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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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Lifeway Bug Bites: Kefir White Bean Dip

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 6/27/2014 8:37 AM

Tiny tupperwares for holding dips can be very convenient. They are also quite easy to lose. If your little plastic cups with lids are in a better place with their friends mismatched socks and ponytail holders, you can use this nifty trick we picked up on Pinterest: spoon dips like hummus into the bottom of a small mason jar and stack your veggie sticks the jar the tall way to deliver healthy snacks in lunch boxes. How cute! Thanks Pinterest!

Kefir by itself is great in dips, but you’ll want a thicker dip for any mason jar transportation. This Kefir White Bean Dip is super simple and very delicious. Make sure you use really good quality olive oil because they flavor will stand out. And of course use Lifeway kefir as it is the champagne of cultured dairy products.

kefir white bean dip lifeway

Kefir White Bean Dip

15 oz can great northern white beans, drained and rinsed

¼ cup Lifeway Lowfat Plain Kefir

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve with bread, crackers, or veggie sticks.

Lifeway Bug Bites: Kefir Rhubarb Coffee Cake

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 6/22/2014 1:37 PM

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. 

Rhubarb and kefir are kindred spirits that join forces and shine in this tasty coffee cake recipe adapted from
Lottie + Doof. Both ingredients in their most basic, unadulterated form are pretty darn tart, but with a splash of sugar, can be transformed into refreshingly tangy treats.

Because breakfast is the most important meal of the day, we think it’s okay to start it out with a rich, tender cake and a strong cup of coffee. Using kefir instead of buttermilk in the cake works as a great cup for cup substitute. The rhubarb is an early summer substitute for tart cherries, which we’ll have to wait a little longer for. Rhubarb season is reason enough to get excited about baking in our book. The crunchy stalks cook down to a tender, almost jam-like texture that balance out the sweetness of the coffee cake like magic. If you can’t find rhubarb in your back yard, check your local farmers market or grocery store and select stalks that are uniform in thickness for even baking time, and crisp like celery and not too bendy.

Kefir Rhubarb Coffee Cake 

Adapted from Lottie + Doof

For the topping:

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for dish

3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dish

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

For the cake:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup Lifeway Lowfat Plain Kefir

2 cups fresh rhubarb, sliced into ½ inch pieces

Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter a 9-inch round baking dish, dust with flour, tap out excess.

In a medium bowl, stir together butter, flour, sugars, salt, and cinnamon. Set topping aside.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Working in alternating batches, add flour mixture and kefir, beginning and ending with flour. Beat until just combined. Pour into prepared dish, and smooth with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Dot top with rhubarb pieces, and sprinkle with crumb topping.

Bake until golden and a tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cool before cutting.

#MotherCulture Mamas Part 6: The first time mom

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 6/17/2014 6:37 AM

As part of our new
 #MotherCulture campaign, we’re interviewing moms all month for their inspiring takes on healthy motherhood. Moms have one of the toughest jobs in the world and we at Lifeway applaud you for all that you do to make our world a happier, healthier place!


Mom: Desty Kann, 31, Chicago, expecting her first child


Congratulations on your pregnancy! What part of motherhood are you most looking forward to?


Cuddle time! Bonding, having her sleep on me, just cuddles in general.


And what scares you the most?


Giving birth, clearly, just because I’ve never done it before. And I worry about being able to show her the world – just the overall ability to provide her with the right mix of love, opportunities, exposing her to different cultures…but not just handing her everything. I hope to be able to give her a well-rounded childhood and teach her to love others and herself.


What has been your biggest pregnancy craving? Don’t say pickles.


Pickles! And tomatoes and anything spicy, like Indian and Mexican food.


Any food turnoffs?


Onions. I like them normally but pregnant, I just can’t.


Have you kept exercising while pregnant?


Yes, I take Spin class, do the elliptical, go for walks, do a little yoga.  Emotionally and physically, it makes me feel better. And research shows it helps with delivery.  Plus, it’s a great stress release.


Any items or traditions that you hope to pass down from your mom and grandmother?


My great-grandmother had a jewelry tree that I inherited. It’s a beautiful gold frame with beveled glass filled with her and her siblings’ vintage jewelry, arranged in the shape of a topiary. It’s in the baby’s room above her crib, waiting for her arrival.  As far as traits, I just hope to be loving and kind – that’s what I think of when I think of my mom.



Pomegranate Kefir Baba Ghanoush for a "Pampered Papa" on Father's Day

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 6/13/2014 8:55 AM
Ottolenghi’s Eggplant with Buttermilk Sauce is such a beautiful dish, they put it on the cover of a book that is full, cover to cover with beautiful dishes, Plenty. It has undoubtedly inspired many a home cook to not only buy this book, but also learn how to seed a pomegranate, search far and wide for specialty spice mixes, and turn their oven up to 400˚F in the dead heat of eggplant season to make this dish. Making this dish exactly as is will not disappoint, however we’d also like to note it is very tasty and more probiotic with Lifeway Kefir in the sauce instead of buttermilk.

Inspired by the delightful sweet pop of pomegranate seeds in this saucy meal, we thought we’d try making a kefir dip with a splash of our Lowfat Pomegranate Kefir, often overlooked in the savory category. It’s perfect mixed with our plain for a tangy and sweet counterbalance to eggplant, which can sometimes have a bitter edge. We had Indian eggplants on hand, but American eggplants will work well, too. If you can’t find za’atar or sumac, you can order some online from one of our neighbors, local Chicago business The Spice House, make your own, or use a little crushed up thyme instead. We used just sumac for its light lemony flavor.

This dip is similar to Baba Ghanoush with it's roasted eggplant base, and is perfect for Father's Day! The word Baba Ghanoush translates roughly to "Pampered Papa" in English and we couldn't think of a better way to spoil your dad than by cooking him a delicious meal on his special day!

pomegranate kefir eggplant lifeway

Pomegranate Kefir Baba Ghanoush

8 Indian eggplants or 4 small American eggplants

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoon Lifeway Lowfat Pomegranate Kefir

2 tablespoons Lifeway Lowfat Plain Kefir

1 clove garlic, minced

Salt and black pepper to taste
za’atar, sumac or crushed dried thyme for garnish

Extra olive oil for garnish

Preheat oven to 400˚F. Slice eggplants in half and score the flesh in a ½ inch grid pattern, without cutting through the skin, and place skin side down on a sheet tray. Drizzle olive oil evenly over the eggplants and sprinkle with salt. Bake for about 40 minutes or until very tender. Remove from the oven to let cool, eggplant flesh will collapse while cooling.

When the eggplant is cooled, scoop the flesh out of the skin and into a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with olive oil and za’atar, sumac, or crushed thyme. Serve with pita and vegetables.

Lifeway Bug Bites: Kefir Plum Almond Overnight Oats

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 6/12/2014 8:37 AM

Overnight oats are a great way to give your future self a fighting chance at eating a wholesome breakfast when you’re in a time crunch. With kids to get out the door and off to school and dogs that need walks, it’s easy for breakfast to get forgotten or picked up from a not so wholesome case of pastries at your corner coffee shop.

Overnight oats can get thrown together quickly the night before you’re planning on enjoying them or even a few days ahead of time – they’ll keep in the fridge for several days. This variation was inspired by one of Lifeway’s newest grab and go options, an even easier option for lucky folks who shop at stores who jumped on Lifeway Kefir with Oats. Vanilla Plum is one of 3 fruity flavors  in our new line of drinkable oat kefirs. This version you’ll want to eat with a spoon! Every day. No more excuses for skipping a healthy breakfast!

kefir plum overnight oats lifeway

Kefir Plum Overnight Oats

1 plum, sliced

¼ cup old fashioned rolled oats

½ teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon slivered almonds

1 tablespoon sugar

1 cup Lifeway Lowfat Plain Kefir

Mix all ingredients together in a glass jar or Tupperware. Refrigerate overnight. Stir and enjoy.


#MotherCulture Mamas Part 5: The Nutrition Expert

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 6/11/2014 8:37 AM

As part of our new #MotherCulture campaign, we’re interviewing moms all month for their inspiring takes on healthy motherhood. Moms have one of the toughest jobs in the world and we at Lifeway applaud you for all that you do to make our world a happier, healthier place!


Mom: Rebecca Scritchfield, Washington, DC, 37, mom to a 19-month-old daughter and a newborn baby girl.

 As a registered dietitian, people might assume that healthy eating is a snap. But the truth is, being a member of the #MotherCulture leaves you with almost zero time to care for yourself. How do you make sure you’re feeding your body well?

For me, when I’m the only one eating, I have to make sure I’m putting some effort in. Otherwise, it’s too easy to just pop in a frozen meal or eat a bowl of cereal for lunch, and if I’ve already had cereal for breakfast, that makes it almost impossible to get all of your nutrients for the day. So I try to balance grabbing something quick with grabbing something healthy. There’s no time to make egg salad from scratch, so I’ll buy some egg salad from the grocery store along with some bagged salad greens. Or I’ll make a smoothie for lunch, with lots of fruit and dairy for protein. Moms need to remember that their time is worth a healthy meal, too. 

Have you had any challenges in terms of encouraging your toddler to eat healthy foods?

One of my biggest challenges has been being flexible with changes in her appetite and food preferences. One day, she loves blueberries; the next day, she’s off of blueberries and only wants raspberries. Then, on other days, she doesn’t want any fruit at all. That’s normal. Some days, I don’t want fruit either! With veggies, raw leafy greens are so nutritious and they’re easy for older kids and adults to eat but harder for kids, so we’ll do peas, corn, cooked carrots. I’m always trying to add in nutrition – if I make her mac and cheese, I’ll add in small pieces of broccoli and cooed chicken to make her plate more balanced. Even if she picks around it, I’ve done my part. Or if I cook her eggs in the morning, I’ll add in avocado with fruit on side.

So many myths are out there about exercising while pregnant. Did you continued to workout through your pregnancies?

Absolutely. I take a 50-minute strength training class two or three times a week, and it’s kind of like Pilates on steroids. I ran two to three times per week for anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes. Sometimes it starts with a 20-minute walk but then something clicks in my body and I feel ready to start jogging and by the end, I’m like, “Where is this energy coming from?!” because I feel so good. And I tried to take 10 minutes a day to practice calm, relaxed breathing, where I lay down, breathed in lavender oil and touched my belly. It was for stress management and relaxation, and those skills can be utilized during delivery.

You are all about promoting “Me first” time, encouraging women to take time to care for themselves – a crucial but often overlooked part of #MotherCulture. What are so ways moms can remember to put themselves first?

Prenatal massages are wonderful, plus your baby benefits from the positive effects of touch.  If massages are too expensive, try a warm bath with some lavender oil, ask your partner for a foot massage or get a spa pedicure.

What inspires you most as a mom?

That I have an opportunity to help shape another person’s life, to continue on another generation. I’ve inspired clients and coworkers before, and those are great accomplishments, but it’s different than shaping your child’s health and life. That’s motivating, and it keeps me going day to day. 

Lifeway Bug Bites: Beet Dip with Kefir

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 6/9/2014 8:37 AM

You can’t beat beets when it comes to pretty summer vegetables. Their color is magnificent and stands front and center in this healthy dip recipe. The sunflower seeds add some nutty flavor and a splash of kefir and orange juice brighten things up.

This dip would also make a great addition to a veggie wrap or spread on some hearty whole grain bread with goat cheese for a more grown up version of a pb&j – another classic sweet and salty combo!

kefir beet dip lifeway

Beet Dip
1 large beet, cooked, peeled and roughly chopped

½ cup Lifeway Lowfat Plain Kefir

¼ cup sunflower seeds

1 tablespoon orange juice

1 clove garlic, minced

Combine all ingredients together in a food processor and process until smooth, about 1 minute.  Serve with pita, crackers, or sliced veggies.


#MotherCulture Mamas Part 4: The Chocolate Maven

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 6/4/2014 8:37 AM

As part of our new
 #MotherCulture campaign, we’re interviewing moms all month for their inspiring takes on healthy motherhood. Moms have one of the toughest jobs in the world and we at Lifeway applaud you for all that you do to make our world a happier, healthier place!


This week, we’re chatting with Katrina Markoff, renowned chocolatier and founder of Vosges Haut-Chocolat.



Mom: Katrina Markoff, Barrington Hills, IL, 41, mom to two boys ages 4.5 and 1.5



What’s one of your favorite parts about being a mom?


The stories they tell me. The other night we had “tea” together – my older son set out peppermint tea, cookies, chocolate. He was telling me all sorts of stories that gave me some insight into what he thinks about, and listening to his mind work is one of my favorite things ever.



As a culinary artist and chocolatier, taste is obviously critical to your livelihood. How do you get your kids interested in eating healthy when kids today are surrounded by junk food that, admittedly, often tastes delicious?


I’ve found that if you offer your kids the healthier choices early on, they’ll love it – mainly because they don’t know any different. So if I give them chocolate, I give them 72% cocoa dark chocolate, which is good for you, and they love it.

I mostly repare meals based off of olive oil, quinoa and other whole grains, roasted veggies, grilled fish and meat. We do a ton of cooking from scratch and we make our own applesauce, kale chips, that sort of thing, and I’ll get Rowan [our older son] involved. He cracks eggs, helps me set the table. And anytime he wants to make something, I’ll do it, because I love the idea of creation and want him to realize that he can do anything.


We don’t eat a lot of gluten in our house, so I pulverize oats in blender to make a substitute flour. And I’m not opposed to treats, but if we make cookies, I’ll throw in Chia seeds, maca, or spirulina to give them a superfood punch.



Do you ever use kefir in cooking of recipe development?


Sometimes I’ll use it with my pancake mix – it acts like buttermilk. But mostly we drink it cold in smoothies.



Part of #MotherCulture involves asking people to think about what inspires them, much like kefir’s actual mother culture creates the tangy drink we all know and love.  Where do you look to for inspiration?


Many of my chocolate ideas come from travelling. Right now, I’m obsessed w Peru, home of some of most unique, interesting superfoods. I have trips coming up to Israel, France, Bali, Mexico and Peru and can’t wait to see what I discover.  My favorite way to cook is in the Lebanese/Turkish/Moroccan style – lots of cumin, paprika, cinnamon, harissa. If I had to pick one favorite spice, it would be cumin. We do a lot of smelling in our house: I’ll ask my kids to smell different spices and guess what they are. I ask them to smell the leather purse, to smell the paper bag. When you’re familiar with a large range of scents, it allows you to be more present in everyday life; it really gets you in your body.



Hanuman Yoga Festival Ticket Giveaway

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 6/3/2014 5:15 AM

hanuman ticket giveaway

Lifeway is giving away two 3-Day passes to the
Hanuman Festival in Boulder, Colorado, June 12-15 2014! To enter, comment on this post and tell us which Lifeway product you reach for when you need to refresh after your practice. We will choose one winner at random to receive the two tickets. The winner will be responsible for covering costs of travel, lodging, dining, and any additional costs beyond festival registration. Last minute registrants will be limited to indoor classes as the al fresco sessions have already sold out. The remaining open sessions, musical guests, and abundant positive yoga vibes are excellent reasons to enter! On top of that, Lifeway will be there making sure you get your daily dose of probiotic kefir with free samples!

Hurry to enter now! The deadline to enter our contest is June, 4, by 5pm CST. Winners will need to register for classes as soon as possible to get their preferred spots. Lifeway will contact the winner via email with registration details, so make sure to check your email the afternoon of June 4th! Check out the schedule for a look at class options and the teacher lineup for class descriptions. Good luck!

#MotherCulture Mamas pt. #3: The "personal chef"

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 5/30/2014 8:08 AM

As part of our new #MotherCulture campaign, we’re interviewing moms all month for their inspiring takes on healthy motherhood. Moms have one of the toughest jobs in the world and we at Lifeway applaud you for all that you do to make our world a happier, healthier place!

Mom: Sarah Goldman, 33, Los Angeles, mom to two daughters, age five and three


What was one of the most surprising parts of becoming a mom?

How many physical ailments they complain about from day to day: “My leg hurts,” “My tummy hurts,” “My hair hurts,” “I can't get in the bathtub because my boo boo might hurt,” “I have to poop,” “I ate too much,” “Can I have a vitamin?” I have to play doctor and diagnostician constantly.  It’s like you need a medical degree just to function as a mother!


That’s hysterical! And so true. How about one of the happiest parts of being a mom?

Watching them learn is incredible. Watching our older daughter figure out how to read has been joyous and rewarding. They work so hard – first they learn their letters, then their name, and now she just finished reading a 50-page book, Little Bear, over the course of three days. It was amazing! My husband and I just looked at each other and smiled.


One unfortunate part of the current culture of motherhood is the war between working moms and stay at home mom. Do you ever feel pressure to defend your decision as a SAHM?

There’s definitely a war, and we all face different pressures, as well as some similar ones. As a SAHM, I feel like my house should be perfectly spotless. I play the role of personal chef, doctor, chauffeur, personal shopper, cleaning person, event coordinator, party planner and housekeeper. In the beginning stages [of infancy and toddlerhood], I think SAHMs have it harder – I was home all day 24/7 with these crazy kids. There’s a lot of burnout. My friends who worked, they got to leave that insanity. But by the time the kids are in school, I’d say SAHMs don’t have it as hard as working moms. I have time to run errands and go grocery shopping while the kids are in school, and working mothers don’t have that luxury.


You’re passionate about cooking for your family – any tips?

I’ve found a nice system of grocery shopping: I make sure to do most of my shopping at a natural foods store so I don’t have to work as hard - even if I don’t read every label, I still come out ahead because everything is organic or at least local, less processed, non-GMO. Another tip is to make extra food for dinner on Monday so you have enough for leftovers on Tuesday, and maybe just add a steamed veggie. Then do the same thing when you cook on Wednesday night and have leftovers for Thursday.

We also try to integrate healthy eating into fun family activities – we might go blueberry picking, beet picking; when they actually get to pick the lettuce out of the ground, that makes them want to eat the lettuce. And we visit the farmer’s market every weekend.


If we were to open your refrigerator, would we find Lifeway kefir?

Absolutely!  I buy it in the large bottles and then I pour elderberry syrup into it – it makes the kefir turn pink, which the kids love, plus it’s healthy and immune boosting.


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