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Kefir Kommunity

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Welcome to Kefir Kommunity! This is your one-stop-shop for nutrition news from around the blogosphere. If it’s got to do with kefir or probiotics, chances are, it’s here. But you’ll also find cutting edge information, articles and links to stories about all things health – from workout trends to cool food science research, delicious recipe suggestions to expert Q & As. We love to share our passion for what we do with the best customers in the world, while offering you exclusive info on special events, deals, promotions and all sorts of other happenings at Lifeway HQ and beyond. We encourage  you to tap into the power of Kefir Kommunity’s blog by reaching out to us or fellow kefir fans with comments or questions. So make yourself at home, pull up a chair and stay a while. We promise to treat you right. 
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Who's Hangry? We've got a hearty helping of mood boosting kefir for you!

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 7/14/2014 9:37 AM



We’ve covered the connection between probiotic food and mood on our blog before.  A diet heavy in probiotics has been linked to decreased depression and anxiety, and we’re finding that a great deal of neurological activity happens in our digestive tract. We’ve had a gut feeling about that all along!

Another age old connection between what we eat and how we feel has recently gotten a fresh round of publicity – acting like a jerk when you’re hungry. This feeling has a fancy new name, “hangry,” allowing short tempered dieters and snack-less Sallys to excuse their bratty behavior easier than ever before.

Renowned researchers are even digging deeper into the connection between attitude and satiety. The “myth-buster” of the social science world, Brad Bushman of Ohio State University, published research linking low blood sugar (a measure of hunger) to increased anger toward a person’s spouse. His study was conducted by having participants measure their blood sugar and stick pins into a voodoo doll representing their spouse before bed. Perhaps dolls made out of Lifeway Kefir bottles? We may never know. We do know that participants with lower blood sugar got after those dolls with statistically significant more zeal. Is being hangry a real excuse for acting like a jerk? Verdict: confirmed!

Luckily, there is a solution – don’t let yourself get so hungry. Lifeway Kefir will give your neurons a little more fuel to function at top capacity and the protein will keep your energy level from crashing later on. 

Lifeway Bug Bites: World Cup Kefir Açai Bowl

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 7/8/2014 9:37 AM


Even if you can’t make it to a World Cup game in Brazil, you can still eat like you’re in the Amazon! Brazilians are crazy about açai! It’s a superfood native to the Amazon rainforest that is rich in antioxidants, fiber, and heart-healthy fats. Blended with a splash of Lifeway Kefir, you can elevate your açai to a live and active breakfast, snack, or even dessert!

 

Prepared like a super thick smoothie and topped with delectable munchies like granola and goji berries, açai is pretty enough to eat! Bom apetite!

 

Kefir Açai Bowl

Serves 1

 

Ingredients

7 ounces frozen açai

1 banana

½ cup Lifeway Lowfat Plain Kefir

 

Optional Toppings

Goji berries

Banana slices

Kiwi slices

Granola

Almonds

Chia seeds

 

Directions

Blend açai, banana, and kefir together in a blender until smooth. Pour mixture into a serving bowl and arrange additional desired ingredients artfully on top.

Lifeway Yoga Mat #KefirGram Giveaway

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 7/2/2014 8:37 AM

lifeway kefir crow pose


Yoga, like kefir, is an excellent daily habit. To make your practice of both a little easier, we are giving away a Lifeway Yoga Mat and 3 VIP coupons for free Lifeway product every week in July to one lucky and talented fan on
Instagram!  To enter to win this awesome bundle of life enhancing goodness, follow these simple steps:

1.       Grab some Lifeway Kefir, pick a setting

2.       Strike a yoga pose and take a sip for the camera

3.       Post to Instagram and tag it as a #KefirGram

The most creative photo tagged each week in July will win our prize pack! Any asana will do as long as you are sipping your favorite Lifeway flavor as you practice it. Tag @LifewayKefir and use the hashtag #KefirGram to be eligible.  Four winners will be selected (every Friday in July) by Lifeway based on creativity, popularity, and use of Lifeway Kefir.

For inspiration we’ll be sharing on Instagram some photos from Wanderlust Vermont, Colorado, and California. Lifeway is travelling nationwide to bring tasty probiotic treats to the wandering yogis at the amazing Wanderlust festivals.  In the words of the Wanderlust’s wisest:

Wanderlust Yoga Festivals are all-out, ecstatic celebrations, bringing together the world’s leading yoga teachers, top musical acts, renowned speakers, exquisite chefs, and thrilling performers, weaving together an experience that surprises and delights. 

We couldn’t agree more. Definitely find your way to a Wanderlust festival if you get a chance. If it’s not in the stars this year, follow Lifeway on Instagram to see the amazing feats of our fans far and wide, and get in the yoga spirit by entering to win one of our yoga mat prize packs!

The Breakfast World Cup: Belgian Waffles vs. Red, White & Blueberry Pancakes

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 7/1/2014 9:37 AM

belgium vs usa

Team USA made it to the second round of the World Cup soccer tournament. Go Team USA!

These matches are long and grueling, but a real hoot to watch. We got hungry just watching these guys run so much, we had to refresh mid-game with a big bowl of Lifeway Frozen Kefir – we went for the new Coconut flavor in honor of the tropical host country, Brazil.

We wondered how each of these teams fuels up before a big game. Do they wash their breakfast down with a big glass of kefir for a hearty dose of protein and a professional level digestive tune up? Are they partial to the pastries of their home nation?

Which do you think will propel the world’s best soccer players to world champion status in today’s USA vs. Belgium game? Lumberjack favorite of the New World, Blueberry Pancakes, or demure but dense Belgian Waffles?

In case you can’t decide, you can whip up a batch of each with the
Lifeway Kefir you already have on hand!

Lifeway Bug Bites: Kefir White Bean Dip

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 6/27/2014 8:37 AM

Tiny tupperwares for holding dips can be very convenient. They are also quite easy to lose. If your little plastic cups with lids are in a better place with their friends mismatched socks and ponytail holders, you can use this nifty trick we picked up on Pinterest: spoon dips like hummus into the bottom of a small mason jar and stack your veggie sticks the jar the tall way to deliver healthy snacks in lunch boxes. How cute! Thanks Pinterest!

Kefir by itself is great in dips, but you’ll want a thicker dip for any mason jar transportation. This Kefir White Bean Dip is super simple and very delicious. Make sure you use really good quality olive oil because they flavor will stand out. And of course use Lifeway kefir as it is the champagne of cultured dairy products.

kefir white bean dip lifeway

Kefir White Bean Dip

15 oz can great northern white beans, drained and rinsed

¼ cup Lifeway Lowfat Plain Kefir

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve with bread, crackers, or veggie sticks.

Lifeway Bug Bites: Kefir Rhubarb Coffee Cake

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 6/22/2014 1:37 PM



This summer, Lifeway is cooking, baking, and blending our favorite summer treats with our favorite probiotic kefir. Full of the good bugs that keep bellies happy year round, our summer recipes are keeping things fresh and fermented. If you're itching to get in the kitchen, try one of our Bugs Bites for a refreshing take on some summertime classics. 



Rhubarb and kefir are kindred spirits that join forces and shine in this tasty coffee cake recipe adapted from
Lottie + Doof. Both ingredients in their most basic, unadulterated form are pretty darn tart, but with a splash of sugar, can be transformed into refreshingly tangy treats.

Because breakfast is the most important meal of the day, we think it’s okay to start it out with a rich, tender cake and a strong cup of coffee. Using kefir instead of buttermilk in the cake works as a great cup for cup substitute. The rhubarb is an early summer substitute for tart cherries, which we’ll have to wait a little longer for. Rhubarb season is reason enough to get excited about baking in our book. The crunchy stalks cook down to a tender, almost jam-like texture that balance out the sweetness of the coffee cake like magic. If you can’t find rhubarb in your back yard, check your local farmers market or grocery store and select stalks that are uniform in thickness for even baking time, and crisp like celery and not too bendy.

Kefir Rhubarb Coffee Cake 

Adapted from Lottie + Doof

For the topping:

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for dish

3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dish

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

For the cake:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup Lifeway Lowfat Plain Kefir

2 cups fresh rhubarb, sliced into ½ inch pieces

Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter a 9-inch round baking dish, dust with flour, tap out excess.

In a medium bowl, stir together butter, flour, sugars, salt, and cinnamon. Set topping aside.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Working in alternating batches, add flour mixture and kefir, beginning and ending with flour. Beat until just combined. Pour into prepared dish, and smooth with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Dot top with rhubarb pieces, and sprinkle with crumb topping.

Bake until golden and a tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cool before cutting.

#MotherCulture Mamas Part 6: The first time mom

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 6/17/2014 6:37 AM


As part of our new
 #MotherCulture campaign, we’re interviewing moms all month for their inspiring takes on healthy motherhood. Moms have one of the toughest jobs in the world and we at Lifeway applaud you for all that you do to make our world a happier, healthier place!

 

Mom: Desty Kann, 31, Chicago, expecting her first child

 

Congratulations on your pregnancy! What part of motherhood are you most looking forward to?

 

Cuddle time! Bonding, having her sleep on me, just cuddles in general.

 

And what scares you the most?

 

Giving birth, clearly, just because I’ve never done it before. And I worry about being able to show her the world – just the overall ability to provide her with the right mix of love, opportunities, exposing her to different cultures…but not just handing her everything. I hope to be able to give her a well-rounded childhood and teach her to love others and herself.

 

What has been your biggest pregnancy craving? Don’t say pickles.

 

Pickles! And tomatoes and anything spicy, like Indian and Mexican food.

 

Any food turnoffs?

 

Onions. I like them normally but pregnant, I just can’t.

 

Have you kept exercising while pregnant?

 

Yes, I take Spin class, do the elliptical, go for walks, do a little yoga.  Emotionally and physically, it makes me feel better. And research shows it helps with delivery.  Plus, it’s a great stress release.

 

Any items or traditions that you hope to pass down from your mom and grandmother?

 

My great-grandmother had a jewelry tree that I inherited. It’s a beautiful gold frame with beveled glass filled with her and her siblings’ vintage jewelry, arranged in the shape of a topiary. It’s in the baby’s room above her crib, waiting for her arrival.  As far as traits, I just hope to be loving and kind – that’s what I think of when I think of my mom.

 

 

Pomegranate Kefir Baba Ghanoush for a "Pampered Papa" on Father's Day

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 6/13/2014 8:55 AM
Ottolenghi’s Eggplant with Buttermilk Sauce is such a beautiful dish, they put it on the cover of a book that is full, cover to cover with beautiful dishes, Plenty. It has undoubtedly inspired many a home cook to not only buy this book, but also learn how to seed a pomegranate, search far and wide for specialty spice mixes, and turn their oven up to 400˚F in the dead heat of eggplant season to make this dish. Making this dish exactly as is will not disappoint, however we’d also like to note it is very tasty and more probiotic with Lifeway Kefir in the sauce instead of buttermilk.

Inspired by the delightful sweet pop of pomegranate seeds in this saucy meal, we thought we’d try making a kefir dip with a splash of our Lowfat Pomegranate Kefir, often overlooked in the savory category. It’s perfect mixed with our plain for a tangy and sweet counterbalance to eggplant, which can sometimes have a bitter edge. We had Indian eggplants on hand, but American eggplants will work well, too. If you can’t find za’atar or sumac, you can order some online from one of our neighbors, local Chicago business The Spice House, make your own, or use a little crushed up thyme instead. We used just sumac for its light lemony flavor.

This dip is similar to Baba Ghanoush with it's roasted eggplant base, and is perfect for Father's Day! The word Baba Ghanoush translates roughly to "Pampered Papa" in English and we couldn't think of a better way to spoil your dad than by cooking him a delicious meal on his special day!

pomegranate kefir eggplant lifeway

Pomegranate Kefir Baba Ghanoush

8 Indian eggplants or 4 small American eggplants

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoon Lifeway Lowfat Pomegranate Kefir

2 tablespoons Lifeway Lowfat Plain Kefir

1 clove garlic, minced

Salt and black pepper to taste
za’atar, sumac or crushed dried thyme for garnish

Extra olive oil for garnish

Preheat oven to 400˚F. Slice eggplants in half and score the flesh in a ½ inch grid pattern, without cutting through the skin, and place skin side down on a sheet tray. Drizzle olive oil evenly over the eggplants and sprinkle with salt. Bake for about 40 minutes or until very tender. Remove from the oven to let cool, eggplant flesh will collapse while cooling.

When the eggplant is cooled, scoop the flesh out of the skin and into a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with olive oil and za’atar, sumac, or crushed thyme. Serve with pita and vegetables.

Lifeway Bug Bites: Kefir Plum Almond Overnight Oats

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 6/12/2014 8:37 AM

Overnight oats are a great way to give your future self a fighting chance at eating a wholesome breakfast when you’re in a time crunch. With kids to get out the door and off to school and dogs that need walks, it’s easy for breakfast to get forgotten or picked up from a not so wholesome case of pastries at your corner coffee shop.

Overnight oats can get thrown together quickly the night before you’re planning on enjoying them or even a few days ahead of time – they’ll keep in the fridge for several days. This variation was inspired by one of Lifeway’s newest grab and go options, an even easier option for lucky folks who shop at stores who jumped on Lifeway Kefir with Oats. Vanilla Plum is one of 3 fruity flavors  in our new line of drinkable oat kefirs. This version you’ll want to eat with a spoon! Every day. No more excuses for skipping a healthy breakfast!

kefir plum overnight oats lifeway

Kefir Plum Overnight Oats

1 plum, sliced

¼ cup old fashioned rolled oats

½ teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon slivered almonds

1 tablespoon sugar

1 cup Lifeway Lowfat Plain Kefir

Mix all ingredients together in a glass jar or Tupperware. Refrigerate overnight. Stir and enjoy.

 

#MotherCulture Mamas Part 5: The Nutrition Expert

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 6/11/2014 8:37 AM

As part of our new #MotherCulture campaign, we’re interviewing moms all month for their inspiring takes on healthy motherhood. Moms have one of the toughest jobs in the world and we at Lifeway applaud you for all that you do to make our world a happier, healthier place!

 

Mom: Rebecca Scritchfield, Washington, DC, 37, mom to a 19-month-old daughter and a newborn baby girl.

 As a registered dietitian, people might assume that healthy eating is a snap. But the truth is, being a member of the #MotherCulture leaves you with almost zero time to care for yourself. How do you make sure you’re feeding your body well?

For me, when I’m the only one eating, I have to make sure I’m putting some effort in. Otherwise, it’s too easy to just pop in a frozen meal or eat a bowl of cereal for lunch, and if I’ve already had cereal for breakfast, that makes it almost impossible to get all of your nutrients for the day. So I try to balance grabbing something quick with grabbing something healthy. There’s no time to make egg salad from scratch, so I’ll buy some egg salad from the grocery store along with some bagged salad greens. Or I’ll make a smoothie for lunch, with lots of fruit and dairy for protein. Moms need to remember that their time is worth a healthy meal, too. 

Have you had any challenges in terms of encouraging your toddler to eat healthy foods?

One of my biggest challenges has been being flexible with changes in her appetite and food preferences. One day, she loves blueberries; the next day, she’s off of blueberries and only wants raspberries. Then, on other days, she doesn’t want any fruit at all. That’s normal. Some days, I don’t want fruit either! With veggies, raw leafy greens are so nutritious and they’re easy for older kids and adults to eat but harder for kids, so we’ll do peas, corn, cooked carrots. I’m always trying to add in nutrition – if I make her mac and cheese, I’ll add in small pieces of broccoli and cooed chicken to make her plate more balanced. Even if she picks around it, I’ve done my part. Or if I cook her eggs in the morning, I’ll add in avocado with fruit on side.

So many myths are out there about exercising while pregnant. Did you continued to workout through your pregnancies?

Absolutely. I take a 50-minute strength training class two or three times a week, and it’s kind of like Pilates on steroids. I ran two to three times per week for anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes. Sometimes it starts with a 20-minute walk but then something clicks in my body and I feel ready to start jogging and by the end, I’m like, “Where is this energy coming from?!” because I feel so good. And I tried to take 10 minutes a day to practice calm, relaxed breathing, where I lay down, breathed in lavender oil and touched my belly. It was for stress management and relaxation, and those skills can be utilized during delivery.

You are all about promoting “Me first” time, encouraging women to take time to care for themselves – a crucial but often overlooked part of #MotherCulture. What are so ways moms can remember to put themselves first?

Prenatal massages are wonderful, plus your baby benefits from the positive effects of touch.  If massages are too expensive, try a warm bath with some lavender oil, ask your partner for a foot massage or get a spa pedicure.

What inspires you most as a mom?

That I have an opportunity to help shape another person’s life, to continue on another generation. I’ve inspired clients and coworkers before, and those are great accomplishments, but it’s different than shaping your child’s health and life. That’s motivating, and it keeps me going day to day. 

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