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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Lifeway Kefir: Great Taste and a Probiotic Punch!

I've had my share of yogurt before. It's a staple in my diet. However, I had never tried Lifeway Kefir. But yes, once again...
What is Kefir, you ask? Where did it come from?

From Lifeway Kefir's website:  

"The drink we now call Kefir (it is sometimes pronounced Kee-Fur) originated in ancient times when Eastern nomadic shepherds discovered that fresh milk carried in leather pouches would occasionally ferment into a deliciously effervescent beverage. Once the accidental process was discovered, this bubbly refresher became popular throughout the known world. It is thought to originate from the Turkish word “Keif” meaning “good feeling”, for the sense of well-being experienced after drinking it." (Ref: http://www.lifeway.net/LifewayWorld/KefirProbiotics.aspx, © 2013 Lifeway Foods, Inc., all rights reserved.)

Yes, it really is fizzy. You'd think having yogurt and fizzy combined would be offputting, but it's a fabulous experience. It harkens back to the days of old-fashioned ice cream sodas. You could even make an ice cream soda, because, ta-da, it also comes frozen. Feel free to scope at the fabulous options here:

I chose this:




The Lowfat Kefir Cultured Milk Probiotic Smoothie in Coconut Chia flavor. A mouthful? Yes. But a  delicious one. Healthy, too. I  won't go into details, but check it out:

Straight out of the bottle, it's delicious. The effervescence adds a refreshing twist to the standard yogurt smoothie experience, and keeps it from being heavy. The coconut flavor isn't overpowering or fake. It's subtle, but you know it's coconut. I enjoyed it immensely.

It's not just a tasty smoothie, though. Mind blown, right?

I poured it into my ice pop maker. It froze up very well and held its shape, unlike regular yogurt, which tends to soften quickly. Was it good?

Check this face:




Yes, that is my four-year-old enjoying a healthy dose of probiotics, and SMILING. He asked for more, too.

It doesn't just make kids happy, though...I discovered another variation that makes adults happy as well...it makes a heck of a pina colada.

Observe:





Lifeway Coconut Chia Kefir, ice, and a splash of pineapple juice. With or without a bit of spirits, it's absolutely delicious. In my case, it was a good thing that I kept this one "virgin", because it was stalked by the aforementioned four-year-old, who ended up finishing it for me.


Delicious, diverse, and different. I enjoyed my Kefir experience, and will be restocking my supplies so I can try even more variations and recipes. Also, my son demands it.

I received this product complimentary to test through Influenster’s VoxBox program.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Lean Cuisine® Honestly Good: Let's Be Honest.

Frozen meals tend to subscribe to two standards: either superlatively unhealthy or they taste like cardboard. We're all looking for that weekday dinner saver that we can feel good about giving our family. Enter the beauty, compliments of BzzAgent.

  

At first, it was a bit tricky to find in stores, most likely because it was new. I picked it up at Kroger, but lately I've also seen it at Target

The Honestly Good line is all natural, for real, and it's frozen. They really can combine. And the best part, at least in my opinion...THE SAUCE IS ON THE SIDE. Seriously.

I don't like my rice saturated with sauce, and ditto my meat. I always wonder how many calories I'd save if I held the power over sauce. It does require an extra step...you have to toss the sauce packet in cold water while you warm up the meal, but since I'm getting a fresh meal in 3 minutes, I'm not going to fret about it.

The flavors are: 
  • Pomegranate Chicken with whole grilled chicken breast filet, whole grain pilaf with currants, green beans, wax beans, ribbon cut carrots, served with a pomegranate glaze
  • Lemongrass Salmon with coconut-crusted salmon filet, brown rice with wheatberries and slivered almonds, snap peas, orange & yellow carrots, edamame, served with ginger lemongrass sauce
  • Roasted Red Pepper Chicken with whole grilled chicken breast filet, whole grain cavatappi pasta, sea salt & lemon-seasoned broccoli florets, served with roasted red pepper sauce
  • Plum-Ginger Grain-Crusted Fish with grain-crusted wild caught whole fish filet, brown rice with edamame, snap peas, wax beans, carrots, served with plum ginger sauce
  • Pineapple Black Pepper Beef with whole tender beef cuts, brown & wild rice with pineapple & silvered almonds, green & wax beans, orange & yellow carrots, served with pineapple black pepper sauce
  • Honey Citrus Chicken with whole grilled chicken breast filet, whole grain radiator pasta mixed with spinach, slivered almonds and sun-dried tomatoes, broccoli florets, yellow zucchini, served with a honey citrus sauce

I personally tried the Lemongrass Salmon and the Pineapple Black Pepper Beef.

The package:


 The reality:

Pretty on target. Don't the veggies look fabulous? They had a nice amount of crunch to them. The salmon crust left a bit to be desired...it was a bit thick and hid the salmon flavor. The salmon, though, was moist and tasty...I didn't think frozen salmon could avoid being dry, but they pulled it off. The lemongrass in the sauce was a bit strong for me, and made it a little bitter. But all in all, it was a great experience....the rice blend was very tasty.  I did clean my plate.

The package:





The reality:

Gorgeous, I thought. The meat was quite tender, which exceeded my expectations, and was a very decent serving size. Again, the veggies were perfectly steamed, and the rice blend was great. The almonds could have been a more crunchy element..I wasn't keen on the steamed feel. The flavor was welcome, though. The sauce was very good...not too sweet, but with a bit of acridity from the pepper, and you could taste the pineapple.

I could see myself stocking up on these for those days when I'm tempted to pick up fast food. They're great for taking into work, to avoid temptation. I'll be stopping at this area of the freezer section very often from here on out.

I received free products from BzzAgent in exchange for my review. My opinions are mine, and true.