Kefir Dips & Dressings

Tatiana’s Pilates in Carpinteria, CA.
Lotus Newsletter, Apr 2010, Issue # 14

IMG_6402_2I actually prefer making my own vinaigrette salad dressings and dips  instead of those you can buy in most supermarkets. Those tend to have too many unhealthy ingredients you’d have difficulty even pronouncing. Kefir salad dressings are easy and fast to make, inexpensive (you can even use left-overs), healthy and fresh- all of which makes more sense to make them, for both your health and family budget.

IMG_6351Purslane is now available in the Farmers’ Market, so you use it a lot, especially now, that other salad greens are not as tender and juicy as they can be when it’s cooler here, as say in winter.

Golden Kefir Dressing

Incorporate more turmeric into your diet to turbocharge your health and energy levels. Turmeric in the recipe is arguably the most powerful herb on the planet to preventing, reversing and curing disease. With hundreds of health benefits, turmeric’s medicinal powers are seemingly endless and it should be a staple in every diet. Combine the following ingredients in a food processor:
• Kefir – a cup (250 ml or more)
• Garlic, chopped – 1-2 cloves (optional)
• Turmeric- 1-2 tsp.
• Black ground pepper – 1 tsp. Piperine -a substance in black pepper – increases your body’s absorption of turmeric thousand times!
• Coconut oil, melted – 1 tbsp. (or more). If it’s not too warm, the oil will not be liquid, but you can still just add it in a solid state, and your blender should take care of it. You can use another of your IMG_6360_2favorite healthy oils which will help increase your body’s absorption of turmeric.
• Tarragon – 1-2 tbsp. or any other of your favorite herbs (dill, parsley, etc.)
• Salt to taste
Blend until smooth. Season with a sprig of your favorite herb and sprinkle with some of your favorite seeds (black sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds or pine nuts). Add lemon juice if kefir is not acidic enough. Enjoy your salad!

Kefir Avocado Dressing
We live in the capital of avocado, so I had to try this recipe.
Combine the following ingredients in a food processor:
• Avocado – 1
• Red onion, chopped – 1 tbs. (1/4 small onion)
• Lemon juice – 1 to 2 tbs. (you can omit this, because kefir usually adds enough acidity )
• Cilantro, chopped – 2 tbs.
• Kefir – a cup (250 ml or more)
• Red pepper flakes – 1/2 tsp. or use capsicum powder (cayenne peppers) mixed with fresh ginger to restore energy and for better circulation
• Salt, pepper
3533439213_6a3be6a541Process until smooth. Add more kefir if the dressing is too thick. Season with a sprig of your favorite herb and sprinkle with some of your favorite seeds (black sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds or pine nuts). Add lemon juice if kefir is not acidic enough. Enjoy your salad!

It’s always fun to play with both of our favorite and healthy ingredients, but you can actually substitute avocado with your favorite veggies, like tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet bell peppers, etc. Cilantro can be substituted with your favorite- dill, parsley, basil, etc.

Kefir-Based Greak Tsatsiki Dressing

IMG_6444_2Tzatziki is very healthy with kefir full of probiotics, cucumber which is packed with phytonutrients helping fight inflammation, garlic full of allicin, which is known for its immune boosting properties, lemon full of vitamin C, and herbs (dill and mint) which are loaded with vitamins. Tzatziki is also versatile- you can use tzatziki not only as a salad dressing and a dip, but also in so many different ways: on meats, sandwiches, burgers, baked potatoes, and fish.
Start with a cucumber, peel it (if you prefer) and grate. You can drain the liquid while you do the next step. Combine the following ingredients in a food processor and blend:
• Garlic- 1-2 cloves
• Mint- a sprig with 7-9 leaves
• Lemon juice – 1 to 2 tbs.
• Dill weed – a small bunch or 1 tbsp.
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Add drained cucumbers and blend
• Add Kefir – a cup (250 ml or more)
Process until it’s still a little chunky and transfer to a bowl and refrigerate for some time so that flavors blend together. Καλή όρεξη!

IMG_6400_2Kefir Ranch Dressing
It’s easy and tastes just like fancy Buttermilk Ranch Dressing!

• 2 cups Kefir
• 1 packet Italian Seasonings powdered dressing mix (you can use the kind that comes with a bottle to make dressing in)
• 1/4 cup Grapeseed Oil (or favorite salad oil)
• You can also add 1-2 tsp. Red Wine Vinegar (you can omit this one, because kefir usually adds enough acidity)

Mix kefir and dry seasonings into blender. Then add in the oil in a light stream while running the blender on low. Let the mixture thicken up, and as soon as it’s emulsified, stop the blender. It’s amazing on salads!

Minty-Sweet Kefir Dip for Fruit & Berries

Great with fruit and berries. Combine the following ingredients in a food processor and blend:
• Homemade kefir- 1 cup
• Fresh mint leaves- 2 sprigs (for the dip) plus more to serve (optional)
• Vanilla extract- ½ tsp
• Your favorite sweetener- 1-2 tsp raw honey or coconut syrup

Pour the sauce into a dip bowl and place the bowl in a large fruit/ berry platter. Arrange fruit pieces and berries around the bowl of your dip in fun pattern! Arrange a couple sprigs of mint on your sauce and/ or fruit and berries. Serve in your favorite small ice-cream bowls, on wooden skewers or with toothpicks and enjoy!.

Lately, I’ve discovered the sweet wormwood plant (Artemisia Annua) or sweet sagewort, an herb that has been used in Chinese medicine for at least 2,000 years, and is eaten in salads in some Asian countries. Researchers have used this traditional Chinese medicine to create a compound that is more than 1,200 times more specific in killing certain kinds of cancer cells than currently available drugs.
Play with the recipe!

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Carpinteria, CA 93013 • 805.284.2840 •

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