Have you seen kefir in your local grocery store? I passed by it in the yogurt and dairy section for a long time before ever trying it out. Kefir is a cultured dairy drink that is prepared by fermenting milk with bacteria. It’s enzyme rich and full of healthy probiotics that help balance the digestive system, leading to a healthy gut. It can be made from cow, goat or sheep milk, and most of the lactose (or milk sugar) is consumed by the bacteria and yeast in the culture, so it is easy on the stomach and even good for people who are typically lactose intolerant. Kefir is pretty tart tasting, even a little sour. Plain kefir tastes a lot like the plain and tart frozen yogurt that has become popular at places like Pinkberry and Red Mango. You’ll find it blended with fruit flavors, but those are often packed with additional sugar to mask the tart taste.
I happen to love the tart taste of plain kefir, especially when blended into a smoothie with frozen blueberries. Blueberries are little antioxidant powerhouses that contain a diverse range of beneficial phenolic compounds. Virtually every body system has been shown to benefit from the antioxidants in blueberries, from the cardiovascular system to the brain, where blueberries have demonstrated the ability to improve cognitive function, including memory.
I often add a powdered organic whey protein to my kefir smoothie because the added protein helps sustain my energy levels and helps me function better in my day. I really love Tera’s Whey for this purpose, and the vanilla bourbon flavor is perfect for the kefir and blueberry smoothie. I often sneak a handful of raw spinach into the smoothie, too. You can’t taste it and it’s a great way to throw back some nutritious greens.
Kefir + Blueberry Protein Smoothie
Add the following to a blender:
- 1 cup plain kefir
- ½ cup blueberries, or more to taste
- 1 scoop of whey protein (optional)
- small handful of raw spinach (optional)
Blend until smooth and enjoy.
Even if you keep the recipe simple and just blend kefir with blueberries, you’ll have a delicious fruity drink with lots of nutritional benefits. This makes the perfect breakfast or mid-afternoon snack.
*image via Lucille Roberts