Cleaner Living: Make Your Own Drinkable Yogurt

Jun 12, 2013 by

It happens to all of us.

You take the kids to the grocery store (which I am convinced is hell on earth), and they are instantly attracted to the bright colors and fun characters on packages of stuff you don’t necessarily want to give them.  It’s confusing to them why something with Dora on it can’t be good for them- I mean she can lead you safely across the Sticky Swamp, why wouldn’t she be leading you to healthy food?

Well, advertising rant aside, I just find it gross that companies turn simple things into science experiments and places to put unnecessary ingredients, like sugar.  Case in point, my kids like those yogurt drinks. When you look at the nutritional information you see this:

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This is the nutritional label from Danimals Raspberry Smoothie
Photo Credit

Sugar makes its way to the second spot on the ingredient list, and there are a whole lot of things labeled that I’m sure our ancestors did not put into their own yogurt mixtures.  Even on more reputable brands, like Stonyfield Farms list (organic) sugar as their second ingredient.  Now, my kids get their fill of sugar from cakes, candies, and ice cream, do they really need to be getting it with something healthy like yogurt?  I say no.  Besides the health factor, these little drinks can be EXPENSIVE!

So what to do, but make your own!

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Ingredients for a Raspberry Banana drinkable yogurt
Photo Credit: Dena Fleno

I have read a lot about the benefits of Kefir.  It is more liquidy than yogurt, like the consistency of buttermilk, but it is jam-packed with good bacteria that our guts need to help fight off the bad guys.  In fact, Kefir has more gut- enhancing bacteria than regular yogurt and contains a lot more protein, keeping you fuller, longer.  It comes plain or flavored, and is about $3 for 32 oz.  I found mine at Trader Joe’s, but I have seen it at Target and Stop and Shop as well.

I also had to come up with a creative way to make it just as appealing as monkeys and Dora.  My kids aren’t fans of smoothies in a cup, but fall all over those little 3 oz bottles.  Then it hit me- get travel shampoo containers and put them in there!

So here is the recipe for a real food, simple drinkable yogurt!

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Our finished drinkable yogurt!
Photo Credit: Dena Fleno

What you need:

– Plain Kefir, 32 oz

– 3/4 cup Frozen fruit (I used raspberries because it was on hand)

- 2 ripe banana (the riper they are the sweeter they are)

- 2 tbsp Pure Maple Syrup

- Blender (I love my Ninja)

- 3 or 4oz travel bottles

Directions:

Put all your food ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  Pour into containers.  It’s as simple as that!

Notes:  I made half of this recipe the first time and the other half today.  I realized that I could make a larger batch and it would probably keep up to 3 or 4 days in the fridge because it does not separate like using regular yogurt or making a milk shake.

The Verdict:

The kids are big fans of this, and because inevitably one kid wants banana only, and the other wants raspberry, they can pick their flavors and I don’t go broke buying several different kinds.  Also, I have found this to be a great breakfast for me and the hubs as well!  It costs us a lot less to make our own than buying them, and we are all going to reap some nutritional benefits from it as well- WIN!

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Dena

Dena is the busy mom of a 7-year-old son and a 2 year old daughter. In her “free time” she enjoys a good book, a glass (or 3) of wine, cooking, and looking forward to the day she may finally be able to pee in peace. Her biggest hope in life is that she will produce two happy, healthy adults who will treat themselves and others with compassion and kindness.

8 Comments

  1. ScienceMomArlene

    Great idea and I know my daughter would love them. My only worry is using those bottles for drinking. Not only may they contain BPA, plastic things made for non food items many times have traces of chemicals that are not safe to consume. Most times these come from the molds that are used for making the bottles or what is sprayed on the molds so the bottle comes off easy. If the bottle is not going to be used for food they don’t need to use food safe stuff and don’t need to tell you this either.

  2. Carly

    Love it! I will definitely be making this for my girls!!! :)

  3. Dave

    1) that isn’t drinkable yogurt. It’s kefir. There is a difference!
    2) sugar is the third ingredient not second and holy crap it’s only 10grams….that’s half the sugar of traditional flavored yogurts or kefir. And 1/4 of the sugar found in juice
    3) this has nothing to do with making your own drinkable yogurt or your own kefir.

    How did you get at the top of google?!

    • Dena

      Thanks for commenting Dave.

      1) Yogurt and kefir are both defined as cultured/fermented milk. The differences between kefir and yogurt are as I outlined, the number of live bacteria that are in them.
      2) Thank you for the correction- you are right, sugar is the third ingredient in the Danimals. While it may be less than in other products, the point is it doesn’t need to be in there. The sugars in things like kefir, milk, fruits, etc are naturally occurring, not added.
      3) See number 1. I also do not claim to show you how to make your own kefir.

      Thanks for alerting me this is at the top of a Google search! How cool?!

  4. Julia

    To the author’s defence>
    One can play with the ingridients, choosing the best-soursed ones they can get a hold of
    for the sake of nutrition (within one’s beliefe/knowledge). Go ahead, use your home-made grass-fed-raw-fermented dairy ,sweetener of your choice and flavor it with fresh, dried or frozen goodness or whatever YOU CHOOSE…
    It is the bacis idea that counts: you are in control …
    and unwanted, often hidden ingridients are vurtually eliminated. Thus one can turn a lab-rats’ poison into something human-friendly:)
    Thank you, Dena.

  5. Steph

    As someone already mentioned good idea but those bottles are not healthy at all to put any food or beverages into.

  6. Maria

    Well, here’s an article about the differences between yogurt and kefir, they are apparently made differently.
    http://www.culturesforhealth.com/difference-between-yogurt-kefir

    In my country your drink would be called a kefir smoothie or flavored kefir. Not that it’s important:). Don’t you find the taste different though? Half my family prefers yogurt, the other half kefir and we notice the difference even with fruit and other ingredients.
    When I wanted to make drinkable yogurt for the kefir haters I just mixed some milk or 100% juice into regular or greek yogurt.

  7. William baldwin

    I make my own milk kefir at home and put some syrup and fruits in it. They are almost the same. Kefir I think has a lot more live bacteria in it. I strain it through a coffee filter and it becomes like a Greek yogurt.

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