Friday, April 13, 2012

My Morning Smoothie

I read a blog this week that caught my attention, Walking Through the Valley.  Stephanie and her husband are on a difficult journey and I was very convicted about my own attitudes by what she shared.  I hope you will visit her blog and read her perspective.

The weather has warmed up here and I am switching from my morning cereal to a morning smoothie.  A couple of years ago I was introduced to the benefits of Kefir.  I decided to take the plunge, ordered some Kefir grains online to make my own milk, and have been loving it ever since. It was so easy to do and was the catalyst that got me interested in making my own yogurt.  Kefir is considered a probiotic powerhouse, outdoing yogurt.  One of my goals with my diet is to get in two probiotic servings a day, so between my homemade yogurt and homemade Kefir I have no problem meeting that goal.  You can purchase Kefir milk at the grocery/health food store, but it is rather expensive.   It is also a little tart, so I tend to use it in smoothies, having never really developed a taste for it on its own.  I have heard of some people who use it in place of buttermilk...hmmm, maybe I need to try it with my pancake recipe.

Breakfast Smoothie Recipe
 1 cup Kefir milk
 1 cup frozen fruit
 1 T honey or agave
 1 T flax seed oil

Combine all ingredients in a blender and enjoy.

This is my process from start to finish so you can see how easy it is.

About a tablespoon of Kefir grains in glass jar.  It is important not to use any metal utensils or containers when making Kefir milk.

I love these mason jars with the measurements on the side.  I add between 1 and two cups of regular milk, depending on how many smoothies I will be making the next morning.  Gently swirl contents then cover with a coffee filter and secure.  I used to secure it with a rubber band, but started using the ring when my rubber bands all disappeared.  It breaks from my "no metal" rule, but as it never comes in contact with the milk I don't think it is a problem.  Once that is done simply place the jar in a dark spot until the next morning.

In the morning, place a fine mesh strainer over the blender and pour out the Kefir milk from the jar.  The liquid drains through leaving behind the Kefir grains.  I use the wooden spoon to work all of the liquid through the strainer until only the grains remain.

Kefir grains multiply over time so you will always have more than enough for yourself and some to share with a friend to get them started too.  Scoop out the grains and place in a clean jar to start tomorrow's batch.

Now I have one cup of Kefir milk in the blender.  Next I add 1 tablespoon flax seed oil for all of its health benefits, then one tablespoon of either honey or agave.  I made the switch to agave last fall because of its lower glycemic index.  (If you measure the oil first the honey just rolls out of the spoon.)

In goes one cup of frozen berry blend.  I love that our Sams Club carries the big bags.

And then it is time to enjoy!  
Ken and the boys really like these too, so when they are around I make a larger batch.

It really is a simple process.  I have even placed my extra grains in the freezer for backup in case I ever lose a batch.  The freezer also works well when you are gone for a month or two and cannot tend to the Kefir, which I have done.  Just take out your grains, add your milk, and soon it is rejuvenated.  Have I enticed you to give it a try?  Anyone nearby can just ask me for some grains, otherwise you can find sources online.  Just remember, you don't need to buy more than a tablespoon, unless perhaps you are going to make large batches, as in no time at all you will have more than you need.

Have a blessed weekend!

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