By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 12/6/2013 5:20 AM
Lifeway loves the environment! We know you do, too and that’s why we make our bottles out of number 2 plastic – the most commonly recycled type in the US. We also buy Renewable Energy Credits, which make it possible for many people to use wind energy and other renewable resources to power their homes. And as often as possible, we repurpose the small amount of whey that is drained off in the kefir making process as animal feed.
During the holidays, we like to give eco-friendly gifts, because the environment deserves just as much love as our friends and family! Here, we compiled a list of eco-friendly versions of some classic gifts for every member of your family:
Soy Candles are made with renewable materials and don’t emit any nasty chemical pollutants like those made with wax derived from petroleum. This Lavender Soy Candle will help mom relax even more in her eco-friendly abode with its soothing scent.
New York based company First World Trash makes eco-chic recycled wallets out of old billboards. Each one is as unique as your old man!
If there are three things all grandmas love, they would be crafts their grandkids made, Lifeway Kefir, and plastic Christmas trees (who needs the mess of the real ones!). Hit all three nails on the head with this recycled plastic bottle tree craft using empty Lifeway Kefir bottles!
Most grandfathers start every day with a cool glass of digestion balancing Lifeway Kefir and finish their daily routines with a smoky glass of scotch. For keeping these rituals cool without watering your fine spirits or cultured milk down, try these reusable granite beverage chillers.
For the Dog
What Fido doesn’t want a dino? This adorable dog toy is made out of renewable and anti-microbial hemp, recycled polyester, and recycled pop bottles. All that playtime might make your pup thirsty, so fill up their renewable bamboo dog bowl with a little Lifeway Kefir at the end of the day!
For the Kids
Make this fun kefir nightlight for the little ones in your life. With frosty on their bed stand a probiotics in their bellies, they will be ready for whatever closet monsters or germs come their way!
1. With an exacto knife, carfefully cut the label off a clean Lifeway Kefir bottle and cut a hole toward the bottom of one side, about 1 inch in diameter.
2. Decorate your bottle with paper snowflakes, foam shapes and paint to create a snowman look.
3. Push a string of white Christmas lights into the hole in the back of the light until the bottle is full, leaving enough of the strand out to reach the wall outlet.
4. Plug in your lantern and kill the lights. Voila!
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 12/5/2013 9:29 PM
It’s 2 o’clock in the morning and you’re wide awake, hacking and snorting from your annoying, disgusting December cold. You can’t sleep because every time you drift off, you choke; you can’t get comfortable because your mouth is so Sahara-dry, you might as well use it as a pantry to store flour and brown sugar.
Read More »
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 12/3/2013 10:33 AM
Thanks to the marathon of deals we've encountered in the past week's Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, your holiday gift shopping is probably done! Now is the perfect time extend your generosity to those in need with Giving Tuesday.
Lifeway started celebrating Giving Tuesday early this year by sponsoring the Charity Miles App and aiding the victims of Hurricane Haiyan with a donation for every mile users run, walk, or bike and track on their smart phones. We are so proud of the miles and miles of pavement our kefir fans have pounded in support of the causes that are closest to their hearts. We are excited to see how many more we can log before our sponsorship ends on December 17th!
Today, to get you in the Giving Tuesday spirit, we are sharing each of our ProBugs mascots' favorite charitable organizations. Check out their websites for details on how to give or download the Charity Miles App to find an organization you'd like to support with your regular workout routine!
Pauly Probug loves Strawnana Split, playing sports, and the Special Olympics. This organization rocks at getting athletes with disabilities onto the playing field. You can make a donation or use the Charity Miles app to support their awesome programs!
Polly Probug loves Sublime Slime Lime, being Lifeway’s mascot, and keeping kids healthy. That’s why she supports St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, leaders in researching cures for catastrophic illnesses that effect kids. St. Jude is able to provide excellent treatment without burdening families with any medical bills because of generous supporters like you!
Peter Probug is just one tiny probiotic organism in your Orange Creamy Crawler, but he is proud to support the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger, the World Food Programme. Right now, WPF is leading the relief efforts for victims of Hurrican Haiyan. There is no better time than now to support their efforts through a donation or with your Charity Miles App.
Penelope, Princess of Goo-Berry Pie, used to strive to be just like Grace Kelly. Since she got involved with other talented young women in Girl Up, she is more excited to be her awesome self and advocate for global gender equality! She looks up to women leaders like Lisa Ling and Hillary Clinton and can’t wait for her next Girl Up club meeting!
Stemming from his love of Kiwi-Kale Critter, gardening, and sharing how yummy green vegetables can taste, Peabody’s favorite non-profit is Common Threads. This organization offers cooking classes in underserved communities, teaching kids about nutrition, cultural diversity and not to mention a few handy skills in the kitchen. If you aren’t lucky enough to have the opportunity to volunteer at a Common Threads class in Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington D.C. or Miami, you can make a donation on the Common Threads website.
Neo hops from one Grape Galaxy to the next, and admires the far-reaching efforts of Doctors without Borders. He is happy to support an organization that provides medical care in nearly 70 countries worldwide!
Zoe lives on a Strawberry Kiwi Comet, but knows that it’s not everybody’s cup of kefir. She supports Habitat for Humanity’s mission to provide everyone with a decent place to live. You can join Zoe by donating online, volunteering on site or using your Charity Miles app.
Luna loves drinking Peach Mango Moon kefir and taking photos of Earth from her moon condo. With her global view of our planet, she has watched her favorite organization, Heifer International, lift over 20.7 million families out of hunger and poverty by empowering them with tools like livestock. Her favorite gift to give is a heifer – one cow can feed a lot of families with all the milk, cheese and kefir they produce!
Xander uses his super telescopic vision to spot Cherry Lime Supernovas and read his favorite books. He donates to Pencils of Promise because they help kids in developing countries get an education by supplying everything a kid needs to learn from pencils to school buildings! 100% of their online donations go directly toward education programs. You can also show your support for this great organization through your Charity Miles App!
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 12/2/2013 4:37 AM
Fresh fruit may not seem to fit with holiday meal traditions like Christmas cookies and baked hams, but without the proud cranberry, we wouldn’t have that perfect tart counterpoint to the very rich, salty and sweet dishes that we love so dearly. Relegated to trail mix in it’s sad, shriveled state the rest of the year, let’s celebrate these little nuggets of sourness in as many ways as possible this holiday season! As champions of all things tart, Lifeway provides you with 6 of our favorite ways here, including our very own limited edition holiday flavor, Cranberry Crème Brulee!
Cranberry Crème Brulee
Silky custard and crisp burnt sugar don’t mind inviting sweet cranberry to the party at all. Southern living has a delicious recipe, but if you’re short on time, or looking for a lighter option, try Lifeway’s seasonal Cranberry Crème Brulee Lowfat Kefir.
Floating Cranberry Votive
As the cranberry commercials have taught us, cranberries are harvested in bogs by curmudgeons and doofuses. You can make them feel more at home in your living space in a floating cranberry votive. Up-cycle your old glass jars to make this craft a little greener.
Cranberry Breakfast Cake
The holidays are fun because you can just cast your muffin tins aside, bake your batter in a baking dish, and you’re too busy reveling in the holiday spirit to feel guilty about eating cake for breakfast. Here’s a recipe for Buttermilk Cranberry Breakfast Cake that we think would be just splendid with kefir instead of buttermilk.
As if the rich cranberry color wasn’t lovely enough, this dress has cute scalloped layers that make it festive holiday party worthy. Fellas need not be left out with these berry manly cranberry chinos.
The tangy juice of this merry berry is a classic with vodka, but why stop there? Here are some great recipes for refreshingly cool concoctions like Cranberry Ginger Margaritas and warm and cozy Crockpot Cranberry Ginger Tea.
Cranberry is notorious for cleansing your kidneys and helping cure UTIs. Add some probiotic kefir and fiber-full oats to keep all your pipes cleansed with this delicious Cranberry Oat Smoothie recipe. Try substituting kefir for yogurt for a greater diversity of digestion balancing bacteria.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 11/29/2013 4:20 AM
Perhaps your Thanksgiving baking called for a splash of kefir in your pumpkin pie or a swirl in your cranberry relish and the resounding success and praise from your family for these recipes led you to wonder, how else can I use kefir in the kitchen? And next, What do I do with all this leftover turkey?
If you happen to have a big loaf of sweet Challah bread on your hands, you’re in luck, because your turkey and sides will pile on to make a magnificent sub like this one with turkey, green beans, Cranberry Horseradish Kefir Relish, and Green Bean Dip. Slice it up and feed the whole family with one sandwich!
We’ve searched our mental recipe catalog and the internet for a few other turkey based meals that can withstand the kick of Lifeway kefir.
Try making these with our Farmers Cheese Mashed Potatoes.
Substitute kefir for sour cream for a lighter dressing.
Use plain kefir instead of milk to give these creamy croquettes some zing.
Use half lowfat or nonfat kefir and half cream to make this recipe a little lighter.
Serve these with a side of plain kefir instead of sour cream to cool the heat from the chilies.
Try topping your casserole with these savory, fluffy Green Onion and Black Pepper Biscuits.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 11/28/2013 5:37 AM
Need an activity for the kids table this year? At Lifeway we are all about recycling and being eco-friendly. All of our bottles are BPA free and are HDPE #2 plastic, which is one of the safest and most commonly recycled plastic in the USA. So we thought, why not spend some time decorating empty kefir bottles?
Here’s what you’ll need to make our Turkey Kefir Bottle:
Prepping your turkey
- 1 empty 32oz Pumpkin Spice bottle (if you don’t have a Pumpkin Spice bottle you can always take the plastic off another 32oz bottle and paint it brown)
- Construction paper: yellow, orange, maroon, and brown (fall colors)
- Two googly eyes
- Liquid glue
- To make the feathers – cut 3 leaf shapes from each color of construction paper.
- To make the Turkey’s feet – cut two rectangles from the orange construction paper. Round out the corners to make them look more like feet.
- For the beak – cut a 1 inch square of orange construction paper, fold in half, and cut so it looks like a triangle. When you open up the square it should be in the shape of a diamond.
- To make the Turkey’s wattle – cut out a 2 inch square of maroon construction paper, fold in half and cut to make a heart shape.
- If you are using a bottle that does not have a Pumpkin Spice Label – your first step is to remove the label and paint the bottle brown. Let dry completely.
- Glue one end of the wattle and the pointed part of the beak together. Glue onto the rim of the bottle – right above where it says “Shake Really Well Before Drinking”
- Glue the googly eyes onto the cap right above the beak.
- Next, glue the feet to the bottom of the bottle. Put glue on half of each foot and stick to the bottom rim.
- Set the bottle to the side to let all applied pieces dry.
- Start arranging the feathers. We found it easiest to make three groups with four feathers in each. Glue the feathers within each group together (in any order you’d like). Set aside and let them dry.
- Once dry, arrange the groups of feathers and tape together. There should be a group on each side and the middle. Put some liquid glue on the back of the bottle and secure the feathers on. Once glued you can secure the feathers with tape to be sure they stay in place while drying.
There you have it – A Turkey kefir bottle! It’s beautiful, eco-friendly, and a great way to display your love for kefir. Visit the Lifeway Pinterest page for more craft ideas and enjoy your Thanksgiving. Gobble Gobble!
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 11/27/2013 12:37 PM
Wrapping up our Thanksgivukkah series, we bring you a mashup fit for your meal’s grand finale. Both Hannukah and Thanksgiving feature a dish that delicately toes the line between dessert and side dish, noodle kugel and sweet potato casserole.
We aren’t sure which cook decided to question the noodle=savory equation, but we are sure glad they did when they made sweet noodle kugel. Our recipe uses plain kefir instead of milk, but Lifeway also makes a traditional Farmers Cheese that would make a great all-natural substitution for cottage cheese in your favorite recipe.
Folks have probably been questioning since its invention why sweet potato casserole, covered in marshmallows, is not on the dessert table, but next to the green beans it remains. For the sake of pie and our love of marshmallows, we decided to keep the sugar and toss the side dish moniker.
Do these sweet side dishes from cross-cultural holidays make as good a match as our Thanksgivukkah algorithm predicts? Absolutely!
From our Lifeway family to yours, Happy Thanksgivukkah!
Sweet Potato Kugel Pie
2 x 10 oz packages lasagna noodles
2 tablespoons butter, softened
16 oz can sweet potato puree
20 oz Lifeway Plain Lowfat Kefir, divided
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
2 cups marshmallows, cut in half
Preheat oven to 350°F. Boil lasagna noodles in lightly salted water for about 8 minutes or until they soft but slightly undercooked. Drain but do not rinse. Spread butter in the bottom and along the sides and rim of a round or oval casserole dish.
In a large bowl, whisk together sweet potato puree, 16 oz kefir (use the sweet potato can to measure), eggs, cinnamon, vanilla, salt and maple syrup.
One at a time, fold each lasagna noodle in half, creating a 45° angle and hang the folded end over the edge of the buttered dish. Layer the noodles around the dish, creating a zig-zag pattern around the top.
Stack the remaining noodles on a cutting board and chop into 2 inch wide pieces. Separate the pieces and add to the sweet potato mixture and stir together. Gently pour the mixture into the baking dish, over the noodles.
Pour the remaining kefir into a small bowl and using a pastry brush, paint the kefir onto the edge of the noodle crust. Sprinkle the turbinado sugar onto the edge of the crust.
Bake for 35 minutes, remove from oven and top with marshmallows and bake again for 20 minutes until the marshmallows are light golden brown. Serve warm.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 11/27/2013 5:49 AM
Asking Lifeway to choose which we like more, eating a delicious meal or being healthy and fit, is like asking us to pick our favorite Home Alone movie – impossible! Luckily our kefir is as nice to our taste buds as it is our general health, and we enjoy it every day. Around holidays like Thanksgiving though, there are always indulgent treats to enjoy in the moment, but might make you feel less than stellar the next day. We recommend blasting those sluggish feelings away with a little exercise!
To stay motivated, look up a local Turkey Trot in your community! Generally poultry-free, these runs are a good way to burn off some of the extra Thanksgiving calories and often have awesome sponsors with tasty and fun rewards for your hard work!
Remember to track your miles with the Charity Miles app, too! Lifeway will make a donation to the charity of your choice when you use the app to track your runs through December 17th.
Lifeway recently sponsored the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival Fit Foodie Run and greeted finishers with a smiling face and a refreshing sample of kefir!
The San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival fun didn’t end there. The Grand Tasting featured delicious bites from area restaurateurs, wine makers, and great companies like Lifeway. Between the tiny towers of pork belly and sips of Sauvignon Blancs, Lifeway dished out our probiotic Mango Curry Crunch Sundae to help balance the scales of health.
We've posted a version of this delicious nibble before, but have an even more delightful version to share with you below.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 11/25/2013 9:55 AM
Thanksgivukkah comes but once every 70,000 years or so. Which is why it’s important to celebrate big when the collision of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah arrives! Luckily, all Lifeway Kefir is certified Kosher, so we can continue to enjoy our tangy beverage and reap the much needed benefit of balanced digestion as we undoubtedly go a little overboard on holiday indulgences.
From Challah Stuffing to Pumpkin Kugel, the possibilities for traditional dish mashups are endless! For our first installment we combine Green Bean Casserole with Fried Artichokes. We learned that fried foods (like latkes!) are traditional for Hannukah because the cooking oil represents the small flask of olive oil that burned to light the newly reclaimed temple in Jerusalem for 8 days.
In honor of Hanukkah, we are highlighting the fried onion element of green bean casserole and adding a dash of Jerusalem flavor with artichokes. Our favorite part of green bean casserole is the crispy onions, but the canned kind can be full of dubious preservatives and ingredients, and the can of condensed soup has quite the list of unmentionables as well. This recipes cuts all that out and because it’s a dip, you can really load up on flavor with soy sauce, fish sauce, and the tangy zing of kefir!
Green Bean Dip with Crispy Artichokes and Onions
Green Bean Dip
½ cup canned mushroom stems and pieces, drained
14.5 oz can cut green beans, drained
½ cup Lifeway Lowfat Plain Kefir
4 oz reduced fat cream cheese
Pinch garlic powder
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/8 teaspoon fish sauce
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and mix on high until smooth. Garnish with fresh green beans if desired and serve with fried onions and artichokes.
Crispy Artichokes and Onions
1 medium onion
2 cups Lifeway Lowfat Plain Kefir
1 cup rice flour
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
2 cups peanut oil
Slice the onion into rings. Clean the artichokes and slice into thin wedges, keeping some of the stem on each piece. (Check out this online tutorial for cleaning artichokes if you’re not familiar!) Immediately cover the artichokes and onions with kefir in a large bowl. Let them soak for about 10 minutes.
While the vegetables are soaking, mix the rice flour, salt, garlic powder, and pepper in a large dish and heat the peanut oil over medium heat (turn it down if it starts smoking).
Remove a handful of onions from the kefir, shake off excess and toss in the rice flour mixture to coat. Shake off excess rice flour and transfer to the hot oil with a slotted spoon or tongs. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side, remove with the slotted spoon and let drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining onions and artichoke hearts until they are all cooked.
Serve immediately with a lemon wedge and Green Bean Dip.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 11/24/2013 10:52 AM
Since Lifeway’s Thanksgivukkah wouldn’t be complete without kefir, we are keeping kosher and skipping the turkey. Turkey is really only good for making moist stuffing and mayonnaise laden sandwiches the next day anyway, so we’ll indulge vegetarian-style instead and make latkes! These traditional Hannukah fritters are typically served with sour cream or applesauce, but to give it a Thanksgiving twist, ours get a dose of Cranberry Kefir Relish.
This dish was inspired by the recipe made famous by NPR’s Susan Stamberg. Her mother-in-law made this every Thanksgiving and Stamberg enjoyed it and talked about it on air probably every year since NPR’s inception in 1972. Latkes have been around much longer, but for a raw cranberry, horseradish, sour cream and sugar relish, 40 years is a solid run. Traditionally paired with Turkey and all its fixings, this relish is great with latkes, too!
Cranberry Kefir Relish
Makes about 3 cups
2 cups fresh cranberries (picked through to remove any soft ones)
¼ cup honey
1 cup Lifeway Greek Style Kefir
½ cup sour cream
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
Add cranberries and honey to a food processor and roughly chop. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Freeze overnight and let thaw in the refrigerator the day of serving. Serve alongside turkey, or latkes while still a little icy. Or just eat it by the spoonful!
The addition of rice flour makes these latkes extra crispy. AP flour can be substituted and will work well, too.
3 medium potatoes
¼ cup chopped chives
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons rice flour
2/3 cup peanut oil
Grate the potatoes using the large grater of a food processor or box grater. Pour enough oil into a medium/large pan for it to be ½ deep and heat on medium.
In a large mixing bowl, mix egg and chives. Add rice flour, salt, and pepper and mix until fully combined. Add the potatoes (but drain any liquid that has collected) and toss until the potatoes are evenly coated.
Drop a small amount of potato into the oil to test the temperature. It should crisp up fairly quickly, but the oil should not be smoking.
Make the latkes 2-3 at a time, not crowding the pan or the oil will get too cool. Use a fork to scoop about 2 tablespoons of mixture in the pan at a time, pressing down lightly to flatten. Flip after about 3 minutes and cook 3 minutes more until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spatula and drain on paper towels.
Serve immediately with sour cream, applesauce, plain kefir or Cranberry Kefir Relish. Happy Thanksgivukkah!