Now that the weather is starting to heat up on the West Coast, my kids are in the mode of asking for frozen, sugary drinks non-stop. They will live on slurpees and milkshakes if we let them (especially the little one), so I’m always on the lookout for heathy alternatives. When I found the new Olympic Vanilla Kefir at my grocery store, I knew instantly that I would try to make a cooling, kid-friendly summer drink with it.
If you aren’t familiar with kefir, it’s a great product to add to your diet. It is basically a fermented milk that has the consistency of a liquid yogurt. Indian grandmas have been urging us to add fermented, prana- filled foods to our diets for years whether it was achars or dahi, and this new organic product from Olympic Dairy makes it effortless and so easy to add the probiotic benefits of kefir to your everyday diet.
In many ways, kefir reminds me of the jag (yogurt starter) my mom and Bibi would use to create fresh dahi every other day. Sometimes as a kid I would complain that they were using “bad” yogurt, to create a new batch. So typical that we don’t accept the wisdom of our elders as kids, and then we grow up and realize how valuable it was. Now as I’ve started to study food science, and understand how our digestive systems works as an adult, I realize just how valuable that yogurt was. Today I make sure I’m including probiotic-rich and fermented foods in my family’s diet whenever possible.
For our family, Olympic Dairy Vanilla Kefir is a no-brainer. It’s produced right here in Delta BC (practically our backyard), contains 2 billion probiotics (per 250 ml), and is great for healthy digestive flora. Both Armaan and I have conditions that require us to take extra care of our digestion and gut, so it’s a bonus that their kefir (also available in plain and strawberry flavours) contains 10 different bacterial cultures, is low in fat with only 1% M.F. and is much easier to digest than milk. If anyone in your family has a hard time with milk, kefir may be a great alternative for using on your cereal in the morning!
To be honest, we all enjoyed the kefir as is (even Mr. T, and he has the most sensitive palette in our house), and would happily drink it as is. However, I wanted to dress it up a little for the kids so it could compete with their summer favourite – mango milkshakes. I only let the kids eat mangoes in the summer because they aren’t meant to be a winter fruit, so they basically want to indulge in them every day while they are allowed. I made a quick sweet lassi with some fresh mango, a pinch of salt, and some ground cardamom (which has cooling properties and is perfect for summer drinks), and they loved it! #momwin.
Read the recipe for my kid-friendly Sweet Mango Lassi below, and if you need any more inspiration for farm to table kefir recipes make sure you check out the Olympic Dairy website.
PS: If you are going to head out to pick up some Olympic Vanilla Kefir, you should really try the Olympic Krema Greek Style Thick & Rich Yogurt – it has a mishti doi like consistency, and is an instant dessert if you add a bit of grated jaggery! There’s also the Olympic Organic Probiotic Yogurt that tastes great and comes in many delicious flavours.
SWEET MANGO LASSI WITH VANILLA KEFIR
Makes 2 servings (portion size 1.25 cups)
Olympic Vanilla Kefir 2 cups
3-4 cardamom pods ground into a fine powder
Salt to taste
Serve chilled and enjoy!
Although this post has been generously sponsored by Ultima Foods, the opinions and language are my own.