I am always looking for new ways to incorporate kefir into my daily diet and although these food experiments can sometimes be hit or miss, this particular kefir drink recipe is definitely one of my favorites! This mesquite-infused power drink is a delicious way to incorporate a variety of healing whole food ingredients, as I believe wholeheartedly that healthy food does not have to be bland, boring or unenjoyable. With a handful of nutrient-packed, probiotic rich foods coming together this recipe will leave you energized, nourished and craving more!
Mesquite is an antioxidant rich “super” food that seems to be slowly gaining in popularity these days. However, this sweet pod has been used in Ayurveda for thousands of years under the Sanskrit name Shami. Shami is classified as a medhya herb meaning it is used to boost the mental functioning (memory, intellect, focus, etc), relax the mind and balance the emotions. Mesquite is pacifying for both Pitta and Kapha dosha, and does not provoke Vata unless it is taken in excessive dosages.
Traditionally mesquite (aka shami) was used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat many disorders such as vertigo, headache, mental imbalance, diarrhea, looses stools, parasitical and fungal infections, cough, asthma, bleeding disorders, hemorrhoids and skin disorders. Modern research is now validating many of these uses and has found mesquite to be a great source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, protein, fiber and antioxidants. With its nutty, sweet taste it is a great sweetener option as it is extremely low on the glycemic index and will not cause blood sugar spikes nor energy crashes.
Of course the list of health benefits do not stop here. The hemp, chia and pumpkin seeds add a substantial amount of plant-based protein, omega 3s, vitamin Bs, folate, vitamin E, calcium, zinc, magnesium, potassium, fiber and antioxidants (just to name a few!). They an excellent tonic for the health of the brain, hair, skin and heart and nourish the body on a very deep level.
Finally we have the (ideally homemade) kefir or yogurt which provides us with a strong dose of living probiotics to boost the digestive fire and heal the gut flora. If you are using dairy milk kefir, you can add some extra calcium and protein to the already long list of nutrients. The coconut water is admittedly added in for its deliciously sweet flavor, however it provides us with essential electrolytes and enhances this power drink’s energizing properties even further.
- Doshic effect: Vata ↓, Pitta ↓, Kapha ↑*
- Serving: two, 8oz servings
- Time: 5-10 minutes
*See the optional doshic variations below the recipe to make it more Kapha-friendly!
- High speed blender (vitamix, blendtec or a blender of similar strength is best)
- Measuring cup and spoons
- 1 cup of plain kefir or yogurt (homemade is best, get our super simple kefir recipe here!)
- 6 ounces of raw coconut water (I personally prefer the Harmless Harvest brand if a fresh young coconut is not available)
- 1 Tbsp of raw mesquite powder (available at most health food grocery stores, amazon or Mountain Rose Herbs)
- 1 Tbsp of hemp seeds
- 1 Tbsp of raw pumpkin seeds
- 1 Tbsp of chia seeds
- 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
- 1 tsp of honey
1. Place all of the listed ingredients into the blender.
2. Blend on high speed for 2-3 minutes or until a completely smooth and creamy texture is reached. If chunks remain, continue to blend as needed.
3. Drink 8-16 ounces as a sustaining breakfast shake, an energizing snack or a powerful post-workout protein boost!
Optional Doshic Variations
This strengthening, hydrating, Ojas-increasing drink is great for Vata types and during Vata imbalance. It is useful in times of irregular digestion, low energy, anxiety, constipation, dryness, depletion and general debility. The chia seeds can be soaked for at least 1 hour in 1/2 cup of water to make them more Vata-friendly and the honey can be replaced with 1-2 soaked and pitted dates if preferred. If the drink is too cooling for Vata, warming spices can be added such as fresh ginger, turmeric (just a pinch!) or cinnamon. Otherwise Vata predominant individuals can enjoy as is!
This power seed drink is overall very cooling, soothing and pacifying for Pitta types. The kefir or yogurt should be homemade (store bought is considered sour and heating) for the most Pitta-reducing benefits. The honey can be heating for some Pitta types and should be replaced with an equal amount of maple syrup or 1-2 soaked and pitted dates. Otherwise Pitta can cool down and energize as needed with this protein rich drink!
Due to the sweet and heavy nature of some of the ingredients (i.e. yogurt and coconut water) Kapha may become increased from this recipe. A few modifications should be made to make this recipe more Kapha-friendly. The dairy yogurt or kefir should be replaced with either homemade dairy kefir (goat’s milk is the best animal dairy for Kapha) or a dairy alternative kefir such as almond milk or hemp milk kefir (ideally still homemade). The coconut water should be replaced with plain water to reduce the sugar content of the recipe. The honey and mesquite powder are excellent Kapha-reducing sweetener options however, and can be kept in as is. If this drink recipe still seems a bit cooling, heavy or congestive for your Kapha it is further recommended to add in some warming digestive spices such as ginger powder, turmeric (just a pinch!), cinnamon or black pepper (just a pinch!). Even with the recommendations above, this drink should not be taken more than 1-3 times each week by Kapha types.