Kefir, a fermented milk drink, originated in Turkey where it has been used for centuries. Natives carried the fermented milk in leather pouches and ate the curdled yogurt. Kefir comes in two forms: as water kefir, which look like translucent dry flakes, and milk kefir, which resembles small cauliflower florets that ferment milk. Kefir milk has different consistencies, ranging from a thickish milk to an almost-yogurt consistency. Kefir also may come with fruit flavors. A wide range of fruit can be eaten with kefir in smoothies, yogurt dishes and other desserts made with the fermented milk. Use any fruit, but avoid citrus fruits, as they may cause the kefir milk to split.
A popular drink in India, the lassi is made from kefir. Many lassi recipes call for mangos. To make a mango lassi at home, combine 2 cups of milk kefir with 1 peeled, pitted and diced mango. Add to a blender and blend until smooth. Add a tablespoon of honey for added sweetness.
Strawberries add color and flavor to kefir milk. You can add frozen or fresh strawberries to kefir milk and blend in a blender for a thick smoothie. Add fewer strawberries for a thinner drink. You can also add sliced strawberries and granola to a bowl of kefir yogurt for a nutritional breakfast or snack.
Blueberries have a low glycemic count, which means they are low in sugar. Blueberries also have anti-oxidants and other nutrients. Make a kefir smoothie from 2 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries and 2 cups of kefir milk. Blend until smooth for a snack or breakfast dish. Kids like the purple color. You can also add blueberries if you eat kefir as a yogurt. You can also blend a smoothie and add chia seeds which will thicken the mixture for a pudding.
Add dried fruit such as raisins, dried apricots, dried cranberries, prunes and dried currants to kefir. Use kefir milk like you would normal milk over a natural grained cereal such as muesli and add a handful of dried fruit.
In the summer, add peaches to a kefir milk smoothie. Wash, slice and remove the pits from two small peaches or one large peach. Place in a blender with 2 cups of milk kefir and blend for a light smoothie. You can also use frozen peaches.
Bananas help to thicken smoothies and add extra creaminess. Add a banana to a fruit smoothie made from kefir milk. If you have bananas with brown spots, peel them and place them in the freezer. Use the frozen bananas in a kefir smoothie for a texture similar to a milk shake.
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