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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




Celebrate Another National Pancake Day? We're Happy to Comply.

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 9/26/2014 10:37 AM
Apparently it's National Pancake Day? It's all a bit unclear, as Shrove Tuesday (or Pancake Day) is traditionally related to Lent and occurs worldwide during February or March. It was even co-opted by IHOP for marketing and charity purposes.

Imagine our surprise when we noticed that many sources are currently listing today as National Pancake Day. They say competition makes things better, so we're willing to celebrate twice a year.

If you haven’t perfected your master pancake recipe yet, give ours a shot! It’s made with whole-wheat flour, probiotic-rich kefir and applesauce – ingredients you can feel good about eating, and will feel good after eating! You can celebrate today, tomorrow or all year long with this healthy and delicious recipe.


1 cup whole wheat flour (for lighter pancakes, mix ½ cup all-purpose flour with ½ cup whole wheat)
1 Tbsp sugar (scant)
1 ¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
1/ tsp salt
1 cup Lifeway Low Fat Plain Kefir (or 1 cup Lifeway Organic Whole Milk Kefir)
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
1 large egg
1 Tbsp butter, melted
1 apple, grated
 
Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside. Crack the egg into a medium sized bowl and whisk until fully incorporated and frothy. Add in the applesauce, kefir and butter and whisk well. Add liquid mixture to the dry mixture and stir until just combined (there will be lumps).

Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat. When up to temperature, lightly coat with cooking spray. Drop ¼ cup dollops of batter onto the hot pan and sprinkle with grated apples. Cook 2-3 minutes, or until bubbles form and pop, then flip. Continue cooking until golden brown on the bottom, about 2-3 more minutes. Continue with the rest of the batter until all pancakes are complete.

Top with syrup, more grated apples, peanut butter, or toppings of your choice. Enjoy with a nice glass of cold Lifeway kefir!
How do you enjoy your pancakes? Do you have a favorite recipe?

End of Summer Recipe Roundup

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 9/22/2014 9:37 AM
This summer, the Lifeway kitchen cooked, baked and blended up our favorite summertime foods. Not only did we come up with some delicious dishes, but learned some new tricks with our favorite probiotic kefir. We kept our bellies (and a those of a few friends) full of the good bugs that kept them happy and swimsuit ready. As we say goodbye to the summer sunshine and hello to the changing of leaves, we wanted to pay one last tribute to a few of our favorite kitchen creations this year.
This summer staple is simple to make and incredibly refreshing. Even more, it’s full of beneficial potassium, Vitamin C and our favorite belly bugs, which kept us full and satisfied. We enjoyed it with breakfast and as a snack throughout the season and look forward to when we can devour it again next year!
 
When it was too hot to cook, we turned to our tried and true Kefir Ranch Dressing recipe to dress up our favorite seasonal salads and veggies. While it can be a challenge to get children to enjoy seemingly strange vegetables and dishes (thanks to their ultra sensitive taste buds), this dressing tricked even the pickiest of eaters into filling their bellies with their daily dose of probiotics. We used our organic whole milk kefir for a thick consistency, but feel free to substitute our low fat plain or Greek style kefir to your tastes.
 
Our pampered our papas and various house guests this summer with our favorite Baba Ghanoush recipe, inspired by Ottolenghi’s Eggplant with Buttermilk Sauce recipe from Plenty. Our pomegranate low fat kefir was a delightful surprise to guests who were expecting a traditional dip. We served it with fresh crudités and warm pita bread, however this fall we think it would be great with crunchy crackers or spooned over a salad.
 
We jumped on the overnight oats wagon this summer and are so glad we did! With a bounty of fresh, seasonal fruits, as well as a wide variety of different kefir flavors, we enjoyed endless combinations of grab-and-go breakfasts that were hearty, healthy and delicious! One of our favorites was our kefir plum almond overnight oats – made with our low fat plain kefir, fresh plum and sliced almonds. We’re testing out different overnight oat recipes with our seasonal flavors now, so be sure to stop back and see what we come up with.
 
Last but not least, what would summer be without a chocolate milkshake? Our delicious, tart and tangy shake is a healthy take on the soda shoppe classic.  Once again we traded refined sugar and processed chocolate for probiotic-rich organic whole milk kefir, cacao powder, honey and dates. It is a treat that’s not only good for your soul, but good for your belly!
 
We’re looking forward to fall here at the Lifeway, but we’ll sure miss the relaxed summer days. What was our favorite dish this summer? How do you plan on kefir-izing you fall favorites? Stay tuned for some surprises from our kitchen! 

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. 

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. 

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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