy to digest. This is the perfect excuse to make this sweet and healthy treat that the entire family with LOVE. The addition of honey as the sweetener gives the perfect balance to the tartness of the kefir. I am always in the mood to make this panna cotta. It barely requires any cooking, can be made ahead, and whisks me to my Italian summer days with every delightful spoonful! Once you make this you will love to serve it to all your family and friends. Dress it up with seasonal fruit or a drizzle of honey and you feel like you are eating dessert in Italy.

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What is Pana Cotta?

Panna cotta is a very basic pudding that is made of dairy thickened with gelatin. It originated in Italy and its name literally means “cooked cream”. The creamy Italian dessert requires very little effort and delivers a stunning, tasty payoff. It makes for an impressive, yet, simple dessert! Read the story at the bottom of this post to know why I decided to make this kefir version of the classic panna cotta.

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Why I Love Lifeway Kefir

We drink kefir plain, as a drink, for breakfast or a nutritious snack. This brand is the closest I found to the pure and delicious kefir drinks we find in Italy. The ingredients are natural and wholesome and I buy different varieties for my family each week. If you don’t already use this brand- find it at a store near you ASAP!

What is Kefir?

Lifeway Kefir is a tart and tangy cultured milk smoothie that is high in protein, calcium and vitamin D. Thanks to our exclusive blend of kefir cultures, each cup of kefir contains 12 live and active cultures.

4 Reasons to love Lifeway Kefir

1- PROBIOTICS Probiotics are live microorganisms that may provide health benefits when consumed in adequate amounts. The benefits of these good bacteria may include supporting immunity and a healthy digestive system.

2- IMMUNITY The probiotics in kefir may help support a healthy gut, where 70-80 percent of the cells that make up the immune system are located.

3- LACTOSE DIGESTION A unique fermentation process and specific kefir cultures ensure Lifeway Kefir is up to 99 percent lactose-free and suitable for most people who are lactose intolerant.

4- PROTEIN An 8 oz serving of Lifeway lowfat kefir contains 11 grams of natural protein.

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TIPS for SMOOTH and SILKY Italian Panna Cotta

1- Make Sure Your Gelatin is Completely Dissolved Forgoing this step can yield to a clumpy result.

2- Use high fat dairy The lower the fat content, especially if you use low-fat milk or milk alternative, the more likely you’ll need to increase the amount of gelatin used to keep your ratios in balance — depending on the fat content of your milk, Kefir, yogurt, milk alternative, or cream of choice you may need as little as half a teaspoon to as much 3 teaspoons of gelatin per cup of milk to achieve the desired “jiggle”.

3- Simmer Don’t Boil Always go slow and low when you heat cream for a dairy-based dessert to avoid separation (that means keeping temperatures slightly below the boiling point, so don’t walk away while you’re heating your base).

4- Spray your molds If you plan to unmold your panna cotta from the ramekins after chilling them- make sure to spray them before you turn them over. I usually DO NOT take them out of the ramekins since I love and prefer to serve them in the cute little cups.

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Toppings for Panna Cotta

There’s no one way to top panna cotta. Since it’s such a light dessert, I find it’s a wonderful vessel for featuring the season’s best fruit, whether that’s tiny strawberries in June, juicy peaches in August, or colorful citrus in January. When great fruit doesn’t feel like an option, an extra drizzle of honey or shaved chocolate will do the trick. You really can’t go wrong.

panna cotta with different toppings in little glass bowls

Italian Panna Cotta Story

This summer I went to a goat farm with my Zio Giuseppe (Peppo) where the family runs a cheese and yogurt specialty shop. The cheese and yogurt there are out of this world. I noticed they sold yogurt panna cotta! I immediately grabbed the cute glass bottle and decided that I MUST give this a try. Wow! The taste went beyond my expectations. The smooth, velvety creamy texture was thick enough to hold up to a spoon, yet still melts in your mouth. The best panna cotta highlights the inherent sweetness of the dairy and the warmth of the fresh vanilla flavor. AMAZING! After tasting this recipe, I went to work and created this tempting and nutritious panna cotta with Kefir. I hope you love this sweet taste of Italy as much as we do!

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Sponsored Post by Lifeway Kefir

Made with Amore, Elena.

From My Cucina to Your Table. Mangia! Mangia! (Eat!)

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Panna Cotta with toppings

Kefir Panna Cotta Italian Recipe (Easy)

  • Author: Elena Davis
  • Prep Time: 10 min (+4 hours chilling time)
  • Cook Time: 3 min
  • Total Time: 15 minutes +chilling time
  • Yield: 4 servings145798 1x
  • Category: Sweet/ Dessert
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

Authentic Italian Panna Cotta recipe using kefir! Yes, Kefir panna cotta! Not only is this recipe silky smooth and irresistible- it is high in protein and easy to digest. This is the perfect excuse to make this sweet and healthy treat that the entire family with LOVE. I am always in the mood to make this panna cotta. It barely requires any cooking, can be made ahead, and whisks me to my Italian summer days with every delightful spoonful! Once you make this you will love to serve it to all your family and friends. Dress it up with seasonal fruit or a drizzle of honey and you feel like you are eating dessert in Italy. 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon powdered unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cups Lifeway Kefir (plain) 
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup honey ( you can also use granulated sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt 

Instructions

  1. Place the water in a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over water and set aside to soften.
  2. Set out 4 (6-ounce) ramekins or glasses for later use. 
  3. Place the kefir  in a medium bowl and whisk until more liquid type consistency; set aside. Place the honey, salt, and cream in a small saucepan over low heat and bring to a simmer, stirring once or twice to dissolve the sugar, about 3-4 minutes. Do not bring to a boil. 
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Add the gelatin mixture and whisk to dissolve into the warm cream. Pour this mixture into the bowl of yogurt and whisk until smooth.
  5. Divide the mixture evenly among the ramekins or glasses. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
  6.  Top with seasonal fruit (cut into small pieces), a drizzle of cinnamon and honey, or enjoy plain! 

Notes

Make ahead: The panna cotta can be made up to a day ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator.

Storage: Leftover panna cotta can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Keywords: panna cotta, yogurt, easy dessert, Italian dessert, fruit, dessert, sweet

Nutrition Facts This nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate. This nutritional information is a result of online calculators. While cucinabyelena.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are estimates. Various factors, including, but not limited to, the actual brands used, change the nutritional information in any given recipe.