Pear Walnut Quinoa with a Side of Kefir (oh yes, kefir)

Some mornings the thought of eating eggs makes my stomach turn. And when a smoothie and toast just aren’t enough, I need something that is fast and easy to make, yet filling to fuel me for the morning. Quinoa is wonderful as a cereal in the morning, and when combined with walnuts and kefir makes a super protein breakfast.  

Kefir? Say what? Similar to yogurt, kuh-feer is made from milk. However, it is fermented a bit more than yogurt, which gives it a tart bite! Kefir looks like a watered down yogurt and in fact it can even be sipped as a yogurt drink. Many people who are lactose intolerant or who have difficulties digesting milk have no trouble consuming kefir.

 

Why can I digest kefir so easily? Kefir is rich in beneficial bacteria that is needed in the digestive tract. These strains of bacteria are our friends and we actually need them to maintain proper digestion and removal of waste. This bacteria consumes most of the lactose that is present in the milk during the fermentation process, leaving behind kefir that is almost void of one of the most difficult substances for humans to digest. Our bodies stop producing the enzyme lactase, which digests the sugar lactose, as we age. This is why such a large majority of the world experiences bloating, gas, and congestion when they eat dairy.

 

Kefir also provides some helpful digestive enzymes, which is one of the reasons why it has historically been eaten to help digest meals. Kefir even has some antibiotic properties, keeping the digestive tract healthy.

 

What if I don’t like the sour, tart taste? Mixing kefir with coconut milk can help take the edge off the tartness of kefir. Coconut milk has a natural sweetness, plus a nice tropical vibe- why not add a bit of summer to your breakfast on cold winter mornings?

Kefir and Coconut Quinoa

Ingredients: 1-2 cups cooked quinoa ¼ cup blueberries or pomegranate 1 small pear, chopped ⅓ cup kefir ¼ cup coconut milk (optional) ¼ cup walnuts maple syrup (optional) cinnamon

 

 

Directions: 1. In a bowl, combine quinoa, fruit, and walnuts. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sweeten with maple syrup if desired. 2. Mix the kefir and coconut milk. Serve with the quinoa.