We got the most fantastical idea when we followed Buddy the Elf’s snow tracks traveling through the seven levels of the candy cane forest… to make a Berry Peppermint Smoothie! Brace your elf because this snack is so minty fresh that you’ll see your breath when you exhale. To make your own all you have to do is whizz up some banana, vanilla kefir, and peppermint extract in a blender for the white layer. Then buzz together a red layer of mixed berries, banana, a date, and plain kefir in a separate blender. Switch off pouring each color in your fancy glass until it looks like a beautiful candy cane. Mixed berries have powerful antioxidant activity to protect cells from oxidative stress; banana has prebiotic fiber to fuel the 12 live and active probiotic cultures in kefir; and candy canes are one of the four main food groups of an elf’s properly balanced diet. Now that you know all about this gut-healthy treat, we feel a lot better because it’s nice to meet another human who shares our affinity for smoothie culture.
Your Gut Matters
Eating habits also play a role in mental health. Research has shown that probiotic-rich foods decrease anxiety and boost the mood. That makes kefir a great wellbeing tool because it contains 12 live and probiotic cultures. Psychiatrist James Greenblatt explained that “‘the gut is really your second brain. There are more neurons in the GI tract than anywhere else except the brain.’” As research continues to develop, it’s becoming more and more apparent that there is a link between the gut and the brain. What was once suspected as one-way communication (brain to gut) is now understood to be more of a two-way system. Thus, the health of our gut may directly impact the health of our minds.
- Blend the ingredients for the white layer, set aside in a glass, and put it in the fridge.
- Blend the ingredients for the red layer, set aside in a separate glass.
- Then, pour a small bit of each in a glass, one at a time, to create alternating colors/layers until the glass is full. You want it to have a candy cane effect!