Probiotics are families of “good” bacteria found in certain live cultures and yeasts that help your digestive system process what you eat in the most efficient way. They can help you avoid all kinds of digestive disturbances. When your tummy’s happy, you’re happy.
A smoothie is a great way to add more probiotics to your diet. Probiotic smoothies are easy to put together. They all have three basic elements – the drinkable element, the probiotics element and the extras element. You can choose which variations you want to combine for your own perfect smoothie. And here’s the best part – you can make a big batch and freeze single servings of probiotic smoothies. It won’t harm their effectiveness.
The Drinkable Element
All kinds of liquids can put the “smooth” in your smoothie. Many have their own colony of probiotics in them to add to the party. On the dairy side, you have milk, kefir (fermented milk and yeast) and plain yogurt. Non-dairy choices include kombucha (fermented tea), coconut water, coconut milk, coconut kefir, almond milk, soy milk, rice milk and cold coffee. Use 4 cups at a time for a batch of smoothies. (Try coffee, bananas and coconut milk together. Yum.)
The Probiotics Element
The “drinkable elements” kefir, yogurt, kombucha and coconut water kefir all have their own power pack of probiotics, but you can add more with the various probiotics powders now available. The powders are made by growing and fermenting the right kinds of bacteria in milk or a dairy-free medium, then separating the bacteria and the medium in a centrifuge. The bacteria is then freeze-dried into powder form. Add a teaspoon per serving – and be sure to stir in the powder after you’ve blended your smoothie.
The Extras Element
Fruits and vegetables add the sweet or savory touch. Blueberries, bananas, strawberries, pears, papaya and apples all will sweeten your smoothie. Kale, avocado (for richness), collard greens, celery, cucumbers and spinach all add a savory touch. (And create the “green” smoothies you hear about.) Just chop the fruit or vegetables you want to try and use about ½ cup of each per 1 cup of your drinkable element. Mix and match!