We enjoy these every night. It’s a ritual now! They make a great and tasty dessert, but they’re packed with all the benefits of kefir!
The total amount of liquid (4 cups) is a combination of kefir and raw milk, and it is flexible – the more kefir, the more tart the smoothie. You’re aiming to include as much kefir as your family will stand.
Currently, I do 2-1/2 cups of (goat milk) kefir and 1-1/2 cups of raw goat milk. Ours taste a little like frozen yogurt – sweet but with a tang. I’d suggest starting with 2 cups kefir and 2 cups milk if everyone in your family prefers smoothies on the sweet side. The awesome benefits of kefir will still be there for all!
If you don’t have access to kefir, you can use plain yogurt as a substitute. Yogurt with active cultures is very good for you, too!
As far as sweetening, my recipe calls for using raisins or chopped dates. Another fruit to try would be dried figs, as Larisa (from Localvore in Sutherlin, Oregon) suggested here. You can use raw honey, too! If you’re going to use honey, use a mild flavored variety – I tried a dark and richly flavored wildflower honey once in this recipe and the flavor of the honey and the kefir didn’t go well together (for me).
Adding in a handful of local fruit – such as sweet cherries or raspberries – is very nice!
When blended, this mixture fills the entire Vita-Mix wet container (more than 8 cups). Alot of air is incorporated and it really fluffs up. If your blender container cannot hold this quantity, halve the recipe’s ingredients.
- 4 cups combination of plain kefir and raw milk – I suggest cups kefir and 2 cups milk at first
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons virgin, unrefined coconut oil
- 3 handfuls (okay, about 1/2 cup packed lightly) of raisins or date pieces
- 1/2 to 1 cup seasonal fruit, such as sweet cherries or raspberries (optional)
- 12 ice cubes
Put all ingredients in the Vita-Mix wet container. Secure the 2-part lid. Turn ON, then increase variable speed to 10, and then flip to HIGH. Blend until you no longer hear ice or raisins being chopped up. This will be about 30 seconds, but perhaps longer. Don’t let it go too long or the mixture will begin to heat up – you don’t want that!
Pour into glasses. Optional: dust with cocoa powder and swirl. Enjoy!
If you let the smoothies sit in the glasses for a bit, each will separate out into three layers, which my kids and even my husband think is cool. You’ll want to stir it back up before drinking, though.
This post is part of the Real Food Wednesday blog carnival, this week hosted by Kelly the Kitchen Kop.