Sometimes the simplest recipes are the most enjoyable. Not only can they be made with minimal ingredients that you can keep on hand, but they can come together quickly and taste great. This Creamy Kefir Smoothie is just that.
Kefir is a dairy product that is thinner than yogurt, making it pourable. Its made by culturing cow, goat, or sheep milk with a variety of bacteria and yeast at room temperature.
Consuming kefir is a great way to add a diverse range of beneficial bacteria to the gut. It has a tart flavor and can almost be thought of as the “champagne” of milk. Might sound weird, but if you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend it.
When buying kefir, choose the plain flavor. The fruit flavored varieties can be loaded with extra sugar. In addition to using kefir in smoothies, I like to pour it on top of cooked oatmeal or porridge, in place of milk with cereal or granola, on top of waffles or pancakes, in place of buttermilk in recipes, or drizzled on top of enchiladas or burritos like a thin sour cream.
If you are intolerant to lactose, it might be worth giving kefir a try. The bacteria in kefir digest lactose to a minimal level; you may be able to tolerate it.
And if you do avoid dairy completely, you might want to try “water kefir”. You can find it at better health food stores. While it doesn’t impart the thickness that regular kefir does, it’s still a great way to add healthy bacteria to your GI system. As always, watch add for added/excess sugars in this beverage!
P.S. 1 cup of kefir contains about 10 grams of protein. Along with the carbohydrates from the fruits and the healthy fats from the seeds in this recipe, this smoothie can also serve as a decent pre- or post workout recovery drink!
P.S.S. I also like to add about 5 grams of glutamine powder to this recipe. Glutamine is an important amino acid for the lining of the gut, from the mouth all the way down. It’s also important for muscle building and recovery. It doesn’t taste like much and you won’t know it’s in there!
Creamy Kefir Smoothie
1 cup plain lowfat kefir
1 cup frozen mixed fruit (e.g. banana, strawberries, peach, mango)
1/4 cup milk or milk alternative (e.g. unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk, hemp milk)
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
2 teaspoons honey
1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Use a tamper/turn off the blender to push down to fruit as necessary. Add more milk or milk alternative to thin if necessary.