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Bring out the sun with this pretty kefir-based SUNflower seed butter and spinach smoothie!  It is super yummy, super healthy, and super simple, too!

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".

Sunflowers are native to North America where they have been harvested for millennia.  Sunflower seed butter (SSB) is made from grinding roasted sunflower seeds.  It is rich in protein (3 grams per Tbsp) and healthy fats, as well as vitamin E and essential minerals like magnesium and manganese.  Consider making your own — see my recipe for SUN+ BUTTER — or find one that is minimally processed.  SSB has gotten more popular in recent years as a nut-free alternative to peanut butter.

For one serving, blend together until smooth:

  • 1 cup kefir (dairy or non-dairy)

  • 1/2 to 1 frozen banana

  • 2 Tbsp sunflower seed butter (see note below)

  • generous handful of baby spinach

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

  • optional Lakanto monkfruit sweetener, pure stevia, or raw honey (nonvegan) to sweeten as desired

Note: If peanut or nut allergies are a concern, use a product made in a nut-free, peanut-free facility or make homemade sunflower seed butter using nut-free sunflower seeds.