By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 9/24/2013 7:43 PM
This afternoon, Lifeway's CEO Julie Smolyansky participated in the Social Good Summit's panel discussion, "Refocus Wellness: How Shifting the Basics Can Change the Course of Global Health." Her panel, along with many more on a myriad of social change-related topics, are all posted online for viewing at your convenience.
As an advocate of probiotic foods like kefir, Julie's healthcare lens focused on getting people set up for health success before they get sick. She noted that "we don't have a healthcare system, we have a 'sick-care' system." Rather than waiting for health problems to become unmanageable, kefir and other probiotic foods can enhance our health rather than damage it like a lot of processed, less wholesome foods that make their way into our diets today.
To sum it up, our CEO quoted famous nutritionist and whole foods advocate Ann Wigmore - "Food is either the best medicine or the slowest form of poison." The kefir we make at Lifeway certainly doesn't fall into the latter category.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 9/23/2013 7:37 AM
You can’t open a magazine or click on the TV these days without coming across a story touting the benefits of probiotics. They’re everywhere, and they’re here to stay. We’ve long appreciated the many ways a daily dose of probiotics make us feel, from head to tow, tummy to tush. But it is indeed gratifying to watch the world starting to sit up and take notice. We’ve collected an assortment of stories for you to peruse; grab a glass of your favorite probiotics-boosted kefir and start scrolling…
Probiotics and…psoriasis and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Probiotics and…stress-induced tummy trouble.
Probiotics and…diarrhea caused by antibiotics.
Probiotics and…cavity-free teeth.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 9/20/2013 9:18 AM
There are lots of interesting personalities at Lifeway HQ. One of the more facinating creatures you'll find roaming our halls is our CFO Ed Smolyansky. He's a true cultured dairy aficionado who brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the proverbial table. To our real kitchen table in the office, too. Lots of tables. Lots of knowledge.
Many of our fans know that for the past decade our CEO Julie has not only led the vision for our company, but she has also contributed her personal recipes and beauty tips using kefir. Edward, meanwhile, has stayed busy as Lifeway CFO and off the blogosphere radar.
Today, we're forcing Ed into the limelight to shower us with his kefir wisdom! Having never gone a single day without a bottle of the sour stuff in his fridge, the guy knows a thing or two about kefir and we are delighted to share a few of his tips here.
Morning After Oats!
Ed’s famous recipe for Bircher Muesli
½ cup old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup Lifeway Plain Nonfat Kefir
½ cup mixed dried fruit (Ed uses Navitas superfood trail mix with mulberries, golden berries and goji berries)
2 teaspoons brown sugar
Mix the oats, kefir and dried fruit together in a bowl. Refrigerate overnight, approximately 16 hours. To serve top with brown sugar and a half a fresh grapefruit on the side.
Easy Peasy Bachelor Chicken!
Edward favors the savory side of kefir with this recipe and substitutes kefir for cream.
1 lb. box of farfalle pasta
1 8 oz bag frozen peas
1 medium can crushed tomato
1/3 cup Lifeway Plain Nonfat Kefir
3 boneless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon Cajun spice blend
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon Paprika
¼ teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons olive oil.
Cook the pasta according to package instructions and drain.
Heat the olive oil in a pan on medium high. Season the chicken breasts with salt and all the spices. Brown the chicken on both sides then add the tomatoes and reduce heat to medium. Simmer for about 10 minutes, covered, until chicken is done. Stir in the frozen peas and kefir and heat through. Serve the chicken and sauce on top of the pasta.
Aftermarket Kefir Modification!
If you prefer the taste of Whole Milk, but can only find nonfat or lowfat, try this trick.
Rich and Creamy Kefir
1 cup heavy cream
1 quart Lifeway Plain Kefir
Mix cream and kefir together and let it hang out on the counter at room temperature for a little while. Transfer the container to the warmer part of your refrigerator for an overnight stay, then wake up to a more decadent blend.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 9/19/2013 1:37 AM
Sometimes to get kids to eat their greens, you just have to hide them in plain sight. This kiwi popsicle puts the beautiful fruit front and center and tastes delicious with sweet Strawberry Banana kefir. The sweet kiwis work great with lots of flavors; you can even make it a green bonanza with our new Kiwi Kale Critter ProBugs!
Kiwifruits, like the fuzzy brown birds that inspired their name, hail from New Zealand, but can also be grown in California. The season for kiwis is winter, October through May, making otherwise bleak winter menus a little brighter and a little more sweet!
Frozen Kefir Kiwi Pop
1 kiwi, peeled and cut into 8 slices
1 ½ cups Lifeway Lowfat Strawberry Banana Kefir
Slide kiwi slices into popsicle molds so they stick to the inside walls of the mold. Gently pour kefir over the fruit and secure tops in place. Freeze for 2 hours or up to 2 weeks. If the pops are difficult to remove, run them under warm water for a few seconds.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 9/16/2013 1:37 PM
This recipe is a take on the Cabbage and Kohlrabi Slaw in Yotam Ottolenghi’s vegetable elevating Plenty. We love how each recipe places the vegetables on a pedestal, taking center stage with its flavor and bounty of healthy nutrients. In this case, kohlrabi adds a sweet and spicy bite and crisp texture, a little like a radish, with a hearty helping of Vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and potassium. With a solid foundation in Mediterranean ingredients and techniques, Ottolenghi puts a fun twist on some classic recipes with the flavors and foods he encounters as a chef and resident in London. Taking a step toward the coleslaw you might find across the pond in the US, we added a little kefir to the dressing to make it creamier and a dash of sugar to sweeten the deal.
Kohlrabi and Cabbage Slaw
Makes 4 servings
¼ head napa cabbage, sliced thin
1 large head kohlrabi, peeled and julienned
½ c fresh dill, roughly chopped
1 cup black raisins
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Lifeway Lowfat Plain Kefir
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 clove garlic, crushed
4 oz alfalfa sprouts
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup roasted, salted sunflower seeds
1. Mix together all the ingredients except for sprouts and sunflower seeds. Using your hands, massage the mixture for a few minutes until the cabbage softens a little. Let the salad sit for 10 minutes.
2. Add the sprouts and half the sunflower seeds. Taste and adjust seasoning.
3. Garnish with reserved sunflower seeds. Serve at room temperature.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 9/12/2013 12:11 PM
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 9/11/2013 3:37 PM
As the heat waves of early September sweep the nation, we bring you a refreshing island smoothie, packed with real tropical fruit, 100% juice and all natural, probiotic kefir. Even if you’re making a snack before picking up the kids from soccer practice, if you close your eyes might see a sandy beach and ocean view ahead as you sip this pina colada concoction.
Lowfat Coconut Chia is one of our newest flavors and it offers a double dose of nutrition and flavor. Dense in nutrients ranging from Omega-3s to fiber to manganese, the chia seeds added to Lifeway kefir are finely ground and give the smoothie a nice, thick texture without any pulp or artificial thickeners.
Tropical Kefir Smoothie
Makes 2 servings
1 cup Lifeway Lowfat Coconut Chia Kefir
1 cup Pineapple Juice
1 medium banana
1 cup frozen mango chunks
Juice of 1 lime
Blend all ingredients in a blender on high until smooth.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 9/6/2013 9:37 AM
The round challah bread served during the Jewish New Year Rosh Hashanah symbolizes continuity of a sweet new year. So if you find yourself with a little leftover bread from this week’s New Years feast, there’s no better way to continue a sweet year than with Kefir Challah French Toast! If you want to make the sweetness really last, you can slice and freeze your Challah and make a few slices of French Toast whenever you have a little extra time to sit down for breakfast.
Because challah is an egg bread, challah French toast becomes a rich, decadent treat. Other crusty breads might require a long soak in milk and eggs to soften up, but a quick dip for challah suffices. If you let it soak too long, you end up with mush, which might make a great bread pudding, but it’ll be hard to get pretty slices of toast into the pan.
Any topping would be great on this recipe, but we stuck with traditional Rosh Hashanah ingredients, sautéing ¼ inch thick slices of apple with a little butter and lemon juice until tender and stirring in some honey to make a more syrupy topping.
Kefir Challah French Toast
Makes about 6 servings
1 loaf challah bread
2 cups Lifeway Lowfat Madagascar Vanilla Kefir (or substitute Lifeway Lowfat Plain Kefir, 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Slice challah into ½ inch thick pieces.
Whisk together eggs, kefir and cinnamon in a 9x13 inch cake pan. Place a large skillet over medium heat and melt 1 tablespoon off salted butter in the pan. Dip challah slices into liquid for about 20 seconds on each side. Transfer to the hot pan to cook for about 4 minutes on each side, until golden and cooked through.
Top with sautéed apples, a drizzle of Vanilla Kefir and a pinch of cinnamon.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 9/4/2013 10:42 AM
Rosh Hashanah begins tonight at sundown, marking the Jewish New Year and bringing to the table a spread of traditional dishes. While we enjoy old family recipes thoroughly, we always like to sneak a little kefir in when we can and today’s target is honey cake.
Slightly daunted by the less than fond memories of honey cake we found as we searched for recipes to kefir-ize, we wondered if we were doomed to fail. Looking to avoid the dry and overly sweet pitfalls many honey cakes land in, we substituted some kefir for vegetable oil and added a little citrus to brighten things up. Having had success with muffin recipes calling for boiling water, we added the tea to our batter when it was piping hot. Not having all our baking spices on hand, we substituted Chai tea for plain black tea and ended up with just the right amount of spice!
As a garnish, we sautéed an apple with a little butter, sugar and lemon juice until tender for a traditional apple accompaniment and a little color to brighten up the plate.
Kefir Honey Cake
Yield: 2 x 9 in round cakes or about 24 cupcakes
2 ½ cups All Purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 cup honey
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ c Lifeway Plain Lowfat Kefir
Zest of ½ lemon
Juice of 1 whole lemon
Zest of ½ orange
Juice of 1 whole orange
1 cup Chai tea, boiling
Preheat oven to 325 F. Prepare 2 cupcake pans or 2, 9 inch round cake pans with cooking spray on bottom and sides of pans.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, mix sugar, honey, eggs, oil, kefir, lemon zest, lemon juice, orange zest and orange juice until thoroughly combined. Stir in dry ingredients until just incorporated.
Add boiling tea and mix until combined. Pour batter into prepared cake pans immediately.
Bake on the center rack, 15 minutes for cupcakes and about 35-40 minutes for larger cakes.
Let the cakes cool in the pan slightly before removing.
Garnish with an extra drizzle of honey and caramelized apple before serving.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 9/3/2013 7:25 AM
We recently read an incredible story on TheVerge.com which told the story of Mary. A teenage girl struggling with ADHD and severe OCD, Mary’s parents had taken her to multiple doctors and clinics, trying to alleviate her suffering. Medication wasn’t helping, and the whole family was feeling hopeless.
Then they met James Greenblatt, a Waltham, MA-based psychiatrist who believes that the future of psychiatry may lie inside our stomachs. After inquiring about Mary’s digestive wellness (it turns out she struggled with constipation, diarrhea, and everything in between), Dr. Greenblatt prescribed a twice-daily regimen of probiotics (the “good bacteria” found in kefir, yogurt and other fermented foods) along with psychotherapy and medication. “The change in Mary was nothing short of miraculous,” the writer describes. “[w]ithin six months, her symptoms had greatly diminished. One year after the probiotic prescription, there was no sign that Mary had ever been ill.”
As Greenblatt explains, “The gut is really your second brain. There are more neurons in the GI tract than anywhere else except the brain.”
Anyone who has ever felt butterflies in their stomach before a big speech or has lost their appetite during a breakup has experienced firsthand the link between the brain and the belly. But emerging research is suggesting that it’s not just our thoughts influencing our gut: the communication works the other way around, too.
A 2011 Canadian study looked at the behaviors of eight-week-old mice – some who had had their GI tracts stripped of bacteria, and some who had not. The bug-free mice were more stressed according to multiple scientific criteria, including higher levels of risk-taking and higher levels of cortisol (the stress hormone). Future research out of the same university showed that when scientists swapped transplanted microbes from shy mice into the guts of risk-taking mice, the outgoing mice became timid.
Read more here…