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Water Kefir Blueberry Dream Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie

1/4 cup frozen wild blueberries
1 cup (packed) lightly blanched or young nettles (can sub spinach or kale if you don’t have nettle)
*Be sure to use tongs or wear gloves when handling  fresh nettles to prevent stings*
1 cup first ferment water kefir
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger

2 tablespoons raw organic beet juice (can sub for 2 tablespoons of raw, finely shredded beets, but the flavor is more earthy and you will have some extra fibre in your smoothie)-available in the organic aisle at most grocery stores.
1 teaspoon lemon juice (or to taste)
1 teaspoon raw honey (or agave if you are vegan)
Optional: pinch of finely ground cayenne for extra inflammation fighting powerful

Blend for 1-2 minutes, to ensure nettles or greens are broken down.
If it is too thick after blending, add additional first ferment and blend again.

Blueberries

These little gems are powerful anti-oxidants, high in vitamin c and potassium, and phytoflavinoids making them a wonderful ingredient to help with inflammation, and they also lower the risk of heart disease!

Citrus

The most common immune booster, bringing loads of vitamin C, and is key for fighting infections and viruses. Grapefruits, oranges, lemons and limes are all perfect for adding a delicious tangy brightness to water kefir.

Ginger

A great booster and fighter. Ginger helps decrease symptoms of nausea, helps reduce inflammation, joint pain, and may also possess cholesterol lowering properties. Ginger has a warm, spicy taste, that is described as peppery with floral notes. It brings out the sweetness of fruits it is paired with, and really enhances vitamin C rich foods like citrus.

Nettles

Found in the forest, nettles are well-known for the sting they can cause if brushed up against in the wild, but did you know that these amazing plants are also incredibly beneficial for treating a number of conditions? It has been used as medicine since as early as Ancient Greece.

While the prickly, stinging sensation from fresh leaves can be a little bothersome (wear gloves when handling it to eliminate the issue), nettles are  a perennial flowering plant with powerful healing properties. To name a few:

*anti-inflammatory- nettles assist with swelling and inflammation of muscles and joints, especially with osteo and rheumatoid arthritis. Nettles are often used along side NSAID medications so that patients can decrease the amount that they take. This is beneficial as NSAIDs can cause stomach irritation. Both ingesting and directly applying nettles to aching joints has been shown to decrease symptoms.

*allergy relief- nettles contain a natural antihistamine which is excellent for allergies or breathing-related problems, making it the perfect addition to a spring diet.

*Urinary and prostate disorders- nettles can aid in the recovery from UTIs and Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH/enlarged prostate).

*Nettles are rich in serotonin, histamine (which sounds backwards, but is the main reason they decrease allergy symptoms) and ascetylcholine (a neurotransmitter)

Nettles can be prepared in tea, sauteed like spinach (the flavor is very similar), used as a topical in a poultice, ointment or salve, or dried and put into capsules for easy ingestion. We love making nettle pesto, nettle soups, and even using nettles in our second ferment water kefir!

It’s the perfect time to introduce fermented foods into your body and boost your immunity. ​Already have a Happy Gut DIY kit? Our kits make amazing gifts for birthdays, house warmings, weddings or “just because”. Now is the perfect time to show your friends and family some gut love!

Water kefir (kee-feer) is a healthy and delicious probiotic beverage made from clusters of bacteria and yeast, that resemble little crystals or “grains”. These grains utilize sugars to produce lactic acid and carbon dioxide, which turns your drink into a deliciously healthy, effervescent, fermented beverage!

Find Happy Gut Water Kefir Kits and Grains here.

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