Are you wondering what the secret ingredient is? Here’s a hint, it’s a lovely little fruit that’s loaded with fiber, antioxidants, and helps keep your digestive system working like a champ. Any guesses? It’s prunes!! I sneak dried Sunsweet Prunes into my strawberry smoothies because they come with so many great healthy benefits. Plums or dried plums (prunes) help to lower cholesterol, help normalize blood sugar levels, help build strong bones, and provides a good source of fiber. The insoluble fiber within prunes helps feed the friendly good for you bacteria in your digestive tract, which also helps to keep out and get rid of the bad bacteria. The healthy bacteria produced by prunes creates a few short-chain fatty acids: butyric acid, propionic, and acetic acid. Butyric acid provides needed fuel for cells of the large intestine and helps to promote a healthy colon. Propionic and acetic acid, which are used as fuel for the liver and muscles. I can just eat them straight out of the bag and my oldest loves plums so she likes prunes as well, but my other two little ones are not into eating plums or prunes for that matter so I throw them into smoothies, which they do not mind at all, so they get the health benefit. They know they are in there, so I guess my secret is out of the bag in our house. 🙂 A few of my friends have young children that struggle with digestion issues. This is common and sometimes it can be hard for kids and adults to get enough fiber in their diet. You know I’m not a doctor, but I would much rather give my family a great tasting natural source of fiber, rather than choking down a fake or chalky substance that we all despise. There is dairy in my smoothie recipe from the Kefir, but you could easily swap this out with unsweetened almond milk, soy, or coconut milk to suit your dietary needs. Also, there’s fruit juice in this recipe, along with the natural sugar from the fruit. You could use water instead of the juice, or use less juice and more of your milk variety as needed if you are concerned with the sugar. I can’t leave out another important ingredient in these smoothies – it’s those little blue wonders, the blueberries. They pack so many vitamins and help your body in numerous ways including fiber, lowering cholesterol for a healthier heart, they are full of antioxidants to help fight off the bad stuff, and they even can help your brain cells work a little better. I know my tired brain could use all the help I can get in short term memory loss and cognition areas. Whip up a batch of these smoothies. My girls would have them every day if they could! I’ve even sent them to school with a smoothie to go when we were running late. My seven year old said her teacher asked her where her smoothie was!
Ingredients: I do not measure when I make smoothies so these are approximate measurements.
2 C fruit juice. I like a berry blend.
1 1/2 C Kefir probiotic. I used strawberry, but unflavored or vanilla works great too. You could use cows milk, almond, soy, coconut milk here too.
1 frozen banana – peeled
2 C frozen strawberries
1/2 C frozen blueberries
6 dried prunes
This will make around 36 oz of smoothie.
Add all ingredients to a blender, make sure there is liquid on the bottom so you do not burn up the motor and this makes it easier to start blending the frozen fruit.
I use the Ice Crush Setting which pulses the mixture to help break down the frozen fruit. You may need to help stir with a rubber spatula and then re cover and mix again a few times.
Add more juice or kefir if needed until you reach your desired consistency. I like mine to be more like a milkshake consistency.
Pour into glasses!