Caregiving from my kitchen

Strawberry Kefir Protein Shake

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Strawberries and banana make this kefir protein shake both tasty and sweet. A great way to get probiotics, protein, and vitamins all in one delicious glass!

It’s been a little hectic around Inhabited Kitchen… specifically from the caregiving side. Though on the whole, we’re very lucky.

Mom fell last week. She was just walking along, with her walker, with her usual good form… and (also as usual) I was behind her. Ever since she was sick, and very weak, last Fall one of us tries to be with her, providing what they call Standby Assistance. We’re not doing anything, we’re just there in case. And then she paused – and her knees buckled – and I caught her, so she went down easy. (Which is the reason for standing by…)

Long story short, she went to the hospital and they caught the pneumonia in a very early stage – and the only injury is a wrenched ankle. She’s been home now as long as she was in hospital – and actually that ankle is now the most serious issue because she cannot yet walk on it. So on the whole, for a 93 year old lady, she is doing very well, and we’re happy.

But – since we talk about food, here – our other problem in the hospital was that she wouldn’t eat much. Because of a possible concern her diet was initially limited… and she just didn’t have any appetite anyway. So now we need to build her up a bit – protein and vitamins and… oh, yes, probiotics because of all those IV antibiotics they were giving her…

A glass of Strawberry Kefir Protein Shake.

All of which brings me full circle back to the post I planned for last week – and put off, under the circumstances. Strawberry Kefir Protein Shake, using the kefir I’ve written about in the last few posts.

Because kefir is tangy, many people (including the parents) prefer it sweetened a little, usually with fruit. And strawberries are coming into season! But… they’re kind of tangy too, or even sour, especially if they’re not quite ripe. And let’s be real, most of the ones in the supermarket are not. So let’s also add some banana, for sweetness. (And added nutrients…)

Cutting strawberries to discard unripe parts.

A trick with supermarket strawberries is to use only the parts that are ripe. Hold the berry by the leaves and carefully cut the red parts off and use them, then throw out the white part with the leaves (and sometimes in the middle.) For the shake I want half a cup of red ripe strawberry pieces.

Directions

Assembled ingredients for Strawberry Kefir Protein Shake.



The shake itself is simple. Put a cup and a half of kefir, half a banana, and the strawberry pieces into a blender. Add 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla.  Then blend until smooth. If you want add ice. That makes the shake colder, of course but also a little thinner. The banana thickens the shake and Mom doesn’t really like the thick shake so I used four ice cubes in this. You may just want one or two.

We use a whey isolate protein powder partly because the flavor is very mild and partly because it is very digestible. Unsweetened and unflavored of course, because flavoring would clash with the fruit, and it is sweet enough. The problem with whey protein though, is that when you blend it it sometimes thickens and gets too fluffy. So blend everything else until smooth first, add the protein powder and then just give it a quick zip.

Fruit, kefir, and ice in a blender.


And that’s it. For most people this would make one serving, and I’ve made this, or similar shakes, for years as part of my breakfast. The parents drink it as a supplement between meals, though, and neither will drink very much at a time. We end up dividing this between two glasses and they each have a little. I’d rather give them an amount they will drink happily than overwhelm them… and they have been enjoying the various concoctions!

If you don’t drink kefir, or don’t have it on hand, you can substitute buttermilk – I sometimes do. Or use a cup of yogurt and then do add all four ice cubes. And if you have extra kefir grains, add them – they seriously boost the probiotics, and the blender will smooth them out! Just one caveat – do that after everyone drinking it is accustomed to kefir – too high a dose of the probiotics can upset a digestion that is not yet used to them. But they provide wonderful support once you adjust!

Strawberries and banana make this kefir protein shake both tasty and sweet. A great way to get probiotics, protein, and vitamins all in one delicious glass!

Strawberry Kefir Protein Shake

Strawberries and banana make this kefir protein shake both tasty and sweet. A great way to get probiotics, protein, and vitamins all in one delicious glass!
Prep Time10 mins
Total Time10 mins
Servings: 2 cups
Author: Anne Murphy

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c cut up strawberries
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 1/2 c kefir
  • 1/4 t vanilla extract
  • ice cubes opt.
  • 1 scoop whey isolate protein powder

Instructions

  • Combine fruit, kefir, extract, and 2-4 ice cubes (if desiredd) in a blender. Blend on high speed until smooth.
  • Add protein powder. Blend just until mixed in.

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