If you want to do something good for your body, you should eat (or drink!) cultured and fermented foods. Without getting into the gory details TOO much, your entire gut, from one end to the other, is supposed to be lined with "good" bacteria and microbes. These friendly passengers help break down the food you eat so it can be digested by your body. The thing is, sometimes "bad" bacteria can set up camp in your gut, and it can make you sick. If you don't have enough good bacteria, sometimes protein isn't broken down sufficiently before it gets into your blood stream, and then your body mistakes it for an invader, which can cause food allergies. (think about it, all the major allergens are proteins: nuts, milk casein, eggs, gluten, shellfish, etc.) Sometimes those bad bacteria release toxins, which can cause migraines, body aches, inflammation, fibromyalgia, etc. (and of you are a subscriber to the GAPS theory, it also contributes to autism, ADD, depression, eczema, etc.)
So if you want to do something really good for your body, you should eat (or drink!) cultured and fermented foods. These food replenish your gut with friendly helper bacteria (you can, and should, also take probiotics, but I've heard that probiotics only get down so far in the gut, and you need fermented and cultured foods to get all the way down). Some of these foods include the familiar sauerkraut, kosher pickles, yogurt, and buttermilk, and some of the less familiar include kombucha tea, kimchi, and kefir. I think one of the easiest ways to do this is to eat organic whole milk yogurt with nuts and honey mixed in, but I've heard that kefir, a sort of yogurt drink, has a much higher culture count and is that much better for you.
The thing is, kefir all by itself is kind of, well, yucky. It's just SO sour. And as a beverage, it's SO thick. The first time I decided to buy a bottle, it sat in my fridge untouched until I threw it out.
Now that is really a shame, because, like most foods, kefir just needs to be prepared properly to be delicious. If you treat it like an ingredient instead of a convenience food, it makes a lot more sense. I wouldn't eat a raw steak, a plain stick of butter, or an uncooked potato, and now I know I also don't want to drink plain kefir. Eat it plain, not so good. Prepare it well, and it's absolutely delicious.
Kefir Smoothie with Blackberry, Blueberry, Raspberry, and Strawberry
Makes 1 smoothie, double, triple etc. for more servings
You can, of course, use plain organic yogurt instead of kefir, but it is going to be thicker, so you will need to add a little juice or milk to get it to a liquid consistency. I am using Trader Joe's frozen berry mixture, but you can use whatever forzen berry mixture you want to, or any other frozen fruit. I do recommend you either go with frozen fruit or freeze whatever seasonal fruit you want to use. It's just a little strange drinking a warm smoothie!
The berries can be a bit tart, so I recommend adding 1-2 tablespoons honey to even out the flavor. You can also use agave necter or whatever other type of sweetener you prefer.
1 cup plain kefir
1 cup frozen mixed berries
1-2 tablespoons honey
in a blender, combine 1 cup plain kefir...
... and 1 cup frozen mixed berries.
Top with 1 to 2 tablespoons honey (I just give it a big squeeze).
blend on high, 2 - 3 minutes, serve.