Kefir smoothies are one of the most popular health and wellness drinks today. Smoothies were once considered something only enjoyed by the vegetarian population in the early ‘70s (Source: Be Healthy Today). However, over time, smoothies became a mainstay as a health drink in the United States. More recently, there has been a buzz about kefir smoothies.
Recently, kefir and smoothies have collided and resulted in the kefir smoothie. Smoothies are already a notoriously healthy way to pack your diet with all the necessary fruits and vegetables. Now, with the addition of kefir to your smoothies, you can pack a punch with one simple drink.
If you are unfamiliar, kefir is a fermented drink that is made with either cow or goat milk (Source: Healthline) and is packed with probiotics and nutrients. In this article, you will learn what a kefir smoothie is as well as how you can make one at home so you can begin to enjoy its health benefits right away.
What is Kefir?
You may be wondering what kefir is. You know it is created by the process of fermenting cow or goat milk, but what exactly is it? Kefir is a complex probiotic that can help provide beneficial bacteria to your body (Source: Science Direct).
What are the Benefits of Kefir?
When you decide to put bacteria of any sort into your body voluntarily, you should know what the specific benefits are. It is well known that bacteria are bad and can make you extremely ill if not dealt with. The good news about kefir bacteria is that it is good bacteria that can only help you.
Some of the benefits of consuming kefir are:
- Lower blood pressure
- Lower cholesterol
- Better digestion
- Stronger bones
While the list of kefir benefits may be short, you can see that it offers some significant health benefits. While it may take time to notice these changes and benefits, consistently adding kefir to your diet will likely yield some or all these results.
Now that we have established what kefir is, we can explore the newly created kefir smoothie. Knowing the health benefits of both smoothies and kefir may have you ready to rush out and make your own kefir smoothie, but first, you should learn how to make one!
What is a Kefir Smoothie?
A Kefir smoothie is a health beverage that is composed of fruits and vegetables as well as kefir. The fruits and vegetables provide the nutrients and vitamins necessary for a healthy body, while the kefir compliments the smoothie by adding probiotics to help aid in the digestion of those wonderful fruits and vegetables.
How Much Kefir Should You Use?
You have likely heard the phrase ‘too much of a good thing.’ Kefir is an extremely rich source of probiotics, so including too much into your diet can have negative side effects. It is recommended that you consume at least 8 ounces of kefir a day.
So, if you are in the habit of having two smoothies a day, perhaps one can be a kefir smoothie and the other a regular one. You can also divide the kefir between the two smoothies, but do not begin by doubling your intake of kefir to begin.
Side Effects of Too Much Kefir
If you decide to ignore the warnings and begin adding large doses of kefir to your smoothies, you will likely experience some rather unpleasant side effects. These effects will go away with time as your body becomes accustomed to the added probiotics, but the initial effect will not be pleasant.
If you drink too much kefir in your smoothies, you will likely experience:
- Constipation and cramps
Other potential reactions are allergy-related, which can be much more dangerous. However, the side effects without the allergy component can be quite off-putting. Therefore, you must monitor and control the amount of kefir you are consuming daily.
(Source: Pro Bellies)
Do You Just Add Kefir to a Normal Smoothie?
You may be wondering if there is a special recipe to make a kefir smoothie. You are in luck because there is no complicated or special recipe when it comes to making a kefir smoothie. Most smoothies include a liquid ingredient, so it is easy to substitute the kefir for this liquid.
Also check out the top 10 natural kefir brands you can get at your local grocery store.
When you add kefir to your smoothie, you can safely blend it in with the fruits or vegetables, but you need to be aware of the shelf life of kefir. The probiotics in kefir are live cultures, so once the kefir has been mixed into the smoothie, it needs to be consumed right away. If you are making a smoothie to sip on for an extended period, it would be best to skip the kefir. (Source: Chuckling Goat)
How to Make a Kefir Smoothie
When you begin the task of making a kefir smoothie, you need to make sure you have the right ingredients and supplies readily available. Smoothies come in thousands of varieties and are a truly customizable drink option.
Once you decide on the type of smoothie, you will need to gather the following ingredients and necessary equipment:
- Fruits and vegetables: The base of a smoothie is the fruit or vegetables you choose to use. It is important to use frozen or a combination of fresh and frozen when you make a smoothie. The frozen items provide an icy cold refreshing feel. You can also choose to use leafy greens in your recipe as well, depending on the flavor profile you are looking for.
- Kefir: You can obtain kefir by either making your own or purchasing pre-made kefir in the store. You will likely find flavored kefir in the store, but you may be able to purchase plain as well. Depending on the ingredients of your smoothie, you may opt for flavored or unflavored.
- Blender: Aside from the ingredients in your smoothie, the blender is the most critical component. There are hundreds of blender options on the market, and you can choose a handheld blender or a large kitchen size blender. No matter which blender you choose, they will all work fine.
- Add-Ins: Add-ins are the extra ingredients you may throw into your smoothie to give it an extra punch of nutrition. Some of the usual add-ins are chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, collagen powder, spirulina or chlorella, coconut oil, nuts, peanut butter, or even oats. The options are endless when it comes to add-ins.
Once you have gathered all your ingredients, you are ready to blend your smoothie. You can throw everything into the blender at once, or you can take a more step-by-step approach to ensure all your ingredients are fully blended. Regardless of the process you decide to use, it is important to add the kefir last to ensure you are getting the full benefits of the live probiotics.
Kefir smoothies are becoming a go-to health drink for people across the world. While they are easy to make and even better to drink, you need to do so with caution. Consuming too much kefir can lead to undesirable results. However, if consumed responsibly and with limits, you will be able to enjoy the vast benefits that kefir has to offer.
Kefir smoothies are the perfect way to enjoy a delicious drink packed with nutrients and probiotics to benefit your overall health. So, grab your favorite fruits, veggies, blender, and a bottle of kefir to begin enjoying your kefir smoothie; you will not regret it!