Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Present: 02.10.13

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The Present: 02.10.13

The photo above depicts the remains of my breakfast. For the past several years, Lori and I have been making kefir smoothies each morning. This began in 2008. We'd sold our first house and were living in an apartment on Auburn Ave. in Buffalo. The apartment was lovely, but the bedroom, formerly a back porch, was without heat and very cold.

We only lived there for about nine months. We'd sold our house thinking we were going to move another city, but then the financial crisis hit and we thought it best to stay where we actually had jobs until we found a place to land. Four more years (and two more houses in Buffalo) passed before we finally made the leap.

Lori at the time began to experiment with fermentation. She started by making sourdough bread in our kitchen. She made one or two small loaves per day. I ate them about as quickly as she could make them. I had a check-up at the time and was told that my triglycerides were through the roof. We determined that my breadmania was the root cause of the sugar surge.

Lori also began reading about Kefir, a fermented dairy product originally from Caucasus region. She ordered some grains online and then began placing them in milk and waiting for the milk to thicken and turn slightly fizzy. During this period our entire refrigerator became a fermentation lab, filled with overflowing jars of sourdough starter and kefir. Kefir on its own tastes pretty nasty, so she started adding fruit and a little bit of sugar.

I took a liking to the smoothies and we eventually started working together on the smoothies, mixing and matching ingredients to produce what has become our healthy morning shake. Each ingredient has some reason for being there.

The kefir is good for the intestines and aids in digestion. We add two tablespoons of crushed flax seed to boost my HDL levels which are always too low. To increase protein in the shake, we add one scoop of vanilla why protein powder. This also sweetens the confection. For a time, we used stevia for sweetening, but I never liked the taste and it's pretty expensive, so we gave that up.  We also add one banana for bulk, flavor and sweetness.

The final ingredient is the one that varies on a day to day basis: frozen fruit. We usually by frozen fruit mixes at the grocery story. Our current favorite is a berry mix that includes frozen cherries from Trader Joe's. We also use blueberries, strawberries, pineapple, mango, et al. About once a week we ditch frozen fruit in favor of peanut butter. When we do we add ice in order to increase the volume.

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In other news, we're still buried here in North Haven. We spent about 2 hours trying to shovel the driveway yesterday. We cleared about half of it before we nearly collapsed with exhaustion. When the sun gets  little higher this afternoon, we'll try to finish the rest. Not that it matters. We live on a cul de sac and are unlikely to see a plow until tomorrow at the earliest. Here's hoping the diapers hold out.

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