Strawberry Kefir Smoothie

Friday, April 12, 2013

Strawberry smoothies have always been my favorite smoothies. They are so refreshing and delicious, especially on hot summer days. It wasn't till last year that I started adding kefir to them and I have to say it is a great improvement, not only in taste but in the health benefits. Kefir you say, what is kefir? I will try to explain as best as I can.

Kefir is a fermented milk drink. I know you are thinking fermented??....ewww!, but it is rich with friendly bacteria that provide natural protection  against many diseases out there. Kefir is a probiotic that keeps your good bacteria up to full strength so that it can combat whatever bad bacteria comes in contact with you. Everywhere you go you are hearing about probiotics, well this is one you want to find out about. I am not going to tell you if you start drinking kefir you will be free from sickness and disease( we live in a sinful, imperfect world) but it will help build up your immunity so you might not fall sick as much. Hey, it won't hurt you to try it.

When I first heard about kefir, I was not sold on the whole fermented thing right away, but it has grown on me and I love it now. It has a tangy taste similar to buttermilk with the same texture. I know drinking buttermilk can sound unappealing, but when it is mixed in a smoothie its addicting.

 It does take a little time to prepare, but hardly any effort.

You can buy it in the store; in the milk section but it is so much better for you if you can make it fresh at home.

First you want to get your own kefir grains, they are bacteria and yeast mixture clumped together.
 Don't they look like little white brains?

I bought mine online from  www.HappyHerbalist.com click on the link for kefir. They are about 15$ but it is worth it and the cool thing is, is as you use them they grow and multiply so you can share yours with your friends if you want.

I also suggest going on you tube, this is  a great short and simple video that helped me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FeQBqLAeTQ

Basically all you need is: Milk, a strainer, a glass jar and the kefir grains to get started.

I recommend using raw milk but if that is hard for you to get or you are not comfortable with it you can use regular old pasturized milk( though its way better with raw)

You can usually find a co op near your area that sells raw milk.

Disregard that it says for human consumption only, they have to say that to sell it. I am a human and I can testify that I consumed it and it was good;)

I know you have been wondering when I will get to showing you how to make a kefir smoothie, so I wont prolong you any longer.

1. get your kefir grains and put them in a big glass jar, like a mason jar
2. pour milk, leaving an inch at the top
3.cover with paper towel and secure with rubber band or canning jar rim
4. let sit 24 hrs in a cool dry place, it should be thick and creamy when ready





5.Stir and strain out grains




You now have smooth, creamy kefir! Don't be disappointed if it doesn't set right the first time to a nice thick consistency. Sometimes the kefir grains need to go through one or two times of sitting out until they work right in my experience.


Store the kefir grains in a glass jar with some milk in it. They will stay fine in the fridge for a long time even if you don't use them for a while.



Now for the good part! 
Add 1 frozen banana




Frozen berries of your choice 1 cup
Orange concentrate, or orange juice 1 cup

2 Tbs honey

add 1 cup prepared kefir
get someone real cute to push the buttons
you now have a thick and creamy smoothie, that you will be able guzzle all down by yourself


yum!
Here's a little secret, if you have picky eaters that don't eat their veggies but like fruit, put some spinach in the smoothie and I promise they won't even know it:)


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