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Kefir Kommunity

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Welcome to Kefir Kommunity! This is your one-stop-shop for nutrition news from around the blogosphere. If it’s got to do with kefir or probiotics, chances are, it’s here. But you’ll also find cutting edge information, articles and links to stories about all things health – from workout trends to cool food science research, delicious recipe suggestions to expert Q & As. We love to share our passion for what we do with the best customers in the world, while offering you exclusive info on special events, deals, promotions and all sorts of other happenings at Lifeway HQ and beyond. We encourage  you to tap into the power of Kefir Kommunity’s blog by reaching out to us or fellow kefir fans with comments or questions. So make yourself at home, pull up a chair and stay a while. We promise to treat you right. 
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National Chocolate Milkshake Day

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 9/12/2014 9:37 AM


It’s National Chocolate Milkshake day and at Lifeway, we’re all about celebrating life’s little pleasures. Today, we’re acknowledging this festive food holiday with a healthy take on a decadent summertime classic – the chocolate milkshake! We traded artificial flavors, additives and sweeteners for antioxidant-rich whole foods and creamy, delicious organic kefir you can feel good about sharing with your family. We’ve also slashed the added refined sugar by substituting processed chocolate syrup for pitted dates and raw cacao powder.

Healthy Chocolate Kefir Milkshake

Ingredients:

·         1 cup Lifeway Organic Whole Milk Kefir
·         ½ cup organic vanilla ice cream
·         1 ½ - 2 Tbsp cacao powder
·         5-6 dates, pitted
·         ¼ tsp vanilla extract
·         Dash of salt
·         Ice (if desired)
·         Mini chocolate chips, chopped nuts or shredded coconut to garnish

Directions:

Add all ingredients into a high powered blender or food processor. Blend/process until smooth. Garnish with mini chocolate chips, chopped nuts or shredded coconut.

Fun facts: the original malted milkshake was created in Chicago in 1922. By definition, it must include ice cream, otherwise it’s a smoothie (in this recipe, we’ve substituted our tasty frozen kefir without guilt). Learn more about the origins of the milkshake as we know it today here.

Cold Cucumber-Avocado Soup

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 9/4/2014 1:34 PM
 

We recently shared a traditional Eastern European soup called okroshka, and today we have another scrumptious soup for you to enjoy. Depending on where you live, cold soup season may soon be coming to an end. We think this refreshing cucumber avocado soup recipe is the perfect way to cap off a great summer! 

Total Time:
4 hr

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Level:Easy

Ingredients

1 large cucumber peeled, seeded and cut into 2-inch chunks 1 large, ripe avocado, peeled
2 scallions (green and white parts included) chopped
1 cup vegetarian broth

3/4 cup Lifeway Low fat plain kefir
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste Garnish:
Dollop of sour cream, chopped chives or scallions

Directions

In a food processor or blender combine the cucumber, avocado and scallions. Pulse until the mixture is thoroughly chopped.

Add broth, Lifeway kefir and lemon juice and continue to process until smooth.

Season with salt and pepper to taste and chill for 4 to 6 hours. Taste for seasoning and serve in chilled bowls with garnish. 

Labor Day Recipe Roundup

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 8/29/2014 9:51 AM
Labor Day weekend is upon us, which means many will be celebrating with parties and picnics. Let your friends at Lifeway give you a hand with some tasty recipe ideas that won't force you to spend all of your time working the grill. Plus, these snacks are a great way to sneak in some probiotics to counteract all of the other stuff you might consume over the weekend!

How about some sweet potato fries with a kefir chipotle dipping sauce? No frying required!



Or maybe a light and tangy kohlrabi and cabbage slaw



Of course, there's something to be said for tradition. Potato salad is always a winner, and this one has a probiotic boost! 



What's for light and fruity and perfect for dessert? You could take the easy route and pick up some of our new frozen kefir bars in a store near you, or we'll teach you how to make your own frozen kiwi kefir pops!



 

Lifeway Bug Bites: Okroshka Chilled Kefir Soup

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 8/22/2014 7:37 AM

This summer, Lifeway is cooking, baking, and blending our favorite summer treats with our favorite probiotic kefir. Full of the good bugs that keep bellies happy year round, our summer recipes are keeping things fresh and fermented. If you're itching to get in the kitchen, try one of our Bugs Bites for a refreshing take on some summertime classics. 




Gazpacho and vichyssoise get a lot of attention when chilled soups are on the menu. But our favorite summer soup at Lifeway combines the best of both the Spanish and French favorites with a Russian twist. Versatile and almost infinitely customizable like gazpacho, yet creamy, filling and satisfying like vichyssoise, Okroshka is a delicious Russian summer tradition we are happy to enjoy stateside. This recipe is a great example of Lifeway's own #MotherCulture, inspired by the native land of our founders the Smolyansky family and customized to the specifications of our Marketing Director, Marina, just how her Ukranian Mom makes it.

While our parents’ and grandparents’ Old World versions were most often made with a combination of kefir and water as the base, we add a splash of richness with chicken stock instead. If you’d like to make a vegetarian version, water or vegetable stock are fine substitutes. Non-meat eaters can also omit the bologna, or you can customize the recipe to include your family’s favorite member of the finely ground sausage family: kielbasa, hot dogs or even ham will work great. If you don’t have a red potato, any waxy potato will do. And any crisp garden veggie will add texture and fresh flavor to the party.

The perfect recipe to accompany a morning at the farmers market or a trip to your vegetable patch, enjoy Okroshka any way you dice it!

 

Okroshka

2 cups Lifeway Original Kefir (or your favorite plain, traditional variety: Krestiansky, Bazarny, Weijski)

1 cup low sodium chicken broth

1 tablespoon dill, chopped

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup scallions, sliced

2 hard boiled eggs, diced

1 large red potato, cooked, peeled, and diced

½ cucumber, diced

2 radishes, halved and sliced thin

½ cup bologna, diced

Whisk together the kefir, chicken broth, dill, and salt, and refrigerate mixture for 30 minutes. Slice or dice to 1 cm size the remaining ingredients and divide evenly among 4 bowls. Pour ¾ cup kefir mixture into each bowl and serve immediately, chilled.

Seize the Summer with A Pineapple Banana Kefir Smoothie

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 8/18/2014 10:43 AM


As of this writing, we have only 
35 days 9 hours, 30 minutes and 37 seconds of summer remaining. What better way to truly seize the summer than with a simple yet refreshing fruit smoothie? Here’s our take on a pineapple banana smoothie.

Ingredients:

1 cup pineapple, cut into chunks

1 banana

1 cup Lifeway Low Fat Kefir

Combine banana, pineapple, and Low Fat Plain kefir in a blender. Blend until smooth. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Serves 1

Lifeway Bugs Bites: Kefir Ranch Dressing

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 8/5/2014 7:37 AM



This summer, Lifeway is cooking, baking, and blending our favorite summer treats with our favorite probiotic kefir. Full of the good bugs that keep bellies happy year round, our summer recipes are keeping things fresh and fermented. If you're itching to get in the kitchen, try one of our Bugs Bites for a refreshing take on some summertime classics. 



The three magic ingredients that can transform anything into a kid-friendly meal are cheese, peanut butter, and ranch dressing. Is there any health food so appalling that it cannot be saved by one of these things? Funky green smoothie?
 Add some peanut butter. Noses turned up at broccoli? Melt on some cheese. Celery sticks left untouched? Slide over a side of ranch! We're still testing it out, but this fact may be one of the pillars of Lifeway #MotherCulture truth. 

You may have heard that children are more sensitive to tastes, and more likely to refuse veggies and dishes that aren’t sweet enough, because they have more taste buds than adults. Their pickiness might also be due to a weariness of new flavors, not necessarily stronger ones.

Either way a dip into a dish of ranch dressing can help the carrot sticks go down. Many store bought varieties are loaded with fat and preservatives, but it’s easy to make your own at home. Naturally low fat buttermilk is a classic ingredient that usually gets mixed with sour cream or mayonnaise. Our version uses whole milk kefir to achieve a little richness and no mayo. But if you want a thicker, more decadent dressing or dip, you can use up to half the amount of kefir and substitute half with mayonnaise. The herbs can also be switched out based on what you have on hand; tarragon, cilantro, and basil are other good choices.

 

Kefir Ranch Dressing

1 ½ cups Lifeway Organic Whole Milk Kefir

1 clove fresh garlic

1 tablespoon fresh dill, finely chopped

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 tablespoon fresh chives, finely chopped

2 teaspoons lemon juice

½ teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Whisk all ingredients together, cover and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving. 

Get Ready for Kidzapalooza! Presented by Lifeway

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 7/31/2014 8:37 AM
                                                Come out and help us paint our Band of Bugs mural!

Chicago’s favorite summer music festival Lollapalooza always has something for the kids, and this year the Kidzapalooza stage and all the accompanying fun are presented by Lifeway! The musical lineup and creative activities and so stellar this year, we made a little sampler of our favorite songs to get you in a shimmy and a shake kind of mood. From Academy Award winners to local favorites, The Boogers, there’s a little something for everyone in this year’s band of bugs.
 
There are a few tracks in there that the kids can definitely jive with – check out “Bathtub Soup” by Brady Rymer and the Little Band that Could. Other gems like “Smile” by Portugal. The Man will put a dream pop smile on faces of all ages. And before your kids go totally nuts, we have a few naptime tracks by Glen Hansard, such as “Falling Slowly” from the movie Once. On a final feel good note, we leave you with Ryan Beatty, a bitty little teen crooner who is adorable enough to stand in for Justin Bieber and less, well, Justin Biebery if your little ones are veering in that direction with their musical tastes.
 
Lifeway Kefir is good for so many things! It just might be good for your ears now, too. So come out and help us paint the artistic masterpiece in the Kidza area, samples some ProBugs and enjoy music in beautiful Grant Park!



 

Lifeway Bug Bites: Potato Salad with a Probiotic Kickstart

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 7/27/2014 4:02 PM


Picnic food and crowdfunding recently collided and the results were surprisingly lucrative. An Ohio man who goes by the name of Zach Danger Brown decided to make some potato salad this summer but was short on cash. Like any internet-savvy picnic-er would, Zach set up a Kickstarter to fund his side dish and has so far earned over $50,000 in pledges.
 
Kickstarter is a website that allows creative and entrepreneurial folk to reach out to the world wide Internet for financial support on their endeavors. Most Kickstarter campaigns are geared towards seeding a business venture, we like that Zach’s is more mayo driven.
 
Our Lifeway potato salad recipe will most likely fall under the $10 per batch Zach estimated his potato salad to cost and has a splash more probiotic cultures, too! Lifeway is always there for you in the checkout lane anyway – you can download coupons for all our delicious kefir products every month!
 
 
Lifeway Potato Salad
Serves 6
 
Ingredients
1 ½ pounds red potatoes (about 12 small)
1/3 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons Lifeway Original Kefir or any Whole Milk variety
1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup chives, chopped fine
¼ cup chopped celery (1 stalk)
 
Instructions
Cover the potatoes in cold water and salt the water generously. Bring to a boil and let cook, uncovered for about 15 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Drain and let cool.
 
Whisk together the mayonnaise, kefir, mustard, black pepper, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
 
When the potatoes are cool enough to touch but still warm, slice them into ½ in chunks and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Pour the dressing over the warm potatoes and stir to coat. Mix in the celery and chives and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight.
 
Before serving, season with additional salt and pepper to taste and add more kefir if necessary and a creamier texture is desired. 

Who's Hangry? We've got a hearty helping of mood boosting kefir for you!

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 7/14/2014 9:37 AM



We’ve covered the connection between probiotic food and mood on our blog before.  A diet heavy in probiotics has been linked to decreased depression and anxiety, and we’re finding that a great deal of neurological activity happens in our digestive tract. We’ve had a gut feeling about that all along!

Another age old connection between what we eat and how we feel has recently gotten a fresh round of publicity – acting like a jerk when you’re hungry. This feeling has a fancy new name, “hangry,” allowing short tempered dieters and snack-less Sallys to excuse their bratty behavior easier than ever before.

Renowned researchers are even digging deeper into the connection between attitude and satiety. The “myth-buster” of the social science world, Brad Bushman of Ohio State University, published research linking low blood sugar (a measure of hunger) to increased anger toward a person’s spouse. His study was conducted by having participants measure their blood sugar and stick pins into a voodoo doll representing their spouse before bed. Perhaps dolls made out of Lifeway Kefir bottles? We may never know. We do know that participants with lower blood sugar got after those dolls with statistically significant more zeal. Is being hangry a real excuse for acting like a jerk? Verdict: confirmed!

Luckily, there is a solution – don’t let yourself get so hungry. Lifeway Kefir will give your neurons a little more fuel to function at top capacity and the protein will keep your energy level from crashing later on. 

Lifeway Bug Bites: World Cup Kefir Açai Bowl

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 7/8/2014 9:37 AM


Even if you can’t make it to a World Cup game in Brazil, you can still eat like you’re in the Amazon! Brazilians are crazy about açai! It’s a superfood native to the Amazon rainforest that is rich in antioxidants, fiber, and heart-healthy fats. Blended with a splash of Lifeway Kefir, you can elevate your açai to a live and active breakfast, snack, or even dessert!

 

Prepared like a super thick smoothie and topped with delectable munchies like granola and goji berries, açai is pretty enough to eat! Bom apetite!

 

Kefir Açai Bowl

Serves 1

 

Ingredients

7 ounces frozen açai

1 banana

½ cup Lifeway Lowfat Plain Kefir

 

Optional Toppings

Goji berries

Banana slices

Kiwi slices

Granola

Almonds

Chia seeds

 

Directions

Blend açai, banana, and kefir together in a blender until smooth. Pour mixture into a serving bowl and arrange additional desired ingredients artfully on top.

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