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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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
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
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.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 2/6/2014 7:37 AM
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.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 2/4/2014 9:18 AM
When we read a story in a recent Saturday Evening Post
about a foodie movement made up of passionate probiotic fans who call themselves the "Demented Fermenters," we had to hear more. Also profiled in the story was natural foods pioneer Sally Fallon Morell, the author of Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook That Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats
In her book, Fallon Morell describes her technique for DIY vegetable fermenting that’s so easy, it will turn anyone into a Demented Fermenter. Haven’t dipped your toes into the sauerkraut pool yet? Try her recipe for Ginger Carrots, then go bolder was you cultivate a taste for these pickled treats:
Homemade Ginger Carrots
4 cups grated carrots, tightly packed
1 T freshly grated ginger
1 T sea salt
4 T whey (if whey is not available, use an extra 1 T salt)
Mix all ingredients in a bowl; pound with a wooden pounder of meat hammer to release juices. Place in a quart-sixed, wide-mouth mason jar, pressing down firmly until juices cover the carrots. (The top of the carrots should be at least one inch below the top of the jar.) Screw lid on tightly and leave on kitchen counter at room temperature for three days, then transfer to the refrigerator.
This method can be replicated with cabbage for sauerkraut. (Use one medium cabbage, cored and shredded, plus 1 T caraway seeds.)
Want to try Fallon Morell’s zingy recipes? We are giving away a copy of Nourishing Traditions! To enter the contest, leave a comment below telling us your favorite pickled veggie, or the pickled veggie you’ve always been too scared to try. We’ll notify the winner by Valentine’s Day.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 2/3/2014 3:37 AM
At Lifeway we decided to change up the simple taco dip recipe and incorporate some of our favorite probiotics. This skinny taco dip is light and flavorful so don’t be surprised when there aren’t any leftovers!
What you’ll need:
-8oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese
-¾ cup Low Fat Plain kefir
-¾ cup mild salsa
-3 teaspoons taco seasoning
-2 cups iceberg lettuce, shredded fine
-2 large tomatoes, seeds removed and diced
-1 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
-2.25oz sliced black olives
In a food processor, combine the cream cheese, kefir, salsa, and taco seasoning
Spread the mixture on the bottom of a shallow dish
Top with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and black olives.
Serve with tortilla chips
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 2/1/2014 2:37 AM
Buffalo wings are made from neither bison nor sea hawks, but sea hawks at least have wings and they represent one of this year’s contenders in the big game, so to meet halfway between identifying the correct species and getting in the spirit of the football post season, why not serve up some Seahawk Wings with Blue Cheese Dip at your Superbowl party?!
Whatever you call them, wings are delicious with creamy, blue cheese dressing and crispy vegetable sticks served on the side. Our dip of course includes a little Lifeway Kefir to bump up that tangy zip and cut some of the fat you would get using sour cream or mayonnaise.
Kefir can also be used as a great marinade for chicken wings, for both its tenderizing and flavor enhancing qualities. Any chicken wing recipe that calls for a buttermilk marinade can use kefir as a substitute!
This recipe from Chow is easy, spicy, and baked to avoid the mess of deep frying.
Blue Cheese Dip
Adapted from Bon Appetit
½ cup finely chopped red onion
½ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup water
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup Lifeway Original Kefir or Lifeway Organic Whole Milk Plain Kefir
¼ cup chopped fresh chives
1/3 lb creamy blue cheese (we used Point Reyes Farmstead Blue)
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon lemon juice
In a small pot, bring vinegar, water, sugar and ½ teaspoon salt to a boil. Combine hot mixture and chopped onions in a heat-proof bowl. Cover and pickle in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Stir together kefir and chives. Crumble in blue cheese and incorporate into the mix by pressing the crumbles against the side of the bowl with the back of a spoon, leaving a few crumbles for texture. Drain the onions and add to the mix, along with remaining salt and black pepper. Stir to combine and serve with celery and carrot sticks.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 1/31/2014 5:37 AM
You know and love guacamole and you’ve heard of its cousin broccomole, but you’re hosting a Superbowl party for fans of both greasy taco joints and diet-conscious veggie lovers and you want to please everyone. Enter, Denver Bronco-mole!
This delicious dip is made with rich, creamy avocados; fiber rich, green broccoli; and probiotic packed Lifeway Organic Kefir. You don’t need to be a Bronco fan to love Broncomole, but you do need a food processor!
We doubt you’ll have any leftover after a hungry hoard of football fans start snacking, but if you do, try some in your next Breakfast Burrito for an authentic Denver delicacy!
1 medium head of broccoli (about 2 cups cooked)
1 large avocado
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup chopped cilantro
½ medium red onion
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ cup Lifeway Lowfat Plain Kefir
Place the chopped onion in a bowl of chilled water to sit for about 10 minutes. Chop the broccoli into small pieces and boil for about 3 minutes until bright green. Drain well.
Combine the broccoli, kefir, salt, and chili powder in a food processor and mix on high until smooth, with only very small pieces of broccoli left. Add the avocado and blend until combined. Transfer to a mixing bowl and fold in the onion and cilantro, reserving a few pieces of each for garnish. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with onion and cilantro, and serve with tortilla chips.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 1/30/2014 11:53 AM
When Michael Phelps won an incredible eight
gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, people started paying attention to everything from his 12-pack abs to what he ate for breakfast (he was rumored to throw back 12,000 calories a day; a myth he later debunked.) With the 2014 winter Olympics fast approaching, athletes are no doubt searching for the most effective foods to complement their rigorous training schedules.
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By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 1/28/2014 9:37 AM
Selfies aren’t just for James Franco anymore. After achieving the almighty word-of-the-year status in 2013, selfies have made their way into our American lexicon, our daily habits, and the hearts of everyone with an Instagram account. Along with space-age looking milking machines, apps to manage livestock, and ditching the old rooster weather vane for weather reports on a smart phone, even farmers are embracing technology and the art of the selfie with their own hashtag, #felfie.
Some farmers’ bovine photobombers are so adorable, cats of the internet might want to watch their backs! Right now all of the Guernsey cows providing Lifeway with GMO and hormone free milk are hiding inside, sheltered from the second wave of the polar vortex chill that is blasting the Midwest. So we recruited some of our favorite characters from the office to snap an indoor felfie. Xander the ProBug, visiting from the Grape Galaxy, posed with his pal from Lifeway’s new dairy in Wisconsin.