Easy Changes for Health – Kefir Smoothies

kefir smoothie

 

My favorite way to get healthy is to make small changes that add up for a larger impact.  I’m not inclined to sign myself up for a marathon, but I have started walking nearly every morning.

It’s unlikely that I’ll do a complete overhaul of my eating habits (although I did try the Whole 30 once).  I’d rather make small changes that are easier to keep up with.

One of those things is adding kefir to my snack rotation.

What the heck is kefir, you may ask?

First, let me just say that it actually tastes pretty good.  The description I’m about to give you may turn you off of trying it, but stick with me.  Despite the description, I do enjoy these smoothies and I think you will too.

Kefir is fermented milk.  It’s a little like a thin, drinkable yogurt, but it’s not yogurt.  It’s possible to make kefir at home, but I haven’t tried that.  Instead, I buy Lifeway brand.

lifeway kefir

 

I’ve found it at Walmart, Meijer, Costco and Aldi.  Aldi has the best price on the quart size bottles.  Costco carries the individual bottles at a price just a bit more than Aldi.  (This post isn’t sponsored, by the way.  I’m just sharing a product I’m loving.)

Kefir comes in plain or various berry flavors.  I prefer the flavored.  Actually, I’m not brave enough to try the plain.  I even add to the sweetness of the berry flavor by blending half a frozen banana with it.  Of course, the flavored varieties aren’t quite as healthy as the plain, but I think it’s a lot healthier for me.  The reason, is I’d never drink the plain, so I’d miss out on the health benefits altogether.  At least with the flavored type, I get all the good probiotics and other goodness, even if it does come with a bit of added sugar.

Benefits of kefir

Because it’s fermented, kefir is full of probiotics – many more than are found in yogurt.  This is a real boost for gut health, but it also brings a lot of other benefits too.

This article goes into more details on the benefits, but here’s a quick list for you.

~ The probiotics are good for you gut and can help restore good bacteria after illness.  It’s also good for people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

~ It boosts your immunity to viruses and infections.

~ It builds bone density.

~ Some studies show it helps both allergies and asthma.

~ People who are lactose intolerant can usually drink kefir with no problem.  In fact, there’s evidence to show that it will help people who deal with that.

~ There have been lab studies that show kefir fights cancer in animals.

~ There are only about 100 calories per cup.

It’s been easy to swap out my morning or afternoon snack for a kefir smoothie instead.  I just blend half a frozen banana with 1 cup of kefir.  If I don’t have the banana already frozen, I add a cube or two of ice to the blender.  Easy!

I’d love to know if you’ve tried kefir and what you think of it! 

 

 

 

7 Layer Hot Italian Dip Recipe

7 Layer Hot Italian Dip

 

Oh my gosh, you all!  This dip is so easy and so amazing, you’ve got to try it!

Seven layers of cheesy, Italian inspired flavors come together in a hot, bubbly dip.  It’s great for an appetizer at a party or to serve with soup for a family dinner.

It’s really just an assembly process.  You’ll need to chop a few of the ingredients a little bit, but it’s so quick and easy to put together.  Anyone can make this dip.  And I guarantee you’ll be asked for the recipe.  It’s that good!

I even made a short video showing how. (If you’re reading this in an email and the video doesn’t show, you may need to click over to the blog to see it.)

 

A video posted by Tiffany King (@eatathome) on

I completely forgot to take a photo of the ingredients, but these are all very common things. And feel free to vary it as you like. There’s no right or wrong here!

Easy 7 Layer Hot Italian Dip

 

You’ll have leftover roasted red peppers, sun dried tomatoes and pesto.  This is a good thing, because it means you’ll have the ingredients around to make it again soon!

7 Layer Hot Italian Dip Recipe
Ingredients
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ - ⅓ cup pesto sauce
  • ¼ - ⅓ cup roasted red bell pepper, chopped
  • ¼ - ⅓ cup shaved Parmesan cheese
  • 1 small jar marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
  • ¼ - ⅓ cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
Instructions
  1. Layer all ingredients in a small, oven safe dish.
  2. Bake at 400 for 10-15 minutes or till hot and bubbly.
  3. Broil to brown the top, if desired.
  4. Serve hot with crackers.

 

Chocolate Chip Muffins

I whipped these muffins up one night to snack on during family game night.  We were playing spoons, which usually leads to ice cream for some reason.  Then the next morning we have no spoons to stir coffee or eat cereal because they’re all dirty from the game playing, ice cream eating fun the night before.

But on this night, I decided chocolate chip muffins would make a fine snack.  I love baking muffins, because it’s so fast and there’s an infinite variety of flavors.  Needless to say, these were a hit.

I have some big plans for taking these muffins to a new level that involve cream cheese and chocolate ganache.  I’m waiting for a day when I can bake in the afternoon so the photos have some daylight.  We’ve had so much rain lately, I may have to settle for a dark day.

Back to the muffin recipe.  Here’s what you’ll need.  I didn’t grab a photo of the ingredients, but they’re all common items. [Read more…]

Gardens, Veggies, Meatless – Oh My! (and a few resources)

It’s April!

Spring weather has to be getting closer, right?

Our focus for April here on EaH is going to be everything earthy.  We’ll talk gardens and gardening, vegetables, farmer’s markets, meatless dinners…  Not every post will follow this topic, but many will.

If you’ve been reading this blog very long, you know I don’t tackle these topics often.  Not that I don’t have meatless and vegetarian meal recipes, and we do eat vegetables, of course.  I’ve even got a few posts on square foot gardening.  But this topic isn’t the most natural (pun intended) for me to write about.

So, I’ll be turning to some folks who can help out.  One of those people is Katie from Kitchen Stewardship.  She knows healthy foods like I know my slow cooker. [Read more…]

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