By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 2/11/2013 12:08 PM
Are you ready for some seriously sexy chocolates? With dark chocolate, almond butter and a touch of tangy kefir, these rich truffles come together in a snap. Give them to the one you love, even if the one you love most is you!
Adapted from a recipe by The Fitness Freak.
- 1/3 cup dark chocolate chopped
- 1/4 cup Lifeway Lowfat Kefir, plain
- 4 Tbs finely ground toasted almonds plus more for rolling
- 2 Tbs unsalted almond butter
- 2 Tbs raw agave nectar
- 1 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder plus more for rolling
- 1 pinch sea salt
Melt the dark chocolate in a double boiler, then remove from heat and set aside.
In a food processor, blend together the kefir, ground almonds, almond butter, agave nectar, cocoa powder and salt. Add the melted chocolate and blend that in, too.
Transfer the mixture into a shallow, sealable container and refrigerate until firm (1-2 hours).
Prepare your rolling ingredients - ground almonds or cocoa powder. Place the ingredients into small bowls.
Use a measuring spoon to scoop some truffle mixture -1 or 1 & 1/2 tsp to make nice, bite-sized truffles. Gently roll the mixture between your palms to form a ball, then roll in your almonds, cocoa powder, or whatever you're using.
Refrigerate in a single layer in a sealable container, and remove from the fridge for about a half hour prior to serving.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 2/8/2013 9:53 AM
When she's not advocating for maternal health care, speaking at the Library of Congress, or running marathons, our energetic CEO Julie Smolyansky gets quite creative in the kitchen! This time she's whipped up a kid-friendly dressing/dip that lends it's tangy, lightly sweet flavor to fresh fruit, leafy greens like kale and spinach, and just about anything else you can think of dipping or dressing! Like all of Julie's original recipes, this one had to meet the approval of her girls, Leah and Misha before it made it's way to our blog!
- 1/3 cup Lifeway Kefir, Plain
- 2 Tbs lemon juice
- 1 Tbs honey
- 1/2 tsp curry powder
- Dash of ground cinnamon
Whisk the ingredients together and enjoy!
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 2/6/2013 12:35 PM
When we spotted this fresh take on layered dip from Food Network we hightailed it into the kitchen and got to work adding our special probiotic touch. White beans might sound like a strange addition, but they thicken this dip beautifully while kicking in a little protein and fiber. Greek Layered Dip
Serves: 4 cups
- 1 seedless cucumber
- Kosher salt
- 1 cup Lifeway Lowfat Kefir, Plain
- 1 cup canned white beans, drained & rinsed
- 4 oz crumbled feta cheese (or Lifeway Farmer Cheese)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint, plus more for garnish
- fresh black pepper
- 2 plum tomatoes, diced
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
- Pita bread, cut vegetables or root vegetable chips for serving
Using a box cutter, grate the cucumber into a bowl. Toss with 1/4 tsp salt and transfer to a colander and set in the sink for 10 minutes. While that sits, use a food processor or blender to puree the white beans. Mix the beans with the kefir and set aside.
Gently squeeze out the extra water out of the cucumber and transfer to a large bowl. Add the kefir/bean mixture, feta, garlic and 1/4 cup chopped mint, 1/4 tsp salt and black pepper and stir to combine. Transfer to a serving bowl.
In another bowl, toss together the tomatoes, red onion, olives and remaining mint. Sprinkle this over the cucumber mixture.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 2/4/2013 10:00 AM
We just had to kefir-ize this recipe from Taste of Home - the name alone was worth it. If you like guacamole, but want a low-fat alternative - or even if you're just looking for ways to eat more broccoli - this is an easy, yummy way to do it! Broccomole Dip
Makes 6 servings
- 2 cups chopped fresh broccoli, cooked & chilled
- 1/4 cup Lifeway Lowfat Kefir, Plain
- 1-2 Tbs finely chopped onion
- 1 Tbs fat-free mayo or Fresh Made sour cream
- 2-3 Tbs lemon juice
- 1/4 - 1/2 tsp chili powder
- fresh veggies or tortilla chips for serving
In a food processor, combine all of the ingredients except for the chips or fresh veggies. Refrigerate for a few hours, or overnight, to allow the flavors to develop. Serve chilled.
By Julie Smolyansky on 1/31/2013 4:41 PM
by Julie Smolyansky
Last week I had the honor and privilege of attending the second inauguration of President Barack Obama. You could feel the electricity in the air as the President’s supporters celebrated a long, hard-fought battle and a recommitment to job creation, equal rights and health care.
The three-day celebration actually started in O’Hare Airport where I bumped into Senator Dick Durbin. We chatted about kefir, of course, as it was on the menu at the constituent coffee he was set to host on Tuesday. We parted ways with the agreement that I would share Lifeway Foods’ story, and our mission to provide America with healthy foods at the Library of Congress.
Lifeway’s story was particularly significant as I listened to President Obama’s Inaugural address:
“Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity, until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country.”
I was born in a country where there was no democracy, and even today, freedom is limited and leadership changes don’t always come peacefully. Could my parents have imagined when I was a little girl in Kiev that I would one day stand before the leader of the free world as he spoke out for women, for immigrants and for marriage equality?
It was a historical series of days, but it wasn’t all so serious. I watched Katie Perry and Stevie Wonder perform, among many others, and took part in some genuine, Chicago blues thanks to Buddy Guy at Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s after-party. How cute were Sasha and Malia taking selfies with their cell phones and giving their dad kisses in front of the whole free world? And Michelle’s new bangs? I love them.
Speaking of the First Lady, I’m a huge supporter of her Let’s Move initiative, and Lifeway was proud to offer our healthy low-fat kefir to event attendees as well as to the hungry crowds throughout Capitol Hill. We were giving out kefir at the Generation Now Party organized by OurTime.org, the Illinois State Society Gala and, as I mentioned, we provided kefir for the constituent coffee hosted by Dick Durbin. We also had our guerilla marketing wonder team of Joe and Megan canvassing the city with kefir – the perfect pick-me-up for a busy weekend.
The First Lady’s program is perfectly aligned with our aspirations as a company, and I believe that educating Americans about healthy food choices will help us achieve another goal the President addressed in his Inaugural speech - reducing the cost of health care. Lifeway has always advocated for safe and healthy communities from the inside-out, which includes responsible gun control.
“Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm.”
As a female CEO, and mother of two little girls, I was particularly moved by the President’s commitment to gender quality. I believe when women have equal voices in policy making we will live in a healthier and safer world.
“For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law–for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”
Regardless of our political orientation, an inauguration is a chance for a new beginning. It’s a chance for us to work together to transform America into a land of equal opportunities – no matter where you were born, who you love, or what gender you are.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 1/31/2013 4:23 PM
Sunday is nearly here. For some, it’s the event of the year – the beer, the commercials, the head trauma! But for many, it’s just “meh.” Maybe some of the players’ unsavory activities have turned you off, maybe you’re tired of the boy’s club mentality, or hey – maybe you’re just not a fan. Whatever your reason for not tuning into the game of the year, there’s no need to go into hiding come Sunday. We have five ideas for alternative activities to the big game:
- Commercial Break – Sports shmorts, most years the commercials are the most interesting thing. Entertain yourself with some of Lifeway’s Russian commercials instead. They’re just as funny and weird, but they’re 100% free of bikini-clad women.
- Make it Count – If your conscious keeps you from tuning in this year, turn the negative into a positive and spend this Sunday volunteering. There are lots of great sites like iParticipate to help you find volunteer opportunities to help hungry people, women, children, and animals in need in your area.
- Don’t Starve – If you hate the game, but love the snacks you’re in luck. We have lots of yummy snack recipes that taste just as good when you eat them while reading a book as they do in front of the TV. Try our Buffalo Chicken Dip, Guacamole & Spinach Dip, Shrimp Rangoon or Spinach Quesadilla for One!
- You Go, Girl – If you love the sport of football, but wish it was more female-friendly you’re in luck! Spend this Sunday catching up on all the women’s tackle football action with the Women’s Football Alliance. These ladies leave the Lingerie Football League in the dust.
- Enjoy the Silence – Take advantage of the fact that most people will be huddled around the television this Sunday. Have dinner at a normally-busy restaurant, chances are you won’t need a reservation. Get a haircut, or a massage – there’s no wait!
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 1/30/2013 11:00 AM
Our friend Stephanie from The Science of Eating
is back with another healthy spin on a classic party food. Lifeway Farmers Cheese and Helios Nonfat Kefir keep the fat and calories in check without compromising on flavor! Serves 4, 3 per person.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Grease the cups of a muffin pan, and place 1 won ton wrapper in each cup.
Add everything to a mixing bowl and stir until well combined.
Fill each cup by dropping in a large spoonful of the mixture, and repeat until all are filled.
Bake 20-25 minutes or until centers are firm and bubbly.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes then serve.
Nutritional facts per serving:
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 1/29/2013 9:18 AM
At Lifeway Foods, we believe beauty radiates from within. When you feel amazing, you look amazing - and we all know that drinking kefir makes you feel amazing. But sometimes even with our gorgeous insides, we need to pamper our outsides. Want to know our CEO Julie Smolyansky's secret to super soft skin? Why, it's kefir, of course! Check out Julie's recipe for a skin-softening mask you can make at home.DIY Softening Kefir Mask
Kefir contains gentle alpha hydroxy acids (in the form of lactic acid) that helps to break up dead skin cells so new cells can emerge. Combined with exfoliating oats and pore-tightening lemon juice, this simple kefir mask is an easy way to treat your skin.
- 2 Tbs Lifeway Kefir
- 2 Tbs whole oats
- 1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
Mix all of the ingredients together and let the mixture stand for 1 hour.
Tie back your hair, and use your fingertips to gently apply the mixture to your face. sit back and relax, apply freshly sliced cucumbers to your eyes for a little extra soothing.
Wait 5-10 minutes, then rinse the mixture from your face. Walk around making everyone in your house tough your face - it's that soft.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 1/28/2013 12:24 PM
"Women are leading the decline in dieting," according to NPD's chief food industry analyst Harry Balzer. In a recent article published by NPR, the numbers seem to indicate that fewer people are reporting that they are on diets than in previous years.
In one survey, fewer than 1 in 4 people agreed that being thin is more attractive than being heavy, compared with the 55% who agreed with that statement in 1985. So it’s possible that we, as Americans, are moving away from the beauty standards that have been in place for decades.
Another theory about the decline in dieting Americans comes down to semantics. Americans seem to be taking steps to eat healthier, but simply choose not to call this choice a “diet.”
According to Madelyn Fernstrom of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, "The newer thinking is personal empowerment for change, and making small changes over time that are doable for the individual."
This modern focus on healthy living as opposed to weight loss is a step in the right direction, in our opinion. Lifeway CEO Julie Smolyansky is also on board with the anti-diet, pro-healthy eating movement, saying, “I stopped dieting, obsessing over fat and calories, and even buying fashion magazines when I was pregnant with my first daughter. I wanted to protect my children against comparing themselves to society’s brand of beauty and feeling bad about themselves. Instead of being victims to the diet industry, we focus on being a healthy family.”
Looking for tips for getting on board with a healthy lifestyle? Check out our tips for smart snacks, healthy breakfasts, all-natural cold remedies and more here!
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 1/24/2013 12:42 PM
You know a new parent when you see one: Cavernous undereye circles; wild, unwashed hair; dried spit-up crusted on their sleeves. But parents of colicky babies are even more easily spotted: They’re the ones waving a white flag in the air. That’s because babies struggling with colic typically cry for more than three hours a day, three days a week for more than three weeks. Defined by the Mayo Clinic as “intense or inconsolable crying,” it’s miserable for the infant as well as the caregiver, and anyone living within a 100-yard radius.
No one knows for sure why some babies (about 25% of them) develop colic and others don’t, but theories include possible food intolerances (IE the mother is eating something and passing it through the breast milk) or that after nine months of in utero calm, the baby’s sensory development is simply overwhelmed by the world’s new environment. But a recent study in the journal Pediatrics suggests that the answer may lie in babies’ intestinal tracts. Researchers in the Netherlands found that, in the very first weeks of life, the intestinal flora of infants who would later develop colic was quite different than that of the babies who would be spared. Some of the bacteria that were rich in non-colicky babies are the same kinds found in kefir, such as bifidobacteria and lactobacilli.
Michael Hobaugh, MD, chief of medical staff at Chicago’s La Rabida Children's Hospital, called it “a very promising finding,” but told us that it’s too soon to tell whether adding probiotics – the good bacteria found in cultured dairy products like kefir and yogurt – to a nursing mother’s diet might help. “A nursing mother needs a diet rich in calcium, protein and fat, because that’s what the baby is taking from her,” Dr. Hobaugh said. “So in that sense, kefir and yogurt are helpful. And the higher levels of probiotics present in those foods could transfer over to that infant and provide some benefit, but studies have yet to show that. But there’s no harm.”
Dr. Hobaugh, who is also a general pediatrician, said the American Academy of Pediatrics advises waiting until babies are six months old to introduce food other than breast milk or formula. At that point, parents can feel free to try kefir and yogurt (many moms and dads prefer the full-fat varieties for their kids.) Stick with the plain versions: “The naturally occurring sugars in fruits or dairy are all a baby needs.”
The good news/bad news message? Colic goes away by around four to six months of age. When your little one starts acting fussy, Dr. Hobaugh suggests feeding him, changing him if he’s wet, and swaddling him – wrapping him up, burrito-style, with his arms snug up against his body. Loud “Shhing” noises may help, too. (He also noted that colic does not cause fever, bloody stool or vomit, and will not make your baby turn blue. If those symptoms are present, more serious health issues may be at play and it’s time to call your pediatrician or 911.) In the meantime, grab a bottle of Lifeway Cappuccino Kefir and hold on tight: It’s gonna be a long night.