By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 1/17/2014 1:37 AM
The weather in Chicago has been pretty crummy for the past few weeks. It felt like we couldn’t catch a break between the -20 degree temperatures to the multiple feet of snow. So, to brighten things up around the office, we decided to make a cake that reminds us of spring. Lemon cake is very spring-y with its citrus aroma and flavor. Substituting kefir in the mix not only made the cake moist, but also lightened it up a bit.
Here’s what you’ll need:
For the Cake:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup Lifeway Greek Style Kefir
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup canola oil
For the Glaze:
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 ̊ F. Grease an 8.5’’ loaf pan with butter or baking spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a large bowl, beat together kefir, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients and stir to combine. Mix in canola oil until combined.
Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake in preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (You may want to remove from oven after 50 minutes as the cake will continue to cook as it cools.)
While the cake bakes, make the glaze. Combine the lemon and sugar in a small pan. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside.
When the cake is done, let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove from loaf pan and place on a plate or cutting board. Let the cake cool completely.
Once the cake has cooled, use a toothpick to poke several holes all around the top of the cake. Brush the lemon-sugar mixture on the warm cake. You don’t have to use all of the mixture.
Enjoy delicious lemon cake!
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 1/15/2014 1:35 AM
You probably have strong feelings about mayo. Most people either love it or hate it and have a hard time understanding folks in the opposite camp. One thing we may all agree on is that it’s not the healthiest condiment. Whether it’s your favorite indulgence or you haven’t let the stuff touch your lips in decades, you might find a substitute handy as we enter a new year and discover a new you. We’ve gathered some of our favorite mayo alternatives for a side by side comparison on flavor and functionality.
What’s your favorite healthy substitute?
Click here or on the image for a full-size verison.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 1/14/2014 12:04 PM
We know fans of Lifeway like to shake things up and those of you who are keeping up with your kefir habit are feeling good and ready to get fit in the New Year. Deciding which road to fitness to take can be overwhelming, with regimens ranging from fun and sassy Prancercising to Russia’s manly kettlebell training.
To help guide the way, we’ve categorized some of our favorite workouts by four main categories with a quick explanation of the benefit of each. Try incorporating different types of workouts to get a variety of health benefits. Most importantly, set yourself up for lasting success by choosing a workout plan that is fun and doable for you!
Don't forget to fuel up with healthy foods! Pack your smoothies with probiotic Lifeway Kefir or recover from your workout with a tall glass of delicious, tangy cultured milk!
Also called Cardio or Aerobic training, Endurance workouts increase your heart rate and breathing rate and help you burn calories. These exercises help you maintain a healthy weight and are associated with a lower incidence of heart disease and diabetes.
Brisk walking or jogging
Elliptical Trainers or Stair Climber Machines
Strength training or resistance training is an anaerobic workout that makes your muscles stronger. By adding resistance to your muscle contractions, you’ll build more strength with fewer repetitions than in an aerobic workout. Not only will everyday tasks like carrying groceries or shoveling snow be easier, this type of exercise can also increase bone density and boost metabolism.
Resistance band exercises
Keep your muscles supple and your body limber with flexibility exercises. Stretching tight muscles can help with overall soreness, relaxation, and help you accomplish other types of exercises.
Stability or balance training exercises your core muscles and keeps your body aligned while resisting unwanted joint movement. Not only will these exercises make other workouts more efficient by eliminating the use of superfluous muscles, they help make everyday physical tasks easier and less dangerous, especially as you age.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 1/13/2014 12:50 PM
You know that drinking kefir makes you happy. But did you know that the probiotics in kefir actually have the power to impact your mood in a very real, scientifically-measurable way? We spoke with Trudy Scott, a certified nutritionist based in Folsom, CA and author of The Anti Anxiety Food Solution
, about kefir and her other favorite mood-enhancing foods:
Read More »
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 1/10/2014 12:44 PM
New Lifeway Organic ProBugs Blast pack out-of-this-world nutrition into a tasty, tangy, on-the-go kefir smoothie. Each portable bottle contains a supernova of calcium, protein and beneficial probiotics, with 12 live and active cultures working hard to keep your tween’s digestive universe in balance and battle any yucky invaders. ProBugs Blast are low in sugar, gluten free and 99% lactose free. Grab these galaxies of good bugs at Whole Foods, Costco, Mariano’s and other fine retailers!
Try all 4 fun flavors: Cherry Lime Supernova, Strawberry Kiwi Comet, Peach Mango Moon, and Grape Galaxy!
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 1/9/2014 10:12 AM
It’s flu season, you’re at work, and a colleague stops by to see you. He shakes your hand. Suddenly, he bursts into a coughing fit all over your office, and wipes his feverish brow with his sleeve. “I’m sorry - I have an awful bug,” he says. “I probably shouldn’t have even come to work today.”
Ummm...ya think? But no biggie, because your office has a bulk-sized pump of antibacterial soap in the restroom. So you race down the hall, lather up, and rest assured that the foreign-sounding chemicals on the label will kill any nasty bugs and keep your Sick Days safe.
Not so fast. The flu is caused by a virus, not a bacteria, so the soap probably won’t help combat your coworker’s carelessness. Yet millions of people rely on antibacterial soaps, believing they’ll be protected from the common cold, flu and other everyday illnesses.
But the truth is, the Food and Drug Administration has just announced that it has no proof that common antibacterial soaps prevent the spread of germs – and they’re giving the makers of Dial and other companies until late 2016 to show that their products won’t actually harm consumers. (Studies suggest that triclosan and other common antibacterial soap ingredients are fueling the growth of drug-resistant bacteria and may interrupt hormone levels in animals and possibly humans.)
"I suspect there are a lot of consumers who assume that by using an anti-bacterial soap product, they are protecting themselves from illness, protecting their families,” said Sandra Kweder, deputy director in the FDA's drug center, according to an AP story. "But we don't have any evidence that that is really the case over simple soap and water."
There you have it: Sometimes the most basic, traditional remedies are the most effective. And this is further reason to not be afraid of welcoming some bugs into your life.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 1/8/2014 5:37 AM
This year, we gathered some of our favorite food resolutions that aren’t about losing weight. We are not going to advocate depriving yourself of a tasty treat here and there, or recommend waking up before the dawn breaks to fit in a weightlifting routine in your basement.
We think our tips will help you feel great without having to think about your weight. Because with all the knowledge and technology the human race has developed to steer us toward a perfect diet, we really shouldn’t be letting a $10 bathroom scale dictate our dinner menu.
Eat Less Meat
The environment will thank you. Meat requires many more natural resources than plants to raise. When looking at the water footprint alone, it takes 2000 gallons of water to raise just one pound of beef and only 108 gallons grow a pound of corn. Think of all the bubble baths you could take with 1,898 gallons of water if you choose a pile of polenta over a steak!
Drink Your Probiotics Daily
Vitamins are out. The supplemental kind have recently gotten a bad reputation as ineffective money-wasters. Probiotics are in and they come in all sorts of your favorite foods like kefir, kombucha, and miso soup. They can work wonders on balancing digestion, enhancing immunity and even boosting mood.
Eat your veggies
Vitamins are in! They’re IN the veggies, and they’re better absorbed when they’re eaten as a part of a whole food. Try sneaking a few extras in your Green Kefir or make a green smoothie at home.
Say no to GMO and artificial ingredients. Cutting out potentially dubious additives will help you feel good about yourself and good about what you’re feeding your family.
Drink More Water
Every cell in your body will appreciate it. Staying hydrated helps your digestive system flow and keeps your skin from drying out. It’s not just a summertime necessity!
Plant a vegetable garden
Renew your love for tomatoes and eat them straight off of the vine. Not only are they more full in flavor than the kind from the supermarket, they are higher in essential nutrients. Plus you’ll get a little exercise and soak up some sun in the process! Just remember to put on some SPF – you want to eat the tomato, not look like one!
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 1/7/2014 8:48 AM
If you’re doing a cleanse to kick start your healthy eating habits in 2014, congratulations on cleaning out all that gunk! Whether you brought home half of your grocer’s produce section and juiced it or just cut out refined sugars for a few days, you’ll want to make sure to maintain your sense of digestive balance with healthy probiotics, nutrient-dense fruits and veggies, and lighter fare for a few days.
We’ve gathered a few of our favorite smoothies, soups and salads that are easy to digest, high in probiotics, and full of fiber to keep things moving through your gleaming guts. Make them a part of your junk-free diet or make that healthy feeling last throughout the year by incorporating probiotics into your everyday meal plan!
Strawberry Banana Frozen ProBugs Smoothie
Tropical Fruits Smoothie
Beet and Spinach Smoothies
Persimmon and Kale Smoothie
Apricot Kiwi Smoothie
Black and Blue Berry Smoothie
Kohlrabi and Cabbage Slaw
Mood Boosting Soul Bowl Salad
Kale and Citrus Salad
Pasta Salad with Peas
Chilled Sweet Corn SoupBaba’s Chilled Beet Soup
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 1/3/2014 8:12 AM
You gave it your best. A serving of probiotics every day to boost immunity. Hand sanitizer in every coat pocket. Wearing a surgical mask to family Christmas. But you still got sick. Drat.
If your doctor sets you on the path to ride out your illness and eases you through by treating your symptoms, you may want to try some of these natural solutions. When pain medication adds to the problem by upsetting your stomach, or cold medicine leaves you too groggy to get through the day, these natural alternatives might do the trick.
Spice up your life
Real spices can make a real difference – plus they taste way better than cough syrup and pepto bismol.
- Ginger is excellent for fighting nausea. Steep slices of fresh ginger root in boiling water or pick up a pack of ginger beer that lists real ginger as an ingredient.
- Cloves can be used as a topical pain killer for sore throats when steeped in hot water.
- Hot, spicy food will help loosen up mucus if you’re congested. Pass the peppers!
Bitter or sweet, sip on some antimicrobials
When your body’s natural microbiome is invaded by a bad bug, send in some antimicrobial troops to knock them out.
- Honey is well known to sooth sore throats, and has natural antimicrobial qualities.
- Raw garlic is a well-known folk remedy for colds and modern studies are backing up the tradition. If munching on whole cloves is too much for you (or the people around you!), try steeping slices raw garlic in hot water for a savory tisane.
Be a BRAT
Don’t be rude!
- The BRAT diet is a guideline for stomach flu recovery, consisting of only bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. Simple foods for sensitive tummys.
Have you noticed more than a few liquid recommendations so far? They’re not over yet! Hydration is even more important when you’re recovering from an illness and trying to flush out all the icky stuff.
- Hot soup of any variety helps release congestion, but if dairy leaves you with more mucous in your throat, skip the creamy kinds.
- Juice is great for getting vitamins and nutrients when solid foods aren’t willing to stay down or are difficult to digest. Citrus juices like orange or grapefruit are refreshing and high in Vitamin C, an important antioxident.
- Tea is an antioxidant powerhouse and contains theanine which strengthens the immune system. Black, green, or white are all good options.
By LifeWayKefir LifeWayKefir on 1/1/2014 12:07 PM
If you prefer your kefir straight out of the bottle, you’re not alone. Unadulterated and and silky smooth, Lifeway kefir already has a lot going for it. It’s high in protein and probiotics and comes in dozens of delicious flavors. Plus our convenient 8 oz size bottles are perfect for when you prefer not to bother with a single dish or if you don’t want to worry about sharing from the same bottle as your family during flu season!
However in the spirit of starting the New Year off with a little extra health boost, we thought we’d share some of our favorite mix-ins to enhance your kefir’s nutrition. Each recipe is easy – give your 8 oz bottle of kefir a quick shake, twist off the top, take a sip, add your boost, close the lid tight, then shake for another 30 to 60 seconds. Be vigorous and alternate arms and you can skip your shake weight routine for the day!
For an even easier alternative, check out our BioKefir shots with a health enhancing supplements like fiber or antioxidants already incorporated for you. Our Organic Green Kefir is packed with 10 green vegetables in every serving and comes in fruity flavors – veggies for dessert never tasted so good! Even little ones will love it in our convenient ProBugs Organic Kiwi Kale Critter kefir pouches.
2 T Chia Seeds + 8 oz Peach Kefir
For fiber and omega fatty acids
1 t Cardamom + 8 oz Strawberry Banana Kefir
Can boost kidney function and lower blood pressure
2 T Cocoa Powder + 8 oz Pomegranate Kefir
An antioxidant and antidepressant
1 T Maca + 8 oz Strawberry Kefir
Boost energy and balance hormone levels
2 T Oat Bran + 8 oz Blueberry Kefir
Add fiber and heart healthy benefits
½ t Cinnamon + 1 T Honey + 8 oz Plain Kefir
Sweeten your kefir naturally and add a little spice for antioxidants