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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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Recipes




Mango Açai Kefir Smoothie

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 4/24/2014 7:37 AM
 mango acai kefir smoothie lifeway

There may be dozens of ways to say “kefir,” but there is only one açai (and that’s, ah-sigh-EE)! Some people call açai fruit a berry, but it’s really a drupe, a “stone fruit” of sorts, with a pit in the middle and fleshy fruit on the outside like a cherry, nectarine or even an olive. They are eaten in both savory and sweet applications in the Amazon and are renowned for being very high in antioxidants.

You can find açai pulp in the freezer section of any good health food store or ethnic grocer. It is sold pre-sweetened and packaged in individual plastic pouches for measuring convenience. The purple pulp will stain everything, including your teeth and countertops, so be swift and deliberate in your smoothie making movements. Not great for business meetings, but a perfect refreshing start to a day at the beach, even if you’re not in Brazil!

Mango Açai Kefir Smoothie

½ ripe mango, cut into pieces

3.5 oz frozen açai

1 cup Lifeway Lowfat Mango Kefir

Blend all ingredients together until smooth.

Serves 1

Freeze your greens and other Smoothie Prep

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 4/23/2014 3:37 AM

Lifeway smoothie prep greens

Stretch the life of your baby spinach by freezing the leaves raw in a plastic bag or put cooked spinach into an ice cube tray. Kale, chard, or collards can also be frozen.

Preserve your herbs

Ice cubes with a few herbs in the middle add a refreshing kick to your drinks. Try mint, basil, tarragon or parsley for a savory twist.

Ice your tea

Brew your favorite caffeinated or decaf tea or herbal blend and pour into an ice cube tray for extra flavor and energy in your smoothie!

Go bananas

Follow the Bluth Family Motto, “There’s always money in the banana stand” and keep a few frozen bananas on hand at all times. It’s a great way to save bananas before they cross over to the land of overripeness, just make sure to peel them before you put them in the freezer.

Pre-portion

Add a couple berries, half a banana, and a handful of greens to a plastic sandwich bag and freeze individual “smoothie packs” to have on hand for busy days. Mix it up with whatever you have on hand or whatever is in season!

Lunch box double duty

You can blend a kefir smoothie and freeze in a reusable plastic bottle. Toss one in your kids’ lunch boxes and they work as a freezer pack during the morning, and a delicious slushie at lunch!

Strawberry Kiwi Kefir Smoothie

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 4/11/2014 10:42 AM

Things are getting a little greener in Lifeway world. Our offices in Illinois are finally seeing some spring flowers emerge from the ground after a long winter. Our new Cucumber Veggie Kefir is getting rave reviews from green fiends across the nation.

We thought we’d celebrate with a green smoothie in a classic warm weather flavor. Strawberry Kiwi is one of our favorite classic combos and it’s not just for Gushers anymore! Our ProBugs Blast come in an awesome Strawberry Kiwi Comet flavor that you can use as a base for this smoothie for an extra kick of flavor. For an extra dose of green goodness, fresh spinach gives this smoothie a boost of antioxidants, fiber, and a bright springy hue!

Lifeway Kefir Strawberry Kiwi Smoothie

Strawberry Kiwi Spinach Smoothie

1 cup Lifeway Organic Lowfat Plain Kefir

1 kiwi

3 strawberries

½ cup fresh spinach

1 tablespoon honey

4 ice cubes

Cut the kiwi in half and scoop the flesh out of the skin and into a blender. Remove the tops from the strawberries and add the berries to the blender. Add kefir, spinach, and honey and blend until smooth. Add ice and blend a few seconds more.

Serves 1

Chicken Salad, hold the chicken

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 4/1/2014 12:30 AM
 chickpea salad no chicken

This light and simple lunch is loaded with fiber and protein from garbanzos (aka chickpeas) and a healthy dose of fruits and veggies mixed in. Using half kefir and half mayo for your dressing gives your salad a light coating of flavor, without all the fat. Plus opening a can of chickpeas is way easier than preparing chicken breast from scratch. We think that having the first five letter in common also makes chickpeas a perfect substitute in your chicken salad sandwich.

Chickpea Salad Sandwich

1 ½ cups chick peas, drained

½ cup celery, diced

½ cup red grapes, halved

2 tablespoons Lifeway Lowfat Plain Kefir

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

¼ teaspoon salt

Pinch black pepper

 Mash the chickpeas lightly with a fork in a large bowl, leaving about half the chickpeas whole. Add celery and grapes. In a separate bowl, whisk together kefir, mayo, salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the chickpea mixture and stir to combine. Serve on bread, in a pita, or over mixed greens for a delicious light meal!

Calling all Talented Junior Chefs and Lifeway fans

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 3/26/2014 9:00 AM

kids cook with Lifeway


When we heard about the amazing opportunity for the kids of America to represent their state at the White House “State Dinner” and showcase their amazing cooking skills, we knew we had to share the news! Below are some details about the
Epicurious 2014 Healthy Lunch Time Meal Challenge and a few recipe suggestions for inspiration.

If you are the parent of a budding chef between the ages of 8 and 12, you’re invited to work together and send in your child’s original lunch recipe inspired by the USDA’s MyPlate. You and your child could win a trip to Washington, D.C., and you may have the opportunity to represent your state at the Kids’ “State Dinner,” hosted by Mrs. Obama at the White House.

Your recipe should be:

HEALTHY

Veggies and fruits should make up half of your recipe, and be sure to also include low-fat dairy, whole grains, and lean protein

DELICIOUS

Keep it fresh, simple, and yummy

ORIGINAL

We want your own creative dish, not one from a published source

AFFORDABLE

No fancy ingredients needed

MEANINGFUL

Tell us the story of how you came to make this dish

 

IMPORTANT DATES

Entry Period: March 5–April 5, 2014

Winners Notified: June 2014

Trip to Washington, D.C., and opportunity to attend Kids’ “State Dinner”: July/August 2014



Recipe Inspiration:

Funfetti Frittata

6 eggs

½ cup kefir

2 cups chopped veggies

·         Onion

·         Garlic

·         Peppers

·         Green beans

·         Asparagus

·         Eggplant

·         Tomato, etc

¼ t Salt

¼ t pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

Cheese (parmesan, cheddar, gruyere)

 

Salad with kefir ranch dressing

2 cups Mixed greens

¼ cup Lifeway Lowfat Plain Kefir

1 tablespoon olive oil

Garlic powder

Onion powder

Dried dill

Dried parsley

Herbs of your choice

Salt

Pepper

Preheat oven to 375. Whisk together eggs, kefir, veggies, salt and pepper. Heat a large, oven proof skillet on the stovetop to medium and coat the bottom with oil. Pour in egg mixture and stir as the mixture sets, keeping the bottom of the pan coated with egg. When it starts to set in the middle, transfer to the oven and bake for 5 minutes. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake for 5 minutes more to melt the cheese and fully cook the eggs.

To make the salad dressing, whisk together kefir, a pinch each of the herbs of your choice, salt and pepper.

Serve frittata with a green salad and kefir dressing.

 

Breakfast for lunch

Kefir pancake sandwiches with fruit

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups 
Lifeway Plain Lowfat Kefir
1 cup  puree (banana, pumpkin, squash, carrot etc)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Nut butter (peanut, almond, sunflower seed)

Thinly Sliced fruit (apples, bananas, strawberries, etc)

Honey or maple syrup

Instructions: 
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
In a separate bowl, combine kefir, puree, vanilla extract, and eggs. Add to dry mixture and mix just until moistened.
Pre-heat griddle or skillet over medium-low heat. Lightly grease griddle and spoon batter on.
When tiny bubbles appear on the top of the pancake, flip over and continue cooking: 2-3 minutes each side.
Spread with nut butter, fresh fruit, and syrup and stack a second pancake on top of sandwich. Serve with kefir smoothie and fruit salad.

Here's the footage from last year's Kids' State Dinner...



 

It’s pretty easy being green! With St. Patrick’s Day Green Smoothies

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 3/17/2014 3:00 AM

starfruit green machine smoothie

We’re taking it a step beyond wearing
shamrock socks and dying the Chicago River green this year. We’re debuting a new Green Dream Smoothie at our Starfruit Cafés in Chicago’s Loop, River North, and Wicker Park neighborhoods. It’s based in our famous frozen soft-serve kefir and Organic Green Kefir and loaded with other great leafy greens. Plus, we’re offering double punches on Starfruit rewards cards for all green juices and smoothies on March 17. If you can’t make it to Starfruit to get a Green Dream or any of our delicious green smoothies and probiotic juices, try whirring up the blender and adding some of these green goodies to your kefir. What other green ingredients do you put in your smoothies and juices?

  •   Lime Juice
  •   Matcha Green Tea Powder
  •   Chlorophyll
  •   Avocado
  •   Pistachio
  •   Kiwi
  •   Wakame

Or try your hand at our Green Dream at home. You can find Lifeway Frozen Kefir in your grocer’s freezer section. Check our Store Locator for availability.

Green Dream Smoothie

½ Pint
Lifeway Original Tart and Tangy Frozen Kefir
1 cup Lifeway Organic Green Pomegranate Acai Blueberry Kefir
½ cup Spinach
2 leaves Kale
1/2 Banana

Blend all ingredients until smooth and serve immediately.

Pie Week: Coconut Chia Pie Jars

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 3/14/2014 5:37 AM

What's better than our popular new Coconut Chia Kefir? Even MORE coconut and chia, plus a few cookies! Adding extra of the omega-3 rich superfood seeds gives kefir a spoonable consistency and the nuts add even more crunch. With so much protein, this pie jar would make a great breakfast! Just like they say, eat dessert first and never skip out on the most important meal of the day!

We are celebrating the mathematical wonder of the number pi and the biological wonder of kefir with a few pies this week! Our Pies in Jars are as easy as 3.14!

coconut chia pie jar kefir

Pie Week: Coconut Chia Pie Jars

3 cups Lifeway Lowfat Coconut Chia Kefir

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons chia seeds

1 cup vanilla wafers, broken into small pieces

3/4 cup toasted coconut

3/4 cup toasted macadamia nuts, chopped, plus 4 whole

Mix the kefir and chia seeds and let sit, refrigerated for at least one hour and up to a day before using. Divide the cookie crumbs evenly among 4 small mason jars. Layer the chopped nuts over the crumbs and spoon the kefir mixture over the nuts. Sprinkle the toasted coconut over the kefir mixture and top with a whole macadamia nut to garnish.

 

Pie Week Part 2: Probiotic Peanut Butter Pie Jars

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 3/13/2014 5:37 AM

For our second installment of Pi Week Pies, we got a little nutty, peanutty that is. The vanilla kefir adds just enough sweetness to make this a dessert worthy cup!

We are celebrating the mathematical wonder of the number pi and the biological wonder of kefir with a few pies this week! Our Pies in Jars are as easy as 3.14!

peanut butter kefir pie jar

Pie Week: Probiotic Peanut Butter Pie Jars

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

2 cups Lifeway Lowfat Vanilla Kefir

1 cup chocolate graham cracker crumbs

2 tablespoons chocolate sauce

Whisk kefir into peanut butter, 1/4 cup at a time, incorporating each portion fully before adding the next. Divide chocolate crumbs into 4 small mason jars and top with the peanut butter mixture. Drizzle chocolate sauce on top as a garnish

serves 4





Pie Week Part 1: Lemon Icebox Pie Jars

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 3/12/2014 5:37 AM

March 14th is Pi Day! 3.14 represents the first 3 digits of the famous irrational number you get when you divide the circumference of a circle by its diameter. The digits go on FOREVER without repeating themselves, kind of like kefir grains. With proper care that maintains their microbial balance, kefir grains will continue to make a delicious dairy beverage forever. Pretty wild. In fact, they are so wild it’s impossible to recreate kefir grains in a lab. All kefir grains that exist today come from grains that have been passed down for generations!

We are celebrating the mathematical wonder of the number pi and the biological wonder of kefir with a few pies this week! Our Pies in Jars are as easy as 3.14!

lemon kefir pie jar

Pie Week: Lemon Icebox Pie Jars 

1 pint Lifeway Original Tart & Tangy Frozen Kefir, softened

1/4 cup lemon curd

2 cups graham crackers, crushed into large pieces

Whipped topping

lemon zest

Fold the lemon curd into the softened frozen kefir with a spatula. Use immediately or return to the freezer for up to 1 hour before serving. Pour 1/4 cup of graham cracker pieces into 4 small mason jars. Divide the frozen kefir mixture evenly among the jars. Top with remaining graham cracker pieces, whipped topping and lemon zest.

serves 4

Lasagna Roll Ups with Farmer Cheese

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 3/3/2014 9:37 AM


 Lasagna is great comfort food that you can prepare ahead of time and make when you have a busy day. It’s typically filled with cheese, which can get pretty heavy on the calories. At Lifeway, we like to switch things up and slip in our Farmer Cheese into any recipe possible. We found that incorporating Farmer Cheese into our Lasagna Roll Ups helped slash some calories but didn’t take away from the cheesy goodness Lasagna has.

What you’ll need:
9 lasagna noodles
1 24oz jar of your favorite pasta sauce (store bought or homemade)
1 lb of Lifeway Farmer Cheese
½ bag of spinach – fresh or frozen
1 egg
1 clove of fresh garlic, chopped
1 Tbs grated parmesan
1 Tsp basil
Salt / pepper to taste
Shredded mozzarella cheese
 
Directions:
1.      Cook noodles in a large pot of water until al dente. Drain and let noodles set in cold water for a minute or two. Lay out on paper towels to dry.
 
2.      Preheat oven to 350 and grab a 9”x11” glass dish.
 
3.      Rinse and chop the fresh spinach. In a bowl, mix spinach, Farmer Cheese, egg, garlic, parmesan, basil, and salt and pepper.
4.      Pour a layer of sauce in the bottom of the glass dish.
 
5.      Lay a piece of wax paper on the counter for your noodles. Spread about two to three tablespoons of the mixture evenly onto the noodle. Make sure the noodle is covered but not too thick.
 
6.      Roll the noodle and place seam side down onto the baking dish. Repeat with remaining noodles.
 
7.      Once all noodles are rolled and placed in glass dish, ladle the sauce onto each roll. This should only take 1 jar of sauce to cover the entire dish.
 
8.      Sprinkle some mozzarella cheese on top of each roll.
 
9.      Cover dish with tin foil and bake for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes.

Enjoy!

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