Ahhh… summer is here!  Now that June gloom has FINALLY left Southern California, we are getting some sunshine and warm weather.  And with warmer weather, the kefir (is it kee-fer or keh-fear?) that’s been culturing on my kitchen counter is just begging (no, really) to be used in some cool, creamy concoction.  So out came my Blendtec and the frozen fruit.  The drink is a cinch to make and tastes soooo much better than the stuff you get in the stores.

Raspberry Mango Kefir

3 cups kefir

1 cup total raspberries and mangoes

stevia to taste

Blend it all together until the mixture is smooth.  Insert straw & enjoy!

The “kefir”, by the way, sold in stores is not really kefir at all.  Not only does it not have the same taste or texture as the homemade version, it has very few strains of the various bacteria and none of the yeast found in true kefir.  That’s a lot of probiotic goodness that you are missing out on.  For everything you ever wanted to know about kefir, check out Dom’s site.

Kefir grains are easy to get and very easy to grow.  There are yahoo groups and other kefir lovers who are happy to share their extra grains.  What I like about kefir, compared to yogurt, is that no sterilization of equipment is required and the milk or cream doesn’t need to be cooked.  The microflora in the kefir keeps all the bad organisms in check so spoilage isn’t really an issue.  Another great thing about kefir is that it’s such a versatile food.  In it’s various forms, I use it in place of yogurt, buttermilk, sour cream, cottage cheese, and cream cheese.

Now that we have a limitless supply of fresh kefir, our hot summer days will be quenched with all kinds of smoothies, frozen pops and treats.  Yum!  What will you make with your kefir?