Maybe it’s because I’ve grown kind of bored with my daily yogurt routine lately, but the idea of incorporating Kefir (“kee-fer”) into my routine came up. I’ve passed these colourful plastic bottles in the specialty end cap at my grocery store a million times, but never gave it much thought until I had a conversation with an old friend about it. She, along with her kids, drink it everyday and really like it!

Let’s be real, the idea of drinking a fizzy, cultured and fermented milk drink sounds a bit wonky. Come on, when it’s described, as “champagne of milk”, it’s kind of hard to wrap your head around it. As it turns out, the fizziness is really subtle, it’s a little more liquidy than traditional yogurt, and it does taste sour, kind of like Greek yogurt.

After doing a little research on the taste, I went on to do more research about its health benefits. Turns out, it’s pretty impressive. Originating in Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia, Kefir is a fermented milk drink traditionally made from cow or goat’s milk and contains a wide variety of compounds including peptides and organic acids. It has large amounts of beneficial probiotics that promote intestinal health including digestion; and has antibacterial properties that can inhibit the growth of H. Pylori and E. Coli. In addition, it’s also lactose-free and promotes bone health! Enough said! I was sold!

I haven’t tried the flavoured Kefir smoothie drinks yet. I really enjoy the plain, unsweetened variety because I get to play with the fruity flavours and I get to control the sweetness. I admit though, I’m a bit of a Plain Jane and tend to go for easy, familiar fruit like strawberries. Well, berries mostly. Here’s my go-to Kefir smoothie recipe:

Ingredients

3-5 large strawberries, cut or quartered, frozen or fresh

¼ cup crushed ice (optional, if you’re not using frozen berries)

about 1 teaspoon of honey (local honey preferred)

a couple of dashes of ground turmeric

1 to 1 ½ cups of plain Kefir

1 teaspoon of ground flaxseed (optional, this tends to thicken the smoothie)

Place all ingredients in a container and blend — I use a hand mixer and the container provided to mix the ingredients in. Blend until smooth.Or, if you’re using a traditional blender, place all ingredients inside and blitz until smooth or at your desired consistency. Drink and enjoy! Makes 1 serving.

Like many smoothies, the best thing about this one is that you can change up the fruit flavours to suit your tastes! When I feel like “living on the edge”, I’ll add blueberries and pomegranate seeds. Or maybe some pineapple in the future. Hmmm. 🙂