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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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Five Things You MUST Do This Fall

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 9/23/2014 9:52 AM
Fall is officially here and we couldn’t be more excited! Our windows are open, the Crock-Pots are on and our Lifeway kitchen team is cooking up some super tasty treats you won’t believe are healthy! Even better, our seasonal Lifeway Low Fat Pumpkin Spice kefir will be hitting the shelves very soon!  Be sure to speak to your local dairy manager to make sure your store orders it.

Is your mouth watering yet?

The cooler weather typically brings tasty, sugary treats that can upset our tummies, so we’re making sure to load up on as much of our kefir as possible. The more beneficial bugs we have in our bellies, the better we feel!
To celebrate the season of bon fires and hot cider, we’ve created a list of our top five fun, healthy things to do this fall.
Visit an Apple Orchard

Loaded with soluble fiber and antioxidants, apples are a super food with seemingly endless health benefits. Plus, they’re delicious and extremely versatile!  Spend an afternoon with friends and family enjoying sunshine and a nice walk this fall by visiting our local apple orchard. Bonus, pick up some fresh apple cider and cook up a batch of our Apple Cider Pecan Cookies!
Carve Pumpkins

Pumpkins are perhaps the most ubiquitous staple of fall, but for good reasons! As a nutritional powerhouse, pumpkins pack incredibly amounts of vitamin A, beta carotene, and fiber (we all know how fiber, as well as probiotics, keep our bellies happy).  Invite some friends over for a pumpkin carving party. While you’re at it, bake up a batch of the best fall muffins you’ll ever taste. 

Visit a Corn Maze

Whether you’re a fan of scary movies or not, no fall season is complete without a visit to a corn maze. Often paired with pumpkin patches and hay rides, corn mazes offer you the opportunity to stretch your legs, soak up the fresh fall air, and (if you’re lucky) view the spectacle of the changing fall foliage. You’ll likely work up an appetite, so be sure to have a cooler of ProBugz and our 8 oz bottles of Lifeway Low Fat kefir on hand when hunger strikes. 

Run a Family 5k

Or walk one; it’s up to you and your level of fitness! Cool fall mornings are perfect for a short run or walk through you community with friends and family. You’ll be doing great things for your health while likely helping a local organization raise some much needed money. Check out your community’s website or newsletter for runs in your area, or visit Active and do a search.

Bonus: Lifeway kefir is an excellent recovery drink for athletes! Read what blogger Mommy Runs It has to say about it and keep a few bottles handy for a post-race refresher.

Roast Marshmallows Over a Fire

Simple and sweet; nothing caps a perfect fall day like sitting by an open fire, roasting marshmallows and enjoying the sounds of the evening. Most marshmallows are full of preservatives and artificial ingredients, so choose wisely when you go to the store and try not to overindulge. If you’re not the marshmallow, chocolate and graham cracker type, you can still enjoy the evening.
What are your favorite fall activities? What are you most looking forward to doing this season?

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! 

Lifeway and the Whole Kids Foundation: Eating Right, One ProBug at a Time

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 9/16/2014 9:25 AM
Lifeway Foods and helping kids go together like peas and carrots, which is why we’re excited to support our local Whole Foods store’s efforts to raise money for their national nonprofit organization, the Whole Kids Foundation!  Throughout the month of September, different events will take place where money raised will help the foundation further their mission of helping children eat better – and enjoy it!

The event series kicked off on August 31 at Bubbles Academy, the child enrichment and activity center located in Chicago’s Lincoln Park. We sampled different Lifeway products for children and parents, and provided five gift baskets for a raffle, each containing different ProBugs swag and roughly $40 in coupons for product. We also donated two cases of ProBugs Blasts, which were gobbled up before we knew it!

The event was a huge success and over $10,000 has been raised so far! Whole Foods and Bubbles Academy will be accepting donations all month long, so be sure to stop by and make a pledge soon.

More about the Whole Kids Foundation:

The Whole Kids Foundation is a 501(c)(3) founded by Whole Foods Market and guided by the same values and principles as Whole Foods. Their mission is to support schools and inspire families to improve children’s nutrition and wellness by providing education, food accessibility and support. They believe that given the right opportunities, kids will get excited about fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and other nutritious whole foods. Learn more about the foundation and how you can be involved by visiting them online here.

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


·         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


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



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


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!



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.


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!


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