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This delightfully tangy orange and kefir smoothie is a dose of Sunshine for your body — gut and brain included!

Kefir is a fermented drink that can be made from milk (dairy or nondairy, including soy, rice and coconut) or water.  This unique probiotic powerhouse has a yogurt-like taste and lots of immune-boosting and disease-fighting benefits.  It contains bioactive compounds that can improve gut and skin health, and may even help to reduce the risk of cancer and allergy symptoms.  One compound found only in kefir, known as kefiran, has been found to fight against candida, a common yeast infection.  For more information on probiotics and gastrointestinal health, see "The Gut Microbiome".

For 2 servings, blend together until smooth:

  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups diced fresh oranges

  • 1 cup probiotic coconut kefir

  • 4 ice cubes (optional)

  • handful of raw walnuts (omit for nut-free)

  • 2 Tbsp Further Food collagen peptides (nonvegan) or Nuzest Clean Lean vanilla or natural protein powder or 1 Tbsp of each

  • 2 Tbsp gluten-free flaxseed meal or chia seeds

  • couple drops of pure orange extract (optional)

  • optional Lakanto monk fruit sweetener, pure stevia, or raw honey (nonvegan), adjusted to taste

This makes the kind of tangy shake that my first-born adores.  For a more mellow brekkie, add 1 frozen banana and 2 Tbsp nut butter (cashew works well) to the above recipe.