Healthy Holidays with Lifeway Kefir

Lifeway Kefir is helping to keep us healthy this holiday season! Kefir, sometimes called the “champagne of dairy” is a cultured probiotic dairy beverage that’s been around for more than two thousand years. With the consistency of drinkable yogurt and a tart and tangy taste, kefir’s versatility ranges from granola to smoothies, salad dressing, to holiday treats.

Here are the health benefits of kefir plus a delicious recipe for “Strained Kefir with Fresh Pear, Nuts and Seeds,” brought to us by Lifeway Kefir.

  • Kefir contains live and active probiotics, live organisms that provide a myriad of health benefits. Like other fermented foods, including miso, sauerkraut and kimchi, kefir supports a healthy gut, where 70-80% of the cells that make up the immune system are located.
  • Kefir may help to maintain a healthy weight. It is high in protein, which increases satiety and reduces hunger cravings throughout the day.
  • Kefir can improve your skin, as it contains Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA), a popular ingredient in skin care products.
  • The live and active probiotic cultures found in kefir may help support healthy digestion.
  • Not all brands of kefir are lactose free, but Lifeway Kefir’s unique fermentation process and specific cultures ensure their kefir is 99% lactose-free. Unlike other dairy products, it is suitable for most people who are lactose intolerant.
  • Kefir can improve mood, as it contains tryptophan, the amino acid that helps raise levels of serotonin in the brain.
  • Kefir supports bone density, as one serving provides 30% of your daily calcium needs.

Strained Kefir with Fresh Pear, Nuts and Seeds by Lifeway Kefir

Kefir_parfait_pear_nuts_fbIngredients:

  • 1 32 oz bottle Lifeway Plain Whole Milk Kefir
  • 1 ripe pear, sliced*
  • 1/4 cup mixed nuts and seeds
  • 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Ground cinnamon, to taste
  • Ground nutmeg, to taste
  • Honey, to taste
  • Pinch of sea salt

Instructions:

The night before, or up to three days in advance, line a fine mesh strainer with cheese cloth or coffee filters. Rest the strainer over a deep bowl, careful to make sure the bottom doesn’t touch, and pour in the kefir. Cover the bowl and strainer with a lid and place in the refrigerator overnight, or for at least eight hours, to strain. After the kefir has strained, transfer the thick cream to a container with a lid and place in the fridge until ready to use. Discard the liquid whey, or save for use later. You will have 2 – 2 1/2 cups of thick kefir cream. To prepare the pears: clean, slice and remove the core of the pear. Add to a bowl with lemon juice and toss to coat. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

To serve: add 1/2 – 3/4 cup strained kefir to a bowl or parfait glass. Top with sliced and seasoned pears, nuts and seeds of choice. Drizzle with honey, if desired, and serve cold. Feel free to use sweet or sour apples, plums, bananas or berries – whatever is in season and you have on hand!

One Healthy Breakdown: a super healthy sweet treat – the best of both worlds!

The Freshest Shrimp Tacos

Inspired by fresh local produce at the farmer’s market, Deirdre created a light, colorful summer recipe for one of her very favorites: tacos! These shrimp tacos pack tons of flavor and freshness!

IMG_5708Ingredients: (makes 4 tacos)

  • 8 oz. shredded red or green cabbage (or mix)
  • 1 lb. raw shrimp, washed, peeled, and deveined
  • 16 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 orange
  • 3 Limes
  • 1-2 avocados, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
  • 2 ears of corn, raw cut right off the cob
  • 2 heaping table spoons of Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
  • A handful of resh cilantro, chopped
  • Cayenne pepper, kosher salt & fresh ground pepper, and hot sauce to taste

For the cabbage corn slaw, combine the following in a large bowl and whisk together until smooth:

  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Greek yogurt/sour cream
  • Diced jalapeño to taste
  • Few splashes of hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • A dash of cayenne, salt, and pepper
  • Shredded cabbage
  • Corn

Mix and set aside.

For the shrimp, combine:

  • Shrimp
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • A pinch of cayenne, salt, and pepper
  • Few dashes of hot sauce

Heat a non-stick pan on med-high. Add a splash of olive oil and sauté shrimp until opaque. Build your tacos on warm tortillas of your choice or top a bed of greens for a taco salad! Add avocado, chopped cilantro and hot sauce (optional.) Enjoy!

One Healthy Breakdown: fresh enough for taco Tuesday or taco any day!

Pumpkin Doughnuts

Who’s sick of pumpkin recipes, raise your hand! No, me either. Glad we got that out of the way. Two Doughnuts on a PlateIntroducing the pumpkin doughnut. No, you wouldn’t normally find doughnuts on OHH, but today is different and these pumpkin doughnuts are actually healthy! Doughnuts or donuts – which is it? They both look good to me and we all know they taste good however you spell it, so let’s get baking…and eating!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (Farmer’s Markets’ canned organic pumpkin is my go-to)
  • 1/2 cup of high quality vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 cup of almond flour (or flour of choice)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup (separated)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (separated)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (melted)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (or yogurt of choice)

For the doughnuts:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix pumpkin puree, protein powder, almond flour, eggs, 1 teaspoon maple syrup, almond milk, baking powder, cinnamon, pie spice, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract until consistent. Use an electric mixer if you have one. Dip paper towel in melted coconut oil and use to grease doughnut pan. (If you don’t have a doughnut pan, you can use a muffin or mini-muffin pan!) Pour batter to fill half-way. Bake for 12-15 minutes and let cool completely before frosting. For frosting, mix yogurt, 1 teaspoon maple syrup, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. You can eat doughnuts plain, sprinkled with shredded coconut, or frost with yogurt mixture and top with coconut. Enjoy!

One Healthy Breakdown: just when you thought pumpkin recipes were winding down, this may just be the best one yet!

*recipe inspired by FlapJacked

Yummy Yogurt Covered Berries

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With nothing but healthy ingredients, these berries are a perfect treat for any time of day! Bring to your Labor Day BBQ or just store in the freezer for a go-to treat! It’s made from all healthy ingredients, so dig in!

Greek Yogurt Berries: mix plain (or your favorite flavor) Greek yogurt with a little bit of Stevia and a drop of vanilla extract. Roll berries in yogurt, put on plate, and freeze.

Chocolatey Yogurt Berries: mix plain Greek yogurt with cacoa powder (or chocolate protein powder) and a little Stevia. Roll berries in yogurt, put on plate, and freeze.

One Healthy Breakdown: enjoy this berry good treat any time of day!