Saturday, August 24, 2013

Kale Blueberry Kefir Smoothie

Our niece Emma and her family from Boston were visiting us on Monday and Tuesday.  As she looked at the abundance of kale growing in Tom's vegetable bins, she told me how she has been making kale and kefir smoothies for breakfast. It made me wonder why I haven't made one recently.  Last summer I posted my Mud Slide smoothie, using kale, blueberries, a frozen banana and soy milk and how much I loved it. So I decided to whip up a kale and blueberry kefir smoothie yesterday morning.  Pzazz for sure!  And so simple!  

If you aren't familiar with kefir, (properly pronounced keh-FEER)  it is a close cousin to yogurt, in that they are both cultured dairy products.  But kefir it is a fermented milk drink with curds that are much smaller than those found in yogurt,  therefore it is easier to digest for those whom are lactose intolerant. Like good quality yogurts, kefir contains probiotics(I provided a link to the Mayo Clinic Health website for a discussion on the possible benefits of probiotics and prebiotics.) 

A difference between yogurt and kefir is that yogurt has bacteria that act as food for the beneficial bacteria already residing in a healthy digestive system.  But kefir, on the other hand, can actually repopulate the digestive system with the healthy bacteria required for good digestion.  

In this smoothie, I used blueberry flavored kefir, which also has some sugars in it, so that is probably not as healthy as my Mud Slide Smoothie.  However, it was quick and easy, and I barely have any blueberries from our garden this year, so this was a good substitute.

The combination of probiotics and kale was a divinely healthy way to start a gorgeous summer day in Duluth. When I went out to the garden early in the morning to harvest some kale, I was awed by the beauty of the morning dew still clinging to the leaves.

Sorry for my digression from food to beauty.  Back to the smoothie.  If you are new to "green smoothies",  you might want to increase the amount of blueberry kefir to 1 cup or something similar to gain the right amount of sweetness.  Also, I like Nancy's Organic Kefir, but Lifeway Kefir is also good and usually substantially cheaper.  I'll try it with a different flavor of kefir another day.  And maybe add half of a frozen banana, which always makes smoothies so creamy and velvety.  Yum!

1 cup lightly packed finely chopped fresh kale, stems removed first
1/2 cup blueberry kefir

Put the kale and kefir into a Magic Bullet or similar device and process until all kale is finely pulverized.  I put a small amount into a covered Mason jar to see how well it would keep in the refrigerator and it was still very fresh looking and tasting at noon. Now I wish I had made more.

Servings per recipe: 1
Serving Size: About 3/4 cup
Calories: 116
Total Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 5 mg
Sodium: 92 mg
Total Carbs: 20 g
Dietary Fiber: 4 g
Protein: 8 g