I wasn't kidding when I said I am not turning on the oven earlier this week...which is why I have been gravitating more towards popsicles and salads from Julia's cookbook - Let Them Eat Kale. I recently picked up a bottle of kefir (fermented milk) out of curiosity. By itself, it is slightly tangy/sour somewhat similar to buttermilk and is 99% lactose free. I made kefir lassi (a traditional yogurt based drink from Southeast Asia) with mangoes and jazzed it up with cardamom which in my opinion should be an official Summer drink.
Kefir is a cultured, enzyme rich milk product that has gut friendly bacteria and is believed to be even better than yogurt. The word kefir originates from Eastern Europe and is believed to have originated from the Turkish word 'keif' which means feeling good. There are many health claims associated with kefir while the research is still limited, a study published in the Journal of American Dietetic Association in 2003 found that kefir improved lactose digestion over milk with reduced or no symptoms of lactose intolerance. It probably has to do with bacteria consuming most of the lactose (milk sugar that is hard to get digested by people with lactose intolerance).
per cup - 110 calories, 11 grams of protein, 12 grams carbohydrate
Traditionally, lassi is made with whipped whole milk yogurt, water, sugar (or salt), and ice. Mango lassi is a pretty popular next to the plain variety but my fellow bloggers have taken a creative approach such as mint and peach lassi, roasted cherry balsamic, and rose lassi. Here is my take on kefir lassi with frozen mangoes, & cardamom powder,
Lassi is normally enjoyed with meals as a refreshing beverage and also to help aid digestion. Since it has a great combination of both protein, carbohydrates, and very little added sugar, it's totally appropriate for both breakfast and snacking as well. This recipe makes one tall glass but feel free to adjust sugar and amount of ice depending upon how icy you like your lassi.
Mango Cardamom Kefir Lassi
For 1 serving
1 cup kefir (I used plain, low-fat kind)
2-3 teaspoon sugar (adjust per taste and sweetness of the mangoes)
1 cup frozen mangoes cubes
pinch of cardamom powder
handful of ice cubes (may only need couple cubes unless you want icy lassi)
Blend kefir and sugar together in the blender until sugar completely dissolves.
Add the remaining ingredients and blend until its creamy.
Adjust the taste and sprinkle more cardamom powder if desired.