One of the best ways to keep your microbiome healthy, in addition to eating a healthy, fibre-rich diet, is by regularly consuming foods that contain probiotic bacteria. These good or friendly bacteria can powerfully affect health, including boosting immunity, improving digestive health, and reducing the risk of allergies and disease. Kefir, a fermented milk drink, is an especially wonderful way to load up on probiotics. One serving contains twice the number of probiotic bacteria found in most probiotic yogurts (and that’s a lot!). Kefir generally contains a greater variety of bacterial strains as well. This smoothie recipe is particularly delicious and nutritious. Be sure to buy plain kefir to limit added sugars and always leave the peel on your apple, since so many of the health-protective antioxidants are in the skin. Enjoy!
1 cup (250 mL) plain Kefir (1% M.F. or less)
1 cup (250 mL) baby spinach or baby kale leaves
1 apple, skin on, core removed
1 inch (2.5 cm) fresh ginger root or about 2 tsp (10 mL) when minced
¼ tsp (2.5 mL) ground cinnamon
Optional: For extra nutrition and fibre add a tablespoon or two of flaxseeds or chia seeds. Add ¼ cup (60 mL) almonds or walnuts for an even more substantial snack or mini-meal.
- Put all of the ingredients into a blender or food processor and mix until smooth and creamy. If using a hand-held blender (which is what I often use), pre-cut the apple into small chunks and mince the ginger, for easier blending. Serve immediately.
Nutritional Information: 210 calories, 3g fat, 2g saturated fat, 35g carbohydrates, 24g sugars, 4.5g fibre, 11g protein, 150mg sodium