By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 12/22/2012 1:51 PM
Have you been looking for a good reason to visit our corporate office in Morton Grove? We know you have been! Well, we have the perfect excise - we've teamed up with the American Red Cross to host a blood drive!
The blood drive is on December 27th from 11am - 4pm and everyone who gives will walk away with some cool Lifeway swag and coupons for free products!
Please contact Brenda at email@example.com or call 312-927-0635 to schedule an appointment. Sorry, but we won't be able to accomodate walk-ins!
We hope to see you there!
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 12/21/2012 8:59 AM
Stephanie from The Science of Eating is back with another guest post and mouth-watering (yet healthy!) recipe that will leave your family saying "this is spinach?"
Peppermint is an old herbal medicine that was used to treat many abdominal issues. It’s still used to relieve symptoms of morning sickness, nausea, cramps and bloating.
Coconut milk contains antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties that boost our immune system, and help to keep us from getting ill by warding off colds and coughs.
The secret ingredient in this pie is spinach, one of the most nutrient-dense foods in existence. It is a good, very good or excellent source of more than 20 different measurable nutrients, including dietary fiber, calcium and protein. Spinach also contains antioxidants to neutralize free radicals in the body, which some people believe can prevent cancer. Helios Organic Nonfat Kefir is full of probiotics and omega-3s, which can aid digestion, support immunity and cleanse your system. It’s gluten-free, and contains a type of fiber that optimizes your body’s calcium absorption.
Chocolate Mint Pie
- 1 pkg Nasoya Lite Firm Tofu, pressed & divided
- Helios Organic Plain Nonfact Kefir (see directions for measurements)
- 2 Tsp. Saco Premium Cocoa Powder
- 1 Cup Spinach
- 5 1/2 Tbsp. Stevia In The Raw, or more to taste (divided)
- 2 Tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 Tsp. Pure Peppermint Extract
- 1/3 Cup Organic Cool Whip
- Chocolate Topping: 1 Tbsp. Semi Sweet Chocolate Morsels + 2 Tsp. Silk Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
- 1 - Chocolate Almond Pie Crust
- Make Chocolate Almond Pie Crust Crust, set aside.
- Divide pressed tofu into 3 equal pieces. Pour 1/4 cup kefir into the blender, then take 1/3 of the tofu, spinach, 1 & 1/2 Tbsp. stevia, peppermint extract and blend until creamy.
- Pour into the pie crust, then spread out evenly and refrigerate while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
- Wash out your blender, then pour the other 1/3 Cup kefir, the other two pieces of tofu, vanilla, 4 Tbsp. stevia, cocoa and blend until creamy.
- Remove pie from the refrigerator, add chocolate tofu mixture to the top and spread out evenly.
- Place back into the refrigerator to set up all the way, 3-4 hours.
- Once set, decorate with organic cool whip with a cake decorator or by just spreading over the top of the pie.
- In a small pot over low heat melt chocolate morsels and almond milk.Drizzle over the pie and serve.
- 147 Calories
- 9g Fat
- 8g Carbs
- 9g Protein
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 12/18/2012 1:01 PM
Today's guest blog post comes from Kammie, a healthy living food blogger from right here in Chicago. Check out her Sensual Appeal Blog for some healthy yet delicious food porn, recipes, and general health tips.
What's your favorite Holiday flavor? I didn't really have one until I tried a peppermint hot chocolate for the first time. Ever since, I've loved the flavor. I've always been a chocoholic so that's actually nothing new... I made peppermint mocha protein pancakes with the drink as inspiration and I did not want to stop there.Today I bring you another peppermint creation - the peppermint chocolate baked donuts! They are healthy, yet delicious - very chocolatey and pepperminty. I loved them drizzled with some extra Lifeway Kefir on top. Just look how pretty it makes it look.. plus I love the flavor complexity ;)
Peppermint Chocolate Baked Donuts
by Kamila Gornia
Ingredients (6 donuts)
- 3 Tbsp sprouted whole wheat flour
- 3 Tbsp almond flour
- 2 Tbsp chocolate protein powder (I used Isopure)
- 2 Tbsp Special Dark cocoa powder
- 1 Tbsp Inka or instant coffee granules
- 2 Tbsp xylitol
- 14 drops peppermint stevia (I used SweetLeaf)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 3 Tbsp liquid egg whites
- 1/4 cup Lifeway Nonfat Plain Kefir
- 2 tsp peppermint extract
- 1 tsp coconut oil, melted
- 2 Tbsp applesauce, unsweetened
Preheat oven to 430 degrees and prepare one donut pan. Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix all of the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl. Add wet to dry and stir to combine. Fill each donut cavity 2/3 full. Bake for ~10 minutes.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 12/17/2012 4:45 PM
Why should you vote for Lifeway Coconut-Chia Kefir? We have five good reasons:
- Chia seeds are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, plus they provide protein, fiber, calcium, antioxidants and a plethora of other health benefits when added to your diet.
- Our Coconut-Chia Kefir contains ground chia seed husks for added fiber!
- Like all Lifeway Kefir, Coconut-Chia Kefir is low-fat, 99% lactose-free and contains 12 live & active probiotic cultures.
- Winter got you down? Our Coconut-Chia is like a tropical vacation in a bottle!
- Ch-ch-ch-chia! Chia pets are hilarious.
We thank you for your help!
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 12/17/2012 9:17 AM
Today's guest blog comes from fitness consultant, nutrition manager and creator of Cotter Crunch, Lindsay Cotter.
The holidays are here. Yes, it’s a happy time. But for some, it can mean busyness, stress, and a lower immune system.
For me, I make sure to load up on EXTRA probiotics during this season, yes, more than one serving a day. Good thing Lifeway kefir is loaded with probiotics and extremely versatile.
Here’s one of my favorite dishes to added kefir too. Use it as a light lunch, side dish, and more.
Photo by Lindsay Cotter
Tangy Broccoli Slaw Salad
1 (12oz) bag broccoli slaw/salad mix
½ cup cooked bacon, crumbled
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup raisins or craisins
2 tbsp. balsamic or red wine vinegar
3/4 cup Lifeway Plain Kefir
2 tsp chili pepper flakes
1/2 tsp turmeric or curry powder (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place broccoli Slaw in mixing bowl. Add in your kefir and vinegar. Mix well. Then add in our seasonings. Mix again. Finally, add in the remaining fixins, raisins, bacon, onion, etc. Mix and chill in fridge until ready to serve. Also great to add into wraps.
Serves 3 - Don’t forget, when it comes to probiotics, the more the merrier!
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 12/14/2012 8:49 AM
Today is our annual sales meeting, the last bit of business we wrap up before heading off to our holiday party. We wanted to give our hard working team something special to start their day, so we whipped up a batch of blueberry muffins made with Lifeway Kefir, of course. Hand mixing (literally, with your hands) gives the muffin tops a crumbly texture while the kefir adds buttermilk-like richness.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- Zest of one lemon
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- 4 eggs
- ¾ cup butter, melted and cooled
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup Plain Lifeway Lowfat Kefir
Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a 12-cup muffin tin. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and lemon zest.
Gently stir the blueberries into the dry ingredients. Make a well in the center. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, butter and vanilla. Pour into the well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour the kefir around the edge of the dry ingredients.
Using your hands, mix together the wet and dry ingredients – use gentle, slow strokes gathering the dry ingredients from the bottom. Stop mixing when most of the dry ingredients have been incorporated – a few spots of flour are OK.
Fill each muffin cup to the top and bake 25-30 minutes – the muffins are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a serving platter or a wire rack.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 12/11/2012 2:06 PM
Happy 12/12/12! Not since, well, 11/11/11 have we celebrated such an excitingly repetitive date. But before you run out the door to make it your best friend’s 12/12/12 wedding on time (David's Bridal estimates more than 7500 brides will get hitched on 12/12/12 - a 1446% increase over last year, despite falling on a Wednesday), consider this: This is the last of the crazy date sequences to come around for the next 1,000 years (after all, 13/13/13, like a tasty fruitcake, is a logistical impossibility.)
Why not take some time to celebrate this iconic hump day date? After all, according to the Mayan calendar, the world will end on 12/21/12, so get it while the gettin’s good.
12 things to do on 12/12/12:
1. Play a new drinking game: Grab a dozen friends and sit in a circle with a clock nearby. Take a shot of kefir every 60 seconds, on the 12s (at 8:01:12pm, 8:02:12pm, 8:03:12pm, etc)
2. Host a midnight double feature screening of Ocean’s Twelve and Cheaper By the Dozen; start 12 minutes late, at 12:12pm. Serve popcorn and Milk Duds.
3. Pick four items off of your weekly grocery shopping list and attempt to spend exactly $12.12. When the cashier rings up your purchases and the screen reads $12.03 or $12.75, dramatically hurl your bananas across the store, shrieking, “I can’t shop like this anymore!!”
4. Or if you’re boring, just bring a dozen bagels or donuts into work. Baker's dozens are for losers.
5. If you’re pregnant and nearing your due date, eat lots of spicy foods and have gobs of sex in an attempt to push that sucker out by 12/12/12.
6. Make Wednesday "Wear Your Joe Namath Jersey To Work" Day.
7. Set your laptop to default to 12-point font, then write a letter to a friend, being sure to date it 12/12/12 for posterity’s sake.
8. Pretend you are 12 and have a slumber party, go for a bike ride, play Nintendo DS and daydream about Justin Bieber.
9. Stop by a tattoo parlor and have the word duodecuple tatted across your knuckles. (It’s an adjective referring to any group consisting of twelve things.)
10. Go for a 12-mile hike then refuel with 12 apple slices smeared with peanut butter.
11. Hit Starbucks and order a Venti 12-pump mocha latte.
12. Enjoy the sugar high, then crash in bed for 12 hours.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 12/10/2012 8:38 AM
As we asked around the office for holiday entrée inspirations we realized how unique each family’s own traditions are. Suggestions ranged from a Christmas goose to a vegetarian pizza, so we settled on a Greek dish that can easily be made veggie-friendly. We shared this one as our office lunch, and we hope your family enjoys it as much as we did!
Farmer Cheese Moussaka
Adapted from a recipe by Typer Florence and JoAnn Cianciulli.
- 3 large eggplants
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ lemon, sliced in thin circles
- 1 handful fresh oregano leaves, chopped
- 2 handfuls fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 2 lbs ground lamb*
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 Tbs tomato paste
- 1 (16 oz) can whole tomatoes, drained & hand-crushed
- 8 oz Lifeway Farmer Cheese
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
*or your favorite vegetarian alternative
Remove the eggplant stems and peel with a vegetable peeler. Cut lengthwise into ½” thick slices. Season both sides of each slice with salt and pepper. Heat a splash of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry the slices of eggplant, turning once, until brown on both sides – you’ll need to do this in batches, adding more oil as needed. Drain the eggplant on paper towels as they cook.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Add a bit more oil to the same plan and cook the onion, garlic, lemon slices, oregano and parsley until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the lamb, and stir to break up the meat. Season with salt and pepper and add the cinnamon stick. Stir in the tomato paste and crushed tomatoes. Simmer until the liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and discard the lemon rinds and cinnamon stick.
Line the bottom of a 9x13” glass or ceramic baking dish with 1/3 of the eggplant slices, they should cover the bottom with no gaps. Spread ½ the meat mixture evenly over the eggplant. Sprinkle with ½ the Parmesan and with ½ the Farmer Cheese. Repeat the layers again, ending with a layer of eggplant. Cover the top with an even layer of bread crumbs and bake 30-40 minutes or until the top is golden. Cool slightly before serving.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 12/7/2012 8:42 AM
Sweet and savory come together beautifully in this healthy side dish. Just a sprinkle of crispy pancetta give the illusion of naughtiness but the generous helping of shitake mushrooms and broccoli rabe will keep you on the nice list.
Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Adapted from a Food Network Magazine recipe.
- 4 sweet potatoes (about 8 oz each)
- 2 oz sliced pancetta (about 8 thin slices)*
- 1 bunch broccoli rabe, stems trimmed, roughly chopped
- Kosher salt
- 8 oz shitake mushrooms, stemmed & sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
- ½ cup Lifeway Farmer Cheese
- 1 Tbs finely grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
Pierce each potato with a fork, place on a microwave-safe plate, and microwave until soft, about 12 minutes.
If using pancetta, cook the slices in a large skillet over medium heat, turning once, until crisp. Drain on paper towels and set aside. Increase the heat to medium high, and in that same pan, cook the broccoli rabe and ¼ tap salt for about 3 minutes. (If you are not using pancetta, simply add a splash of olive oil to the pan and proceed with the broccoli rabe.)
Add the mushrooms, garlic and red pepper flake and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 more minutes.
In a small bowl, mix together the Farmer Cheese, parmesan and nutmeg. Split the potatoes in half, and use a fork to mash the flesh. Top each half with about 1 tsp of the cheese mixture, then top with broccoli rabe mixture. Top with more cheese mixture if desired, and sprinkle with chopped pancetta.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 12/6/2012 10:28 AM
Not to brag or anything, but here at Lifeway, we have a few celebrity claims to fame. Tina Fey loves our pomegranate kefir. Our CEO Julie ran the New York Marathon with supermodel and Every Mother Counts founder Christy Turlington Burns. And our blogger, Leslie, once touched Beyonce’s elbow.
Now, we’re proud to brag about our most recent in-the-limelight Lifeway family member, Natalie. As our Community Manager, Natalie is in charge of recipe development, spending her day in the freshly renovated Lifeway kitchen, cranking out tasty kefir-infused treats like Chai-spiced Whoopie Pies and Superbowl Spinach Dip. Lately, Natalie can’t keep herself off TV: She was recently featured on the Cooking Channel, where she debuted her vegan Banana Bread French Toast Cupcakes and has also served as a frosting-fanatical judge on Cupcake Wars. Her bonkers baking (Crouching Corn Bread, Hidden Broccoli, anyone?) and badass body art have also been featured everywhere from the Chicago Tribune and TimeOut Chicago to Bust and Inked Life magazines.
In between batches of Friday the 13th Slasher Smores Cupcakes and writing her new book, Bake and Destroy: Good Food for Bad Vegans, our resident punk foodie bombshell took time to answers a few Qs for you:
So, have you always been into cooking and baking?
Growing up, I was always in kitchen with my mom and grandma. My grandma is the kind of Italian lady who wakes up and starts making spaghetti sauce first thing in the morning, with her curlers still in her hair. I got an Easy Bake Oven for my fifth birthday, which is December 12, and that was it for me. The first thing I made was a chocolate birthday cake for Jesus on Christmas. I cooked it with a light bulb and left it outside for him.
When did you start to think you could pursue food as a profession?
In 2000, I moved to Chicago and worked at a natural bakery as a baker. But the hours were terrible – I’d work from 5 am to 2pm, up to my elbows in butter. It wasn’t very fun. I went to school for newspaper journalism and my boyfriend at the time was in a band and I traveled with him. When I got pregnant with my son, Teno, I worked as a nanny and had lots of downtime with napping, so I’d watch the Food Network, Martha Stewart’s cooking shows, then try to recreate whatever I’d seen that morning. That’s when I started my blog, Bake and Destroy, in 2006. I started to think, “I might want to do this forever.”
What do you do at Lifeway?
All kinds of recipe development using our kefir and Farmer Cheese. We just built a kitchen here, nice and big with lots of room. Everyone comes in to try what I make. Today I made a Greek style dish with layers of eggplant, lamb and Farmer Cheese. I’m vegetarian so usually my stuff is, too, but one of our staff members has been begging me to make her meat, so I did. I also made sweet potatoes stuffed with shitake mushrooms, garlic, broccoli rabe and Farmer Cheese with crispy pancetta on top.
Is kefir versatile for cooking and baking?
It’s really fun to play with it. You can mix it into guacamole and spinach dip, and it actually makes the best waffles I’ve ever had in my life. It’s similar to buttermilk so you get the rich flavor, but there’s not as much milkfat so you get a really fluffy, flavorful waffle. We play a game: “Can we Kefir-ize this?” Savory always goes over well in this office, and if there’s anything trendy, like kale chips or ramps, we’ll try to kefirize it.
Changing subjects: You are covered in ink! How many tattoos do you have?
A year ago, my husband and I argued over who had more: We came out even at 46 each. That was a year ago; I probably have 50 now.
Are any of them of food?
Of course! I have a Chicago-style hot dog with the works - onions, green relish, mustard, no ketchup, poppyseed bun – on my shoulder with the initials “PMA” for Positive Mental Attitude. A food blogger friend and I each got a little rabbit wearing a chef’s hat. I have a cupcake with pink frosting and a dagger through it on my calf that says “Bake and Destroy.” And a heart with a banner that says “Pancakes” on my forearm. My mom was kind of bummed I got a pancakes tattoo before a “Mom” one.
Any kefir tattoos in the works?
Maybe not a kefir bottle but I do like Lifeway enough where I would do some sort of tribute to the company. Maybe a portrait of Julie or something.