By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 10/30/2013 6:37 AM
Even if you don’t like eating candy corn, it’s hard to deny how cute the little guys are! But whether you’re skipping the sugary kernels for your health or for your taste buds, you can still enjoy an adorable striped Halloween treat in the form of this kefir and fruit smoothie!
All the added sugar and empty calories in Halloween candy can seem pretty devilish, and it turns out that sweet candy treats have been demonized on the level of illegal, illicit substances for quite some time. In her new book, Candy: A Century of Panic and Pleasure, Samira Kawash delves into this sticky topic and looks at how candy has fit into our culture and diet throughout the last 100 years. Once the trick-or-treaters have dispersed and you’ve blended up a healthy kefir smoothie, this book would make an interesting and timely read!
Kefir Candy Corn Smoothie
½ cup, plus 2 tablespoons Lifeway Lowfat Peach Kefir
½ cup orange juice
1 large banana
1 cup frozen mango pieces
½ cup carrot juice
½ cup heavy whipping cream
1 packet monk fruit sweetener
Blend ½ cup kefir, oj, banana, and mango until smooth. Pour ¼ cup of the mixture into 2 separate clear glasses. Add carrot juice to the remaining mixture until smooth and spoon the mix into the glasses over the yellow layer, dividing the mixture evenly. In a small mixing bowl, whip cream, additional kefir and sweetener on high with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Spoon 1 tablespoon of whipped cream onto each layered smoothie and enjoy!
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 10/28/2013 8:24 PM
We recently received the following letter from a hard-working customer:
To whom it may concern,
I have started drinking Kefir for my health and absolutely love it. As I am trying to stick to a strict whole foods diet I only drink the plain and have found it is not only delicious but extremely nutritious. I have one question: As one of the rages right now is to drink chocolate milk after a workout (i.e. the carbs and protein are utilized to help post-workout stress) one thing I have started to do is drink Kefir after my workouts instead of chocolate milk as a post-work out replenishment drink. I do this because of the higher protein content and that it is a 50/50 mix of carbohydrates to protein. And as it is similar to whey protein (but unprocessed) I assume that it is as quickly digested. And that is my question, is there any information available that would help back up my assumption? Or anything that would show the benefits of Kefir as a post-workout replenishment drink? Anything would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you from one satisfied customer,
Well, R, we're glad you wrote!
The reason chocolate milk has been touted for its potential in workout recovery is, as R notes, its mix of protein and carbs - both essential for helping your muscles heal and your body regenerate. Lowfat chocolate milk boasts an ideal 4:1 carbohydrate:protein ratio, which is similar to many commercial recovery beverages. It also has sodium and is a fluid, both of which are known to assist in post-workout recovery.
We asked San Diego-based exercise physiologist Pete McCall for his take on substituting choco milk with kefir and he confirms that yes, drinking plainkefir offers very similar recovery benefits as chocolate milk. McCall points out that, as our customer mentioned, plain lowfat kefir has a 1:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein. McCall also likes kefir as a workout recovery drink because it’s “relatively easy on the stomach due to the probiotics, and has carbs for energy replacement.”
So what are you waiting fot? Go hit the pavement for a nice run and afterward, reward yourself - and your muscles - with a tall, cold glass of kefir!
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 10/27/2013 3:24 PM
Halloween candy isn’t known for its nutritional density, but it’s hard to deny its deliciousness density! We took inspiration from some of our favorite fun size treats and gave them a probiotic makeover, cutting the more dubious sweeteners and adding a generous splash of Lifeway Kefir.
This drink is based on the fruity buttons known as Skittles! Does anyone else remember meticulously sorting their Skittles by color, lining them up in rows by rainbow order, then trying to eat every combination of two to five flavors possible? We do, too! We never regretted really going for it and popping all five in one mouthful, so for this kefir concoction we incorporated every flavor of the rainbow. Did you know they changed the green flavor from lime to apple? That’s bananas! Or apples… We went with the classic recipe here.
For the sticky, chewy element, we bought some instant tapioca at our local ethnic food market. These big gummies are different than the tapioca you use to make pudding. They were in the East Asian candy aisle and came in really cool rainbow colors. To prepare them, you boil them in plenty of water, cover the pot and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat. To store them, we drained the boiling water, transferred them to a smaller dish and covered them with a little water to prevent them from sticking together.
makes 3 servings
8 oz. Lifeway Lowfat Strawberry Kefir
12 oz. 100% Grape Juice
Juice of ½ an orange
Juice of ½ lemon
Juice of ½ lime
¾ cup prepared tapioca pearls
Combine all ingredients except the tapioca and whisk to combine. Divide the tapioca into 3 glasses and pour equal amounts of kefir mixture into glasses. Enjoy!
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 10/24/2013 10:36 AM
Today is UN Day! A day to reflect on why and how we support the United Nations as it celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. Here at Lifeway, we have many reasons to love the UN.
Our CEO Julie Smolyansky, as a member of the United Nations Foundation’s Global Entrepreneurs Council, is passionate about advocating for global health initiatives and the UNF’s Shot at Life campaign as well as getting US girls involved in promoting global gender equality through Girl Up. The UN contributes so much that listing every good deed would exceed the size limit for this blog post. Here are just a few of our favorites:
Other staff at Lifeway are passionate about determining which global issues are important to all citizens of the world with the MY World Survey. Finding out which issues people care about will help world leaders plan future initiatives to battle poverty and inequality.
Did you know that regardless of gender, age and country of origin, more people put access to a good education in their top 6 priorities than any other issue?
Take the MY World Surveyand share your cares with the UN!
Join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #UNDay!
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 10/21/2013 8:33 PM
For Chicago-based Integrative Family Physician Geeta Maker-Clark, MD, food is medicine. She even teaches community classes based on the principle, teaming up with a chef to show community members howdelicious foods can work to prevent and even treat chronic diseases. So it’s no surprise that when she scored tickets to Chicago Ideas Week, an annual event bringing together hundreds of global thought leaders and more than 25,000 attendees, and she learned that Lifeway Foods was hosting a flavor-creation party, she jumped at the chance to attend. After all, Dr. Maker-Clark uses our kefir in her Food as Medicine classes, and has multiple bottles stocked at all times in her family’s fridge. When her 10-year-old daughter, Sahaara, heard about the event, and realized she didn’t have school that day, it seemed like a natural fit for her to attend, too.
After CEO Julie Smolyansky gave a talk on Lifeway’s history, guests were invited to don their lab goggles and start mixing up new flavors of kefir. We chatted with Sahaara about her day playing amateur chef and the fifth grader spilled on her fave flavors, her school lunch of choice, and what she wants to be when she grows up.
Lifeway: What different flavors did you experiment with?
Sahaara: I tried using cherry, caramel, root beer, marshmallow, blueberry, mango, peach, and passion fruit. But they weren’t all mixed together.
Lifeway: (Making note: Arrange focus group to test out Cherry-Caramel-Root Beer-Marshmallow-Passion Fruit Lowfat Kefir). And which one was your favorite?
Sahaara: Blueberry-mango-passion fruit-peach. It was really sweet.
Lifeway: Do you have kefir in your fridge at home?
Sahaara: Yes, we get it a lot from the store. Normally we have cherry, peach, strawberry-banana and mango. And Birthday Cake flavor.
Lifeway: It sounds like your mom is really into yummy, good-for-you food. What’s your favorite lunch to bring to school?
Sahaara: Probably a sandwich on whole wheat bread, vegetables, nuts and sometimes a cookie or brownie, but not very often.
Lifeway: What did you think of our CEO’s story?
Sahaara: I thought it was really interesting – to hear how she made this business. It was inspiring: People came from Russia, and nobody here knew what kefir was, so it was new to America. And it caught on.
Lifeway: We agree – she is an inspiring CEO! So, what do you want to be when you grow up?
Sahaara: I kind of want to be an author, scientist and engineer at the same time because I’m interested in writing, politics and physics. And an engineer – I also like creating things of old humidifiers and blenders and recyclable materials.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 10/19/2013 4:31 PM
Lifeway is proud to be a sponser of the Food Network's New York City Wine and Food Festival in 2013! Not only is this star-studded event a great place to meet some of the Food Network's and the Big Apple's incredible chefs and taste their culinary creations, but the event also benefits No Kid Hungry, a Share Our Strength initiative, and the Food Bank for New York City.
Lifeway is adding some of our new Frozen Kefir Bars to the tasty and abundant spread at the Grand Tasting all weekend. The tart and tangy Pear and Coconut popsicles are the perfect light palate cleanser in between the chefs' more decadant bites!
At the Godiva Truffle Showdown on Friday, the Ace of Cakes himself, Duff Goldman hosted an all-star panel of New York pastry masters to compete with desserts based on Godiva Truffle flavors. Laszlo Bollok of Le Cirque took home top honors last night with a fun, one bite dessert dome, filled with a light creamy white chocolate sauce and topped with a crunchy, salty pastry nest. In some cases a picture really is worth a thousand words - as delicious as it is pretty!
Chefs Jansen Chen & Ron Ben-Israel of Ron Ben-Israel Cakes and host of Sweet Genius among guests staying refreshed with Frozen Kefir at the . How Tart Smart!
Ice Cream takes a Frozen Kefir tackle at the Jets + Chefs Ultimate TailgateOur frozen kefir also kept both food and sports fans cooled down at the Jets + Chefs Ultimate Tailgate, hosted by Mario Batali and Joe Namath. Foodies and fans of all ages had a little something probiotic to nibble with our Frozen Kefir Bars and ProBugs Pushups!
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 10/17/2013 9:37 AM
This week Lifeway opened our doors to the intellectual playground known as Chicago Ideas Week! The city-wide event brings together over 25,000 attendees to talk, listen and inspire, with curated talks and innovation labs at some of Chicago’s greatest businesses and organizations.
We love coming up with wackyideas here at our Niles, Illinois offices, but we love even more to get our friends and fans in on the fun. For Chicago Ideas Week, our CEO Julie Smolyansky gave a talk on Lifeway’s history and our plans for dairy innovation in the future. We then welcomed guests to put their lab goggles and thinking caps on and create a new flavor of Lifeway kefir!
Armed with Lifeway Lowfat Plain Kefir, a little sugar, and dozens of fun flavor essences like marshmallow, tomato, passion fruit and ginger, our guests came up with some great concoctions! Last year we brought to life our favorite flavor, Honey Fig! What flavor would you like to see kefir-ized on your supermarket shelves?
Special thanks to our friends at KIND who provided their KIND Healthy Grains as a topping for our frozen kefir!
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 10/16/2013 10:59 AM
This month's issue of Family Circle magazine features a story on diabetes-fighting foods, and we were psyched (but not surprised) to see kefir listed among their top 10. Many people know that salmon and kale are ridiculously good foods for preventing all sorts of ills, but not too many are aware that creamy, tangy kefir has a place in thwarting diabetes.
Read More »
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 10/15/2013 10:37 AM
We’ve explored the tenderizing power of kefir as a marinade for both baked and fried chicken here. It occurred to us that it might be more appropriate to let some fish go for a kefir swim. Like buttermilk, kefir adds a creamy and tangy flavor to pan fried fish and gives the breading something to stick to.
We played with a few other fun flavors here, but if you can’t find all the ingredients, there are some easy substitutions. Sumac is actually a dried berry that is ground up to make a lemony seasoning. It’s popular in Middle Eastern cooking and can be found in ethnic markets. If you don’t have a vendor near you, try substituting coriander.
Kohlrabi is a delicious root with a potato/broccoli type flavor. Peeling and slicing the bulbs can be time-consuming (but rewarding!), but sliced red onion would be a good substitute in this pickle recipe if you can’t find kohlrabi. If you are really feeling it though, you can buy a bushel and make this kohlrabi slaw, too!
Fish tacos with Kohlrabi Pickles
Makes about 8 tacos
1 pound tilapia filets
1 cup Lifeway Lowfat Plain Kefir, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon hot sauce, plus more for garnish
½ cup All Purpose Flour
½ cup Corn Meal
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon sumac
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ cup vegetable oil
12 small corn tortillas
1 small bunch cilantro
Kohlrabi Pickles (recipe below)
Combine kefir and hot sauce in a shallow baking dish and add tilapia. Marinate for 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 225°F. Add oil to a medium saucepan and heat to medium/medium high. Destem the cilantro and chop roughly, set aside. Mix the flour, corn meal, salt, and spices in a shallow, wide dish. In a second skillet, start warming tortillas on medium heat and transferring them to the oven on a sheet pan to stay warm while you cook the fish.
Remove the fish from the kefir mixture and dredge in the flour mixture. Shake off any excess flour and place in pan until you have an even layer of fish. Cook for 4 minutes on each side and transfer to the sheet pan in the oven to stay warm until all the fish is cooked.
To assemble tacos, layer fish, a drizzle of kefir, cilantro, pickles and hot sauce in tortillas and serve immediately.
Kohlrabi Pickle with Sumac
Makes 2 quarts
2 large kohlrabi bulbs, trimmed and sliced into thin sticks with a mandolin or food processor
2 cups red wine vinegar
2 cups water
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons pickling salt
6 thin slices fresh ginger, peeled
1 garlic clove, sliced thin
6 black peppercorns
3 strips of lemon zest
½ teaspoon sumac
Wash and dry 2, 1 quart mason jars. Divide kohlrabi slices evenly among jars.
In a medium saucepan, combine vinegar, water, honey, salt, ginger, garlic, pepper, lemon zest and sumac and bring to a vigorous boil.
Carefully pour the brine into the jars over the kohlrabi. Cover with lids and let them sit until cool to the touch. Move to the refrigerator and let the kohlrabi marinate overnight. The pickles will keep for several weeks in the fridge and can be enjoyed on tacos, sandwiches, salads, etc.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 10/10/2013 2:37 PM
Pumpkin is everywhere and everything! It might sound like we're trying to make pumpkin into a metaphor for a larger, more abstract concept, but the gourd is simply showing up all over. Not surprisingly, the cohorts of kefir fans and pumpkin enthusiasts overlap, and in this shaded area of the food cult venn diagram, Pumpkin Spice Kefir was born.
Your favorite kefir vendors will have the opportunity to put the tart and tangy smoothie in their dairy case now through January, so make sure you get some while it lasts! If you don't see it, you can request it from your friendly dairy manager or check out our tips for finding your favorite flavor.
If our Pumpkin Spice Kefir alone won't satiate your hunger for orange flesh, check out these other fun ways to pumpkin-ify your life:
Update your email signature with this cool Pumpkin Font.
Make a Milk Jug Pumpkin to store your Halloween candy.
Create a Gilded Gourd and crown yourself Pumpkin King or Queen.
Make Pumpkin Pie in a Cup, Pumpkin Custard, or a Pumpkin Pie Smoothie!
Play with some Pumpkin Play Dough (but make sure your little pumpkin fans don't eat it!)
Lather up with Pumpkin Pie Shower Gel.
Track down some sadly discontinued Pumpkin Dog Treats for Fido!
Grab a Pumpkin Candle before Amazon runs out!
Or just get back to basics and eat some pumpkin!