I am just loving growing my own kefir milk, using my local Rolling Lawns Farm whole milk and cream. I can’t thank my friend Susan Murray enough for introducing me to the benefits of this ancient fermented beverage and gifting me my first grains.

Kefir is a natural for smoothies, much like a runny yogurt with a bit more tang and TONS of probiotics. When my latest New Hope Network Blogger Box arrived with a sample of Growing Naturals A.M. Energy One & Done SuperShake, it was a no-brainer. Let’s make smoothies!

And I hit upon two that really stood out. One makes use of market strawberries I had in my freezer, but organic frozen strawberries from the grocer will work just fine, until this year’s crop arrives. I took Susan’s advice and added some tart cherry juice, too. Add that kefir with a splash of honey (from my friend Sally Burgess’ happy buzzing bees!) and a scoop of my chocolate SuperShake, and I was set.

Then there were some overripe bananas just begging to be next in the smoothie line. OK! How can you go wrong with chocolate and banana? Add a bit of peanut butter and you’ve got this almost Reeses Pieces Smoothie…almost.

I hope you try both recipes and the kefir. While I am now a devotee to homemade kefir, you don’t have to be—many ready-made versions are at your natural foods stores, I’m sure. And keep in mind that if kefir is not your thing, any favorite milk or even filtered water will do. The A.M. Energy One & Done SuperShake is so rich and creamy all on its own, that a rich milk turns it super thick—almost malt-like. Enjoy!

Kefir Smoothies with Growing Naturals A.M. Energy One & Done SuperShake

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 1 large serving

Serving Size: about 1 and a half cups

Kefir Smoothies with Growing Naturals A.M. Energy One & Done SuperShake

Ingredients

    For the Berry Cherry Chocolate Smoothie
  • One cup strawberries with some of their juice
  • One-quarter cup tart cherry juice, unsweetened
  • One scoop Growing Naturals A.M. Energy One & Done SuperShake
  • One tablespoon honey (or sweetener of choice)
  • One cup whole milk kefir, homemade or commercial (or milk of choice)
  • For the Banana Mocha Smoothie
  • One large overripe banana, broken into chunks, chilled
  • One tablespoon peanut butter (or nut/seed butter of choice)
  • One tablespoon honey (or sweetener of choice, which could be optional here depending on the ripeness of the banana)
  • One scoop Growing Naturals A.M. Energy One & Done SuperShake
  • One cup whole milk kefir, homemade or commercial (or milk of choice)

Instructions

  1. To make the smoothies, simply put your chosen ingredients into a blender jar and process on high, until everything is combined, silky smooth and thick. Best enjoyed ice cold.
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Why Growing Naturals Grew on Me

In a word: flavor. Let’s face it, no matter how great for you a protein supplement is, if it doesn’t taste good, you are not likely to use it regularly. And if that supplement is part of your breakfast it better be darn good, is all I have to say. I’m big on breakfast. Well, this chocolate A.M. Energy One & Done SuperShake really tastes amazing—one of the best flavors in a protein powder I’ve used.

Another issue I have had with some protein powders in the past is texture—a lot of them are gritty, even if I blend at high speed for a couple of minutes. The SuperShake is super smooth. Just like a milkshake.

And finally…it’s got caffeine!!!!! Ok, so not a plus for everyone, but Growing Naturals has something for everyone, which another great reason to try one of their many products. Want protein that makes you mellow? Try their P.M. Restore One & Done SuperShake—a perfect light end-of-the-day healthy meal when you don’t have the time to cook. Just genius–and it’s still chocolate!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Variety doesn’t stop there. Growing Naturals boasts several varieties of Brown Rice and Pea Protein powders for everybody—vegans, as well as keto followers and those gluten free. Check out their product tab for all sorts of ideas and recipes!

Here is a bit of their company statement:

Founded in 2009, Growing Naturals, LLC is employee-owned by a group of visionaries who believe in nourishing the world through powerful plant proteins.  We are a team of food scientists and plant protein experts with a wide range of diet lifestyles who live what we preach — at the office and at home. Each of us is personally nourished by Growing Naturals products to supplement our active lifestyles and health goals, along with our friends and families. 
 
Growing Naturals products are made by individuals who have dedicated their lives to nourishing the planet with plant-based proteins designed to fuel people who thoughtfully select what goes in their bodies, whether by choice or necessity, from Vegans to people managing Celiac.

Facing Today

Finally, while I hope these blog posts remain sort of timeless as readers come and go, the times we live in on this particular day–March 31, 2020–are somewhat frozen in fear. We face an unprecedented threat from the Coronavirus COVID-19. Believe me, I hope this part of my post today is irrelevant some months from now. But we just don’t know.

We currently live with uncertainty, fear and anxiety over what our tomorrows will bring. So many people have stepped up—the people who feed us and get us our good, the medical professionals who risk their own health hour by hour as they work to save the most vulnerable. And this great New Hope Network, of which I am so proud to be a member, is reaching out, too.

They stepped up early and cancelled their huge annual conference before anyone told them they had to. They knew keeping people safe from the get-go back in late February was the most important thing they could do. Since then, they have added a tab to their website (which is always full of great information) specifically on Coronavirus. Worth a look. In addition they are sending out the following prayer to everyone, and so I am sharing it with you. It is both inspiring and painful, a mixture of hope and gratitude for everyone who is stepping up for everyone else. In peace.

New Hope Network Prayer for Pandemic Graphic

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