I used to think lassi was one of those drinks that you needed to pay $5 a cup for at a nice Indian restaurant and that was the only way to get it. Come to find that, like most healthy food, its actually really easy and pretty inexpensive to make at home. And at home I can adjust the recipe to be that much healthier and better.
The IngredientsWe have been growing our own kefir for a while. Its super simple and easy. Just put kefir grains in a mason jar with milk and let it sit on the counter or in the fridge for a while then you have kefir. No need to pay lots of money for the stuff at the store with added sugar (although I would usually recommend adding sugar, just of my own choosing). I keep my kefir in quart mason jars, so straining the jar into the vitamix is easy. Kefir is full of probiotics, so it makes this extra healthy. If you don't have kefir on hand, yogurt will work fine. Its the usual ingredient for lassi after all.
We haven't had white sugar in our food storage for years now. I have occassionally got it when making treats for other people because I wanted to save money. But after putting in a few cups of white salt (another bleached ingredient we don't keep on hand) in my dad's birthday cake one year I've decided its less expensive to just use what is recognizable instead of mixing up which white processed junk is which. So we use rapadura sugar.
A while ago there was a great deal on mangoes at Sprouts. We made a lot of lassi for a few weeks. Now we have a bag of frozen mango from Costco.
Cardamom can be found at any Indian store or in a lot of spice places. It is delicious. You can also substitute a drop or two of cardamom oil if you have that on hand. Since this is going in the blender, we've found that it is better to have a more whole form than powder. It tastes better and fresher.
The Recipe1 quart kefir (strain out the grains if you have them)
2 or more mangoes, fresh or frozen
dash of real salt
dash of cardamom (or a few drops essential oil)
ice (if not using frozen mango)
healthy sweetener of choice (to taste)
a little water (if you want to stretch the amount for more servings)
Put all ingredients in the vitamix and blend until its all mixed together. Serve and enjoy. If you can't eat it all right away, it actually keeps fine in the fridge without separating like some smoothies do.