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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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Recipes




Labor Day Recipe Roundup

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 8/29/2014 9:51 AM
Labor Day weekend is upon us, which means many will be celebrating with parties and picnics. Let your friends at Lifeway give you a hand with some tasty recipe ideas that won't force you to spend all of your time working the grill. Plus, these snacks are a great way to sneak in some probiotics to counteract all of the other stuff you might consume over the weekend!

How about some sweet potato fries with a kefir chipotle dipping sauce? No frying required!



Or maybe a light and tangy kohlrabi and cabbage slaw



Of course, there's something to be said for tradition. Potato salad is always a winner, and this one has a probiotic boost! 



What's for light and fruity and perfect for dessert? You could take the easy route and pick up some of our new frozen kefir bars in a store near you, or we'll teach you how to make your own frozen kiwi kefir pops!



 

Lifeway Bug Bites: Okroshka Chilled Kefir Soup

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 8/22/2014 7:37 AM

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. 




Gazpacho and vichyssoise get a lot of attention when chilled soups are on the menu. But our favorite summer soup at Lifeway combines the best of both the Spanish and French favorites with a Russian twist. Versatile and almost infinitely customizable like gazpacho, yet creamy, filling and satisfying like vichyssoise, Okroshka is a delicious Russian summer tradition we are happy to enjoy stateside. This recipe is a great example of Lifeway's own #MotherCulture, inspired by the native land of our founders the Smolyansky family and customized to the specifications of our Marketing Director, Marina, just how her Ukranian Mom makes it.

While our parents’ and grandparents’ Old World versions were most often made with a combination of kefir and water as the base, we add a splash of richness with chicken stock instead. If you’d like to make a vegetarian version, water or vegetable stock are fine substitutes. Non-meat eaters can also omit the bologna, or you can customize the recipe to include your family’s favorite member of the finely ground sausage family: kielbasa, hot dogs or even ham will work great. If you don’t have a red potato, any waxy potato will do. And any crisp garden veggie will add texture and fresh flavor to the party.

The perfect recipe to accompany a morning at the farmers market or a trip to your vegetable patch, enjoy Okroshka any way you dice it!

 

Okroshka

2 cups Lifeway Original Kefir (or your favorite plain, traditional variety: Krestiansky, Bazarny, Weijski)

1 cup low sodium chicken broth

1 tablespoon dill, chopped

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup scallions, sliced

2 hard boiled eggs, diced

1 large red potato, cooked, peeled, and diced

½ cucumber, diced

2 radishes, halved and sliced thin

½ cup bologna, diced

Whisk together the kefir, chicken broth, dill, and salt, and refrigerate mixture for 30 minutes. Slice or dice to 1 cm size the remaining ingredients and divide evenly among 4 bowls. Pour ¾ cup kefir mixture into each bowl and serve immediately, chilled.

Seize the Summer with A Pineapple Banana Kefir Smoothie

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 8/18/2014 10:43 AM


As of this writing, we have only 
35 days 9 hours, 30 minutes and 37 seconds of summer remaining. What better way to truly seize the summer than with a simple yet refreshing fruit smoothie? Here’s our take on a pineapple banana smoothie.

Ingredients:

1 cup pineapple, cut into chunks

1 banana

1 cup Lifeway Low Fat Kefir

Combine banana, pineapple, and Low Fat Plain kefir in a blender. Blend until smooth. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Serves 1

Lifeway Bugs Bites: Kefir Ranch Dressing

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 8/5/2014 7:37 AM



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. 



The three magic ingredients that can transform anything into a kid-friendly meal are cheese, peanut butter, and ranch dressing. Is there any health food so appalling that it cannot be saved by one of these things? Funky green smoothie?
 Add some peanut butter. Noses turned up at broccoli? Melt on some cheese. Celery sticks left untouched? Slide over a side of ranch! We're still testing it out, but this fact may be one of the pillars of Lifeway #MotherCulture truth. 

You may have heard that children are more sensitive to tastes, and more likely to refuse veggies and dishes that aren’t sweet enough, because they have more taste buds than adults. Their pickiness might also be due to a weariness of new flavors, not necessarily stronger ones.

Either way a dip into a dish of ranch dressing can help the carrot sticks go down. Many store bought varieties are loaded with fat and preservatives, but it’s easy to make your own at home. Naturally low fat buttermilk is a classic ingredient that usually gets mixed with sour cream or mayonnaise. Our version uses whole milk kefir to achieve a little richness and no mayo. But if you want a thicker, more decadent dressing or dip, you can use up to half the amount of kefir and substitute half with mayonnaise. The herbs can also be switched out based on what you have on hand; tarragon, cilantro, and basil are other good choices.

 

Kefir Ranch Dressing

1 ½ cups Lifeway Organic Whole Milk Kefir

1 clove fresh garlic

1 tablespoon fresh dill, finely chopped

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 tablespoon fresh chives, finely chopped

2 teaspoons lemon juice

½ teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Whisk all ingredients together, cover and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving. 

Lifeway Bug Bites: Potato Salad with a Probiotic Kickstart

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 7/27/2014 4:02 PM


Picnic food and crowdfunding recently collided and the results were surprisingly lucrative. An Ohio man who goes by the name of Zach Danger Brown decided to make some potato salad this summer but was short on cash. Like any internet-savvy picnic-er would, Zach set up a Kickstarter to fund his side dish and has so far earned over $50,000 in pledges.
 
Kickstarter is a website that allows creative and entrepreneurial folk to reach out to the world wide Internet for financial support on their endeavors. Most Kickstarter campaigns are geared towards seeding a business venture, we like that Zach’s is more mayo driven.
 
Our Lifeway potato salad recipe will most likely fall under the $10 per batch Zach estimated his potato salad to cost and has a splash more probiotic cultures, too! Lifeway is always there for you in the checkout lane anyway – you can download coupons for all our delicious kefir products every month!
 
 
Lifeway Potato Salad
Serves 6
 
Ingredients
1 ½ pounds red potatoes (about 12 small)
1/3 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons Lifeway Original Kefir or any Whole Milk variety
1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup chives, chopped fine
¼ cup chopped celery (1 stalk)
 
Instructions
Cover the potatoes in cold water and salt the water generously. Bring to a boil and let cook, uncovered for about 15 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Drain and let cool.
 
Whisk together the mayonnaise, kefir, mustard, black pepper, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
 
When the potatoes are cool enough to touch but still warm, slice them into ½ in chunks and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Pour the dressing over the warm potatoes and stir to coat. Mix in the celery and chives and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight.
 
Before serving, season with additional salt and pepper to taste and add more kefir if necessary and a creamier texture is desired. 

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.

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.

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.

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