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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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Everything is frozen smoothie!

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 2/20/2014 12:14 PM
frozen fruit smoothie lifeway kefir

It's been so cold in Chicago, all our groceries freeze solid by the time we get home! To use up some of our bounty of frozen fruit, we created this delicious and refreshing berry peach smoothie recipe. Nothing brightens up a cold winter day like a tutti frutti beverage and a few fresh flowers!

Frozen Tundra Smoothie

Ingredients:

8oz Low Fat plain kefir

6oz water

2 tsp honey

½ cup of fresh or frozen Strawberries

½ cup of frozen berries

1 banana

1 cup frozen sliced peaches

 ** You can always switch up the fruit or proportions, depending on how thick or fruity you want it.

 Directions:

1.       If you’re using frozen fruit, leave at room temperature for 20 minutes or so to soften up.

2.       Wash and rinse any fresh fruit

3.       Add the kefir and fruit to the blender and blend.

4.       While blending, add the water and honey. You can add more water for a thinner consistency, or less if you’d like it thicker.

Serve chilled and enjoy! 




When in Sochi! Remember Your Russian Superstitions

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 2/19/2014 11:30 AM

sochi superstitions

Team USA is really killing it on the slopes, on the ice, and in the air at this year’s Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. It looks to us like athletes from all over the world are bringing top level skills and grade A determination to the games, so we thought we’d share a few of our favorite Lifeway office good luck rituals to give our guys and gals an edge. Lifeway’s expertise on Russian superstitions traces all the way back to our founder’s hometown of Kiev in the former Soviet Union.

Here are some simple things athletes should make sure NOT to do in Sochi this winter, lest they be cursed with a spate of bad luck:

Eat off of a knife

Put your keys on a table

Sit at the corner of a table

Put an empty bottle on a table

Take a shot of vodka without giving a toast

Spill salt

Return to your home to retrieve a forgotten item without looking in the mirror when you reenter

Take out the trash at night

Accept knives as a gift

Leave home to travel without sitting down in the living room just before leaving the house


If you slip up, there is a simple fix:
 knock on wood and spit - just be careful to be sportsmanlike about it!

Happy Birthday Messrs. President!

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 2/17/2014 6:37 AM

strawberries n cream lifeway kefir white cake

Birthdays come but once a year, making it difficult to perfect layer cake making with so much time in between trials. Luckily there is President’s Day for us to celebrate the birth of the original POTUS, George Washington and a favorite in Lifeway’s Land of Lincoln,
Honest Abe himself.

happy presidents day

Our favorite birthday cakes of course contain kefir. Like buttermilk, it makes a moist and tender cake, and the whipped whites in this recipe give it a heavenly lightness. Our seven minute frosting doubled as a light filling with fresh strawberries, but lemon curd or strawberry jam would make an excellent filling here, too.

building a lifeway kefir cake

Happy Birthday Messrs. President!

Strawberries 'N Cream Cake

Adapted from Martha Stewart

Makes 2, 9 in cakes or 2, 6 in cakes plus ½ loaf pan

3 cups cake flour, (not self-rising)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature

2 1/4 cups sugar

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup Lifeway Organic Lowfat Strawberries ‘N Cream Kefir

8 large egg whites, room temperature

Seven-Minute Frosting

1 pint fresh strawberries

 

 

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 6 inch round cake pans and one loaf pan; line bottoms with parchment paper. Butter parchment, and dust with flour, tapping out excess; set aside.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and 2 cups sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add in vanilla. On a low speed, add 1/3 of the flour mixture, then half the kefir, then repeat until all the flour and kefir are just incorporated. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Clean the bowl for the electric mixer with soap, rinse, and fit the mixer with the whisk attachment. Beat the egg whites on low speed until foamy. With mixer running, gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Increase the speed to high and beat until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 4 minutes. Do not overbeat. Gently fold a third of the egg-white mixture into the kefir mixture until combined. Gently fold in remaining whites.

Fill the prepared round pans about 2/3 full, smoothing with an offset spatula, then pour the remaining batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until cakes are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool 20 minutes. Invert cakes onto rack; peel off parchment. Reinvert cakes, and let them cool completely, top sides up.

Prepare your seven minute frosting and fill a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip. Slice strawberries into ¼ in thick planks and reserve a handful of edge slices for decorating.

Using a serrated knife, trim tops of cake layers to make level, then slice each layer in half, making two thin rounds. Pipe a small dollop of frosting into the center of the serving plate and place one layer on top, cut side up. Spread a thin layer of frosting on the cake and pipe a large bead around the outside edge. Place a layer of strawberries in the center and spread a little more frosting over top. Stack the next layer on top and repeat with layers of frosting and strawberries for the next 3 layers, making sure the top layer. Spread entire cake with remaining frosting, smoothing with an offset spatula. Decorate the top with strawberry ends.

Repeat the same layering process with squares cut from your loaf pan to make a mini cake for future presidents!

baby kefir cake

Pt. 2: Nuts About you! A triple tree nut blackberry heart healthy Valentine’s Day smoothie

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 2/14/2014 5:37 AM

For the one you love, you give them a Blackberry Heart Health BioKefir every morning. Rich in antioxidants and with double the probiotics of a serving of regular Lifeway Kefir, you keep their guts and heart in shape.

On Valentine’s Day, you might want to go the extra mile and make their morning shot of probiotics something truly special. For you, on Valentine’s week, we made this omega-3 rich smoothie, with almonds, cashews, and walnuts, all with cholesterol lowering monounsaturated fats and delicious dark berries to brighten your day of hearts, candy, and lovey-dovey wonders. We even gave it a dash of maca powder (it helps if you toss a handful into the blender like a sorcerer) to boost libido! Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

Triple Tree Nut Blackberry Smoothie

1 bottle Blackberry Heart Health BioKefir

1 cup blackberries, fresh or frozen

¼ cup cashew cream

¼ cup walnut cream

¼ cup unsweetened almond milk

1 tablespoon maca powder

1 cup ice

Fresh blackberries for garnish

Reserve a handful of fresh blackberries and blend remaining ingredients in a blender until smooth. Transfer to a serving glass and top with berries.

blackberry biokefir smoothie

Cashew Cream

1 ½ cups raw, unsalted cashews

¾ cup water

Pinch salt

1 tablespoon honey

Completely cover nuts with water in a bowl and soak overnight. Drain and transfer to a blender. Add ½ cup water and remaining ingredients. Blend on high for 3-5 minutes until the mixture is very smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Store in the refrigerator and use within a few days.

 

Walnut Cream

1 ½ cups raw, unsalted walnuts

¾ cup water

Pinch salt

1 tablespoon honey

Completely cover nuts with water in a bowl and soak overnight. Drain and transfer to a blender. Add ½ cup water and remaining ingredients. Blend on high for 3-5 minutes until the mixture is very smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Store in the refrigerator and use within a few days.

 

 

Our pint –sized healthy heart hero

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 2/12/2014 4:57 PM


Ella Turner is a playful, high-energy third grader living in Edmond, Oklahoma, and chances are, she’s done more in her nine years to help fight heart disease than most of us will do in a lifetime. In 2010, Ella and her parents, mom Usha and dad Neil, suffered an unspeakable loss when their youngest child, Colby, passed away at age two after battling a rare disorder called geleophysic dysplasia (it attacks the heart, bones, lungs and other organs.) At the time, Ella was just five years old…but no one had a clue what kind of wheels were turning in her mind.
 
When Ella started kindergarten the next year, her class watched a video about the American Heart Association one day, promoting their Jump Rope for Heart campaign. Knowing her baby sister had had a “sick heart,” Ella was inspired to become involved, and she told her parents that she wanted to start raising money – more than $1000, to be exact.
 
“At first, I thought, ‘That’s a ton of money,’ and I didn’t want her to be let down,” Neil recalls. “I said, ‘You don’t understand how much $1000 is.’ And she said, ‘You don’t understand – this is for kids with sick hearts like Colby.’” The next morning, Ella got started, with her parents posting about their spunky daughter’s efforts on their Facebook pages. Within a day, Ella had reached her goal. The community backed her up, newspapers started calling, and Ella raised $5700 over the next eight weeks. Soon, the AHA contacted the Turners, inviting Ella to speak at one of their meetings; she helped kickoff their National Center Dallas Heart Walk (and currently serves as an AHA heart ambassador.) So far, the Turners, spearheaded by Ella, have raised more than $27,000 for heart health awareness.
 
Ella needs healthy snacks to keep her energy up so she can power through a long afternoon of jumproping, as well as her weekly afterschool swim practices. It’s a good thing her mom and dad stock the family fridge with Lifeway kefir! Mango, peach and plain flavors, to be exact. Lifeway is extremely proud to count her as a fan, and we salute Ella Turner for all of her healthy heart endeavors…and we wish her parents good luck, as they are expecting a baby boy, due – quite fittingly – on Valentine’s Day!
 
Learn more about Ella at http://www.ellajumps.com/ and follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/EllaJumps
 

Happy Birthday Abe Lincoln!

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 2/12/2014 10:37 AM
If you could throw a birthday party for any US president, who would it be and what would you serve?

We would definitely choose Abe Lincoln because he is from Illinois just like Lifeway and we would serve lemon cake and frozen kefir because with his untimely death, Abe missed the invention of the freezer and never enjoyed the convenience of delicious, probiotic frozen treats without having to hand crank a batch himself probably!

And we would throw it today because it is Honest Abe's Birthday! Happy Bday Abraham Lincoln!

happy birthday abraham lincoln

Lifeway Spa Day: Moisturizing Kefir Facial

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 2/11/2014 10:37 AM

As Lifeway headed to New York Fashion Week this week we were sure to freshen up our look, but before we let a drop of lip gloss touch our face, we started with a glowing foundation of smooth, balanced skin.

Lifeway fans hear a lot about the microbiome that resides in the gut, but there are peaceful, non-pathogenic bacteria that live elsewhere on the human body, including the skin. Antibacterial products, harsh soaps and even harsh winters can alter the balance of microbes on the skin, making it susceptible to a range of irritations. It’s no wonder generations of kefir fans have been applying the probiotic wonderfood topically to exfoliate, hydrate and re-balance delicate facial skin.

Like many folk remedies, kefir as skin cream has a modern scientific explanation. It contains Alpha Hydroxy Acid (an ingredient found in many commercial skin care products) in the form of lactic acid. It rejuvenates the skin by breaking down the lipids that hold skin cells together, allowing older cells to slough off and young, radiant skin to shine through.

We put together this seasonal concoction to help us through the rough winter, our hometown of Chicago’s coldest in 30 years! It’s very moisturizing for dry skin and doesn’t require an extra trip to the grocery store – all the ingredients can be found in most every kitchen. And if you’re looking to rejuvenate in Chicago, check out our CEO Julie Smolyansky’s list of favorite places to refresh in the city during the cold winter months on Racked.

Lifeway Kefir moisturizing facial

 
Moisturizing Kefir Facial Mask

2 tablespoons Lifeway Lowfat Plain Kefir

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 egg yolk

Mix all the ingredients and spread a thin layer onto clean skin. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes then rinse off with warm water. Splash a little cold water over the skin to close up the pores. Moisturize as usual. 

Nuts About You! A Chocolate Cherry Macadamia Heart Healthy Valentine’s Day Smoothie

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 2/10/2014 5:14 AM

If you’re a fan of kefir, you know that Lifeway loves your guts, but Valentine’s Day is a matter of the heart, so we wanted to make sure you know that we want all your important organs in tip top shape with a special heart healthy smoothie.

We start the smoothie off with our Cherry BioKefir, which includes heart healthy, antioxidant ingredients like cherry juice concentrate, green tea extract, and 20 colony forming units of probiotic cultures (twice that of an 8oz serving of regular Lifeway kefir)! Macadamia nuts add a hearty dose of mono-unsaturated fats that help reduce cholesterol levels. And since it’s Valentine’s Day, we added a pinch of maca root powder – know to boost libido, oo-la-la!

black cherry biokefir smoothie

Chocolate Cherry Macadamia Smoothie

1 bottle Black Cherry Heart Health BioKefir

1 cup frozen black cherries

¼ cup, plus 1 tablespoon macadamia nut cream

¼ cup unsweetened almond milk

1 tablespoon maca powder

1 cup ice

1 tablespoon chocolate chips

Reserve 1 cherry, 1 tablespoon macadamia nut cream, and chocolate chips and blend remaining ingredients in a blender until smooth. Transfer to a serving glass and top with cream, chocolate and cherry.

 

Macadamia Nut Cream

1 ½ cups raw, unsalted macadamia nuts

¾ cup water

Pinch salt

1 tablespoon honey

Completely cover nuts with water in a bowl and soak overnight. Drain and transfer to a blender. Add ¾ cup water and remaining ingredients. Blend on high for 3-5 minutes until the mixture is very smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Store in the refrigerator and use within a few days.

Grapefruit & Kefir Granita

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 2/7/2014 9:37 AM
You’re the Sweet to my Sour

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Grapefruits are pink
Acidophilus is ecru

grapefruit and kefir granita

Poetry and probiotics go together like kefir and grapefruits. Sounds weird but tastes great! Well, the post-it note this poem was written on actually needed a little salt, but the recipe that inspired it sure is tasty and perfectly pink for your valentine's day sweetheart!

Grapefruit and kefir are both rather zesty ingredients on their own, and combined in a chilled granita, the ladylike pink shavings pack a delicious punch! The bitterness of grapefruits is tamed by simmering the zest and adding a little sugar to the juice.

If you love someone’s guts, give them a big probiotic hug with kefir!

 

Grapefruit & Kefir Granita

Serves 4

1 grapefruit

1 cup sugar

1 cup grapefruit juice

2 cups Lifeway Organic Whole Milk Plain Kefir

 

Zest the grapefruit and bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add the zest to the boiling water, reduce the heat, and simmer for 3 minutes. Drain the water and return the zest to the pan. Add the grapefruit juice and sugar, and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, until you have about 1 cup of liquid. Let cool for about 5 minutes.

Add the kefir to the juice mixture and stir to combine. Transfer to a 9x9 baking dish and freeze for 4 hours, stirring every 30 minutes.

To serve, use a metal spoon to scrape the mixture out of the pan and into chilled serving dishes. Garnish with grapefruit supremes.

Can Artisan Toast be Eaten Mindfully?

By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 2/6/2014 7:37 AM

lifeway frozen kefir bars yoga

We know that the kind of food we put in our body effects our health, but we rarely consider the impact of the way in which the food arrives to our tummies. Taking note of all the psychological and spiritual processes of dining, or
eating mindfully, is becoming an ever popular take on dieting that doesn’t require deprivation of a single item of food.

Does this mean that sommeliers and connoisseurs of the latest artisan toast trend are on to something spiritually and healthfully enlightening? Taking the time to taste your food is certainly one of the main pillars of eating mindfully, but mindful eaters are non-judgmental tasters.   Mindful eating is more about turning off external distractions to bring your mind to the act of eating more consciously. When you put away your phone, turn off the TV, and even pause conversation while you chew, swallow, and sit, you are more likely to notice what food your body is craving and when you’re full.  

It’s easy to miss the sweet nuances of a slice of whole grain toast with fresh, amish butter when you’re eating it during morning traffic, or the sparkling tang of a Cherry Lime ProBugs Blast when you are packing lunches for your family of four. We’ve compiled a few tips on how to eat mindfully and possibly, in the process, feel a little better between meals, too.

 

Turn off the TV, computer, iPad, light bright, screens of all sorts.

Eat in silence. If you are blessed with talkative eating companions, try one snack or meal a day that you can eat alone.

Take a deep breath, count to ten as you exhale, then eat.

Engage your sense of smell. Take in your food’s aroma and notice how it adds a layer of meaning to your meal.

Put your fork down between bites.

Chew each bite 20 times.

Practice Yoga, just maybe not while you’re eating. Yoga can increase awareness of your body’s dietary needs or it can be a satisfying way to take a break from your day without snacking.

Eat off of real plates with real utensils. Show your foods you cherish them with a nice frame.

Sit at a table. Set the table with cutlery, beverages, and maybe a vase of flowers to spruce up your delicious, meditative space.

Hold the side of judgment. Forget about scales and calories. Eat a french fry dipped in mayo, savor the combination of textures and flavor, stop when you’re satisfied, note how it makes your body feel.

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