Friday, December 11, 2015

Berry Blue Kefir Smoothie

More and more research is coming out that having dysbiosis (an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the gut) is associated with obesity and most chronic illness, such as diabetes, neurological disorders, depression, anxiety, IBS, Crohn's disease and even cancer. It is important to include probiotic rich, cultured and fermented foods (such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut and fermented vegetables) in the diet and I have personally experienced fewer food sensitivities, more stable blood glucose levels and lower blood pressure since consuming these foods daily.  Making kefir at home is easy! (see my previous post here)  I include it as an ingredient in every morning smoothie I make.  It's creamy and delicious.  Another ingredient in this smoothie is Camu powder, made from a tropical berry.  Because it has one of the highest vitamin C content of any fruit, much more than an orange, I like to add it my smoothies especially at this time of year when colds and the flu are going around.  This smoothie is bright and refreshing and will give you a power boost of energy in the morning.  I like to add 1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil to this smoothie for added brain boosting and gut healing benefit.  When I have this kefir smoothie for breakfast, I'm not hungry again for many hours!

Berry Blue Kefir Smoothie
Makes 1 serving

1/2 cup plain, unsweetened coconut milk kefir (or dairy kefir, if you can tolerate dairy)
1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used flax milk, but almond would work well)
1/3 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 teaspoon camu powder
1/8 teaspoon stevia powder or to taste (I used Sweet Leaf brand)
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract or 2 drops dietary-grade lemon essential oil (optional)
3 ice cubes
1/4 cup water

Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.  Pour into a tall glass and serve immediately.

Nutritional Information per serving (made with coconut milk kefir): 311 calories, 11.4 g carbohydrate (0.9 g dietary fiber, 6.7 g sugar), 28.1 g total fat (18 g saturated fat from the coconut, 0 g trans fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 103 mg sodium, 302.2 mg calcium, 50 mg potassium, 1.8 g protein.  Net carbs per serving: 10.6 grams

Recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2015

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