By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 12/24/2013 5:17 AM
“On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me a bottle of Kefir, gluten-free.
On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me two ProBugs and a bottle of Kefir, gluten-free.
On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me three Farmer’s Cheeses, two ProBugs and a bottle of Kefir, gluten-free.
On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me four frozen pear bars, three Farmer’s Cheeses, two ProBugs and a bottle of Kefir, gluten-free.
On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me a five-times-stronger immune system that sings!! Four frozen pear bars, three Farmer’s Cheeses, two ProBugs and a bottle of Kefir, gluten-free.
On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me six fewer IBS episodes, a five-times-stronger immune system that sings, four frozen pear bars, three Farmer’s Cheeses, two ProBugs and a bottle of Kefir, gluten-free.
On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me seven pints a-freezing, six fewer IBS episodes, a five-times-stronger immune system that sings, four frozen pear bars, three Farmer’s Cheeses, two ProBugs and a bottle of Kefir, gluten-free.
On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me eight kefir cows a-milking, seven pints a-freezing, six fewer IBS episodes, a five-times-stronger immune system that sings, four frozen pear bars, three Farmer’s Cheeses, two ProBugs and a bottle of Kefir, gluten-free.
On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me nine kids a-slurping, eight kefir cows a-milking, seven pints a-freezing, six fewer IBS episodes, a five-times-stronger immune system that sings, four frozen pear bars, three Farmer’s Cheeses, two ProBugs and a bottle of Kefir, gluten-free.
On the 10th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me 10 moms a-clapping, nine kids a-slurping, eight kefir cows a-milking, seven pints a-freezing, six fewer IBS episodes, a five-times-stronger immune system that sings, four frozen pear bars, three Farmer’s Cheeses, two ProBugs and a bottle of Kefir, gluten-free.
On the 11th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me 11 grams of protein, 10 moms a-clapping, nine kids a-slurping, eight kefir cows a-milking, seven pints a-freezing, six fewer IBS episodes, a five-times-stronger immune system that sings, four frozen pear bars, three Farmer’s Cheeses, two ProBugs and a bottle of Kefir, gluten-free.
On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me 12 BioKefirs boosting, 11 grams of protein, 10 moms a-clapping, nine kids a-slurping, eight kefir cows a-milking, seven pints a-freezing, six fewer IBS episodes, a five-times-stronger immune system that sings, four frozen pear bars, three Farmer’s Cheeses, two ProBugs and a bottle of Kefir, gluten-free.”
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 12/23/2013 8:37 AM
The easiest way to deck the dining table with festive beverages is to line up our Organic Green Kefir, Lowfat Strawberry Kefir, and seasonal Eggnog Kefir. But if you’re looking to go the extra mile this Christmas, you can punch up the color and nutrition of your kefir with these red and green smoothie recipes.
We added maca to these recipes, a root vegetable native to the Andean region of Peru, for its reputation for improving mood, decreasing anxiety, and increasing energy. Who couldn’t use some of that to get a holiday celebration going? Don’t go too crazy around the mistletoe though, maca is also said to increase libido. You can find it powdered in the health food section of your grocery store.
Probiotic in a Pear Tree Smoothie
1 cup Lifeway Lowfat Plain Kefir
1 ripe pear
½ ripe banana
1 cup packed spinach leaves
10 fresh mint leaves
Juice from ½ lemon
½ teaspoon ginger
1 tablespoon maca powder
Blend all ingredients together in a blender until smooth.
Beets a Blending Smoothie
1 cup Lifeway Lowfat Plain Kefir
½ cup orange juice
1 cup cooked or canned beets (not pickled or sweetened)
½ ripe banana
½ teaspoon ginger
10 mint leaves
¼ cup packed spinach leaves
1 tablespoon maca powder
Blend all ingredients together in a blender until smooth.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 12/21/2013 6:37 AM
This year, new research emerged linking gut health to better brain function, pointing research on treating brain disorders in a potentially dietary direction. Disorders like chronic pain, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Autism may have new avenues of treatment to discover, but the impact of this research could also help guide anyone through the psychological stress of everyday life.
As we head into the throes of the holiday season, loading up on probiotics might not only keep our digestive system moving smoothly after a few too many festive indulgences, but these good bugs may also help us keep our cool under last minute shopping pressure, relaxed in the presence of visiting in-laws, and calm in endless airport security lines.
While many of Lifeway Kefir’s friendly vendors sell gift cards that make great, non-refrigerated gifts, redeemable for our digestion enhancing moo juice, we compiled a list of a few other ways to share the gift of emotional peace in this holiday!
Lavender is often the go-to scent for relaxation aromatherapy, but around Christmas, we’re considering the wisdom of the nativity’s Three Wise Men. Frankincense was considered more valuable than gold in biblical times, and while we wouldn’t recommend turning down any gilded gifts this holiday, a bottle of this calming oil, said to relieve stress and boost immunity, might do us more good as we shop, travel, and entertain our way through December.
Harry Potter uses it as an antidote for the soul-crushing effects of Dementors. Cathy uses it to fuel herself through the zany world of adulthood. At Lifeway, we use chocolate in some of our favorite probiotic treats, but love a good truffle from time to time, too! Science is now backing up our anxiety busting experiences with research. The tryptophan in dark chocolate may help the brain produce more happiness boosting serotonin. It also has magnesium and theobromine reduce anxiety and caffeine to up your energy level.
Chamomile infusions are known to relieve stress and what better way to inspire the ones you love to distress than with a something pretty to sip from. Lifeway is partial to Russian tea sets, especially when they come in our signature blue!
Who wouldn’t love to let out a little holiday aggression? Stars are traditional holiday piñatas in Mexico, but we like to make our own like this silly little Santa.
As you bend, stretch and twist your body into a menagerie of poses, you’ll forget all about your inevitable flight delays and the siren call of Christmas cookies in the kitchen. Relieving stress and balancing digestion also go hand in hand when it comes to yoga! A yoga mat makes a great gift for any fitness minded friend.
A Funny Movie
They say laughter is the best medicine, so yuck it up with one of these DVDs:
The Dictator: Creator and lead actor Sasha Baron Cohen is a polarizing fellow, but we can all agree he is wise for shopping at a fine vendor of Lifeway Kefir.
Strange Brew: Fermented beverages are hilarious.
Home Alone: Did you know this movie was filmed just down the road from Lifeway Headquarters in Chicago’s North Suburbs? Do you think Fuller's bed-wetting could be cured by swapping out kefir for Pepsi?
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 12/20/2013 9:08 AM
It’s great news to see kefir and Lifeway in the news!
Dr. Oz battles bloat with probiotics
Dr. Oz, the great and powerful health guru, breaks down the best and worst health trends of 2013. In the weight loss category, he pits gluten free against probiotic and the good bugs come out on top! The benefits of probiotics in weightloss may be old news to loyal Lifeway fans, but we are always excited to see more people feeling great and getting their daily dose of fermented foods. He sheds light on the hidden calories in wheat substitutes, but foods like kefir are naturally gluten free and don’t have any hidden, high-calorie fillers if you feel better following a gluten free diet anyway.
Yahoo’s Daily Shot with Ali Wentworth also featured kefir as the first of five healthy foods you’re not eating. Finding this study in the New England Journal of Medicine, Ali’s guests saw that a diet including probiotic yogurt or kefir was associated with a greater weight loss than any other food in this 20 year cohort study of over 100,000 people. Sugary drinks were associated with weight gain, so Ali’s kefir was blended with antioxident and fiber packed blueberries for sweetness, yum!
The Chicago Tribune shared a few of our CEO Julie Smolyansky’s tips for staying active with a busy work schedule. Managing a dynamic business doesn’t mean your body can’t keep moving too!
Bootstrapping in America's Tom and Tony talk to CEO Julie Smolyansky about Lifeway Kefir. The business of creating a new category in the dairy aisle, from an idea, to public offering, to the company’s contemporary innovation strategies are on the docket.
John Cusack’s alter ego Shocko declares his love for Frozen Kefir, “The holy grail of frozen dessert treats.” A confection fit for King Arthur!
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 12/19/2013 9:43 AM
You might go your whole life without ever hanging out with celebrated food writer Michael Pollan (Omnivore’s Dilemma), world famous ultramarathon runner Dean Karnazes or Mrs. United States 2011 Shannon Ford…but now your germs have the chance to become BFF with theirs. The American Gut Project is offering U.S. residents the chance to donate their microbes to science, and will use the results to further the study of GI disorders, the immune system and more. In other words, you might not be famous…but your microbiome can be.
By donating $99 to the project, you’ll receive a home sampling kit for swabbing various, ummm, orifices. Send the samples off to the American Gut Project Lab for sequencing, and in return, they will provide you with a list of your personal gut, skin and mouth bacteria, as well as tell you how you compare to others in the study, like Pollan, Karnazes, and the 6,000+ others who have joined. All donations go the Biofrontiers Institute at the University of Colorado-Boulder and the Earth Microbiome Project.
AGP’s team of experts is hoping that, with a diverse number of participants, they can create a sort of map of the American Gut. It might be cool to be a part of that – who’s game?
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 12/17/2013 7:49 AM
What better way to get St. Nick through the busy holiday season than with a protein-packed, probiotic, peppermint flavored glass of kefir? With all those cookies he’s eating, he’ll definitely appreciate a digestion balancing boost! And the reindeer probably won’t mind if his lowfat dairy habit helps him lose a few pounds.
The idea to develop an Energy Drink that can sustain the busiest guy on Christmas came from one of Lifeway’s little helpers – a chef in training with Common Threads! Common Threads teaches kids all around Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, and Washington DC about cooking, nutrition, and staying active and healthy. Lifeway loaded up our sleigh with a sack full of plain kefir and ingredients and took our Flavor Lab to a Common Threads cooking class down the street from our Chicagoland office last week, allowing a few chefs in training to concoct their own fun kefir flavors!
With frigid temperatures and heavy December snowfalls coming down on the Windy City, the kids favored cozy holiday flavors like peppermint and vanilla, and the classic berry flavors came in at a close second. Inspired by our flavor mashups in our ProBugs Blast, the little chefs did not shy away from mixing things up! Cheesecake and Marshmallow mingled in the ladylike Pinkalicious drink while Peppermint, Regular Mint, and a handful of berry flavors went into Santa’s Energy Drink. With flavors so complex we had to get a little creative with the names, too!
You can create your own flavor lab at home with Plain Kefir, cane sugar syrup, natural flavors from your local health food store’s baking aisle, and natural food coloring like yellow annatto and beet juice concentrate. Share with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram what you and your little helpers create!
And check out our Holiday Charitable Giving Guide for ways to get involved with Common Threads in your city!
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 12/13/2013 10:13 AM
Most Lifeway Kefir probably follows a similar path in the hands of its fans. It goes from the grocery store to your fridge, then straight out of the bottle into your belly! We do our best to make enjoying this delicious probiotic treat easy for folks all across America. Before it reaches your grocer's dairy case, Lifeway Kefir might make a fairly long journey from its origins on a midwestern farm, so we do our best to make that trip as efficient as possible. Not only will our kefir arrive fresh and full of live and active cultures, but we strive to minimize our impact on the environment.
You've read about the milk we use to make kefir, the farmers that supply it, and our commitment to renewable energy, but we thought we could expand our look at sustainability in the dairy industry overall and show you what we learned in a nifty new infographic, From Farm to Fridge!
Thanks to Mother Nature Network and all the other great outlets that have shared our work of info-rich art.
Click here or on the image to see the full size graphic.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 12/12/2013 11:00 AM
Lifeway’s Eggnog Kefir is full of holiday magic. It contains probiotics, grass-fed milk, delicious eggnog flavor, and a generous splash of love. Like all Lifeway Kefir you’ll find in the grocery store, it contains no alcohol. Our founder was an engineer who created a super-cool process of fermenting the milk without the naturally occurring trace amounts of alcohol you’ll find in most lactic ferments. Thanks to his innovation, we get to drink kefir all day long while at work, school, or watching the kids, no flask required.
But some occasions call for adult-only beverages, and holiday parties are often enhanced with a little booze. So we thought we’d share a few recipes that allow us to indulge with a shot of something healthy mixed in – kefir!
Our first recipe centers around the festive, bright red pomegranate and other fruity flavors that mix well with tart and tangy kefir. Vodka is the obvious liquor partner for Russian-at-heart Lifeway Kefir and Champagne style wine makes a festive, bubbly punch.
The second recipe is a take on Milk Punch, a simple, spiced concoction that serves as a great alternative for eggnog lovers who have used up all their eggs doing their holiday baking. Our version bridges the sour and spiced gap with the wintery citrus fruit, tangerine, and sweetens things up with a generous pour of maple syrup.
Remember to celebrate the holiday season responsibly!
Pomegranate Kefir Punch
Makes 8 servings
32 oz Lifeway Lowfat Pomegranate Kefir (or your favorite red fruit flavor)
1 bottle cava or other dry, sparkling white wine
12 oz vodka
16 oz orange juice
Agave nectar to taste
1 cup pomegranate seeds
Mix the kefir, prosecco, vodka, orange juice and lemon juice together in a large punch bowl then adjust to taste with agave. Add ice and pomegranate seeds to garnish.
Kefir Milk Punch
Makes 8 servings
32 oz Lifeway Lowfat Madagascar Vanilla Kefir (or Lifeway Lowfat Plain Kefir, plus 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
¾ cup brandy
¾ cup dark rum
8 oz maple syrup
1 teaspoon nutmeg
Pour 1 inch of water into a bundt pan or cake pan and freeze. Slice 2 tangerines and layer on top of the ice. Pour another inch of water over the tangerines and freeze.
Mix the kefir, brandy, rum, and maple syrup. Peel the remaining tangerines, cut the peel into strips, add to the mix, and chill. Place the ice ring in your punch bowl and pour in the milk punch. The punch will stay chilled for several hours. Garnish each cup individually with nutmeg; it can be set out in a clean pepper shaker for guests.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 12/11/2013 12:21 PM
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire sound great, but could be problematic for households expecting gift-bearing guests through their chimneys. With canned chestnut puree, this recipe lets you enjoy the nutty flavor of the season even if you don’t have a fireplace.
We stoked the nutritional flames in this baked doughnut recipe with ingredients like whole wheat flour for fiber, flax meal for omega 3s, coconut oil for healthy fat, and natural honey and raw sugar to sweeten the deal. In lieu of the classic waxy and artificial sprinkles you find on most doughnuts, we opted for natural bee pollen which packs a hearty does of proteins, carbohydrates and B vitamins to give you energy! No dunking in coffee required.
Healthy Honey Chestnut Doughnuts
Makes about 12 doughnuts or 24 mini muffins
1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
¼ cup rice flour
2 tablespoons coarse ground flax meal
½ cup raw sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
¾ cup plus 3 tablespoons Lifeway Nonfat Plain Kefir
2 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
½ cup honey
3 tablespoons canned or homemade chestnut puree
1 cup powdered sugar
¼ cup bee pollen
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray doughnut pans or muffin tins with nonstick baking spray. Fit a pastry bag with a large round tip or cut the corner off a heavy duty freezer storage bag.
In a medium bowl, mix flours, flax, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. In a large bowl, mix egg, ¾ cup kefir, coconut oil, and honey. Swirl the oil in your measuring cup before measuring honey to prevent sticking. Add dry ingredients and mix gently until just combined.
Spoon the mixture into your pastry bag and pipe into prepared tins, filling halfway.
Bake for about 13 minutes for doughnuts or 10 minutes for muffins, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a cookie tray.
To make the glaze, whisk together 3 tablespoons kefir, chestnut puree, and powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Dip the rounded half of each doughnut or the top of each muffin into the glaze, shake off excess into the bowl, and set dry-side-down on your serving tray. Sprinkle the tops with bee pollen. Eat right away or store in an airtight container, unglazed for several days, add the glaze before serving.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 12/9/2013 5:37 AM
No matter what winter holiday you celebrate, there will probably be some sort of party to go to and there will definitely be people there who love cheese. If there are no people at your party that love cheese, run! Or stay if you must, but don’t share these delicious Cheese Stuffed Peppadews with herbs and kefir. Everyone else, bring a jar of these for a unique hostess gift, set them out at your holiday soiree, or toss a couple your dog's way for being so patient and adorable while you took the perfect Instagram of him in his reindeer antler headband!
The three cheeses together make a delicious trifecta of cheese flavor, salty feta, earthy goat cheese, and tangy Lifeway Farmer Cheese. If you can’t find sheep milk feta, you can substitute goat or cow milk feta, and part skim ricotta can be used instead of Farmer Cheese. We used wintery rosemary, lavender, and savory to add a nice herbal note, but any hearty herb will do, like thyme or sage. An extra sprig of each in the jar makes for a flavorful leftover olive oil, too. Perfect for fresh bread or in a vinaigrette!
Even the health conscious can enjoy these treats – fresh cheese is lower in fat and calories than aged varieties, so ounce for ounce, these cheeses are better than cheddar. Carb counters and gluten-free dieters also won’t miss the cracker on this cheese plate, the peppers are delightfully crunchy and sweet! Find them on the olive and antipasto bar at your grocery store or in a jar.
Probiotic Cheese Stuffed Peppadews
8 oz fresh goat cheese
8 oz sheep milk feta
8 oz Lifeway Farmer Cheese
¼ cup Lifeway Nonfat Plain Kefir
½ tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped fine (plus a few extra sprigs)
½ tablespoon fresh savory, chopped fine (plus a few extra sprigs)
½ tablespoon fresh lavender, chopped fine (plus a few extra sprigs)
2 quarts peppadew peppers
2 cups extra virgin olive oil
Clean and sanitize six 8 oz canning jars and lids. When dry, place a sprig each of rosemary, lavender, and savory in every jar.
Let all the cheeses come to room temperature for about 30 minutes. Combine all three cheeses, kefir and herbs in a large bowl and mix with an electric mixer until smooth and no curds larger than a piece of rice remain. Add more herbs or salt to taste.
Fit a pastry bag with a large round tip and fill with the cheese mixture. Pipe about 1 teaspoon of the cheese mixture into each pepper, so they are ¾ full. Carefully pack the peppers into the jars to they are nestled snugly, but not smashed and leaking cheese. Cover the jars and tighten the lids.
Serve right out of the jar or drain the olive oil and transfer the peppers to a dish. Covered in olive oil, the peppers will keep in your fridge for several weeks.