Lifeway Kefir is one of the best ways to get probiotics, protein, calcium, and vitamins A, D, and several B vitamins all in one easy-to-digest, nearly lactose-free serving. One of our favorite things about kefir is that it’s also an easy meal-prep staple since it is so versatile and lasts a long time in the fridge, even after you open a bottle! Did you know due to the probiotics in our kefir that you can use the bottle up through the best-by date, even if it’s already opened? Kefir lasts a long time, is affordable, and is tasty in so many different recipes. Since it’s a budget-friendly alternative to pricey smoothie shop smoothies, it’s also great for working into any budget to save time, money, and keep things healthy without any sacrifices.
We wanted to share some of our favorite meal prep tips with you that we love here and Lifeway and think you will, too. We hope you enjoy these tips and get some new healthy inspiration. Kefir’s beneficial probiotics on the gut microbiome make it a great immunity, wellness, and overall gut-healthy treat. With all the flavors to choose from, there’s no limit to what you can make. Learn more about Lifeway Kefir’s benefits here, and if you eat dairy-free, feel free to swap in Lifeway Oat here as well. Now, onto some of our meal tips from our kitchens to yours!
1. Make-Ahead Smoothies
You can easily make smoothies for an entire week with Lifeway Kefir and frozen fruits, greens, and fresh fresh fruits, plus any other ingredients you choose to use by making them ahead in freezer-safe glass (mason) jars and then freezing ahead. Simply thaw one out the night before (in the fridge) and your smoothie is ready to go in the morning! Or, simply keep kefir in your fridge all week long and then add your other ingredients to the blender each morning to make it fresh if you have the time. Since kefir’s long shelf life is one of favorite reasons to meal prep with it due to the high amounts of probiotics, it’s an easy protein source that is versatile just like smoothies are. Why not combine the two and get the best of both worlds? Try these easy-to-make, delicious Summer Harvest Smoothies for one of our favorite recipes or this Immunity Booster Green Smoothie to keep your immune system in tip-top shape!
2. Overnight Oats
Overnight oats are one of our favorite meal-prep recipes because they’re easy to make ahead and last all week in the fridge. You don’t have to only use oats, though; feel free to swap in any other ready-to-eat cereals, like pre-cooked rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, rolled wheat, rye or spelt flakes, quinoa, or brown rice flakes. However you choose to enjoy your overnight oats, there’s no end to how you can prepare them. We love these Blueberry Pecan Overnight Oats which you can use with Lifeway Kefir or Lifeway Oat!
3. Stress-Free Meal Prep Bowls
You can make egg salad, tuna salad, or a regular greens and veggies salad with any variety of plain Lifeway Kefir for a delicious dressing in just minutes! Add some lemon, your favorite herbs (we love parsley, oregano, and basil), and even garlic powder and you’ve got a fresh and healthy dressing in just minutes for any salad you wish to use. Simply swap the mayo in tuna or egg salad in for kefir! Since it’s a little thinner, you can use less and get the same effects without all the unhealthy fats or oils. Kefir’s probiotics will also help your meal prep salads last longer in the fridge. For more hearty dishes, add avocado, roasted sweet potato, squash, and more. Feel free to add some Farmer Cheese to the salad for even more probiotic and protein benefits. Check out these Stress-Free Meal Prep Bowls to get some tasty inspiration!
4. Probiotic Dips for Easy Snacks
Aside from being a great dressing base, kefir is a great base for dips and sauces of all kinds for easy meal-prep solutions. Healthy dips make great snacks and ensure you’re more likely to snack on fresh veggies like pre-cut celery, baby carrots, bell pepper slices, cucumber slices, and others. They make healthy snacking easier if you have something made ahead of time. Dips made with kefir last a long time in the fridge (up to a week) thanks to the high probiotic content as a bonus. Keep a batch of probiotic Sweet Potato Hummus in the fridge, Probiotic Pink Dip, or one of our favorites: this Avocado Kefir Dip that uses both our popular, well-loved Low-Fat Plain Kefir and Lifeway Farmer Cheese, both great sources of probiotics and protein all in one!
5. Freezer-Friendly Breakfast Muffins
Muffins are one of the best meal-prep ingredients of all time because they’re easy to bake up a huge batch ahead of time, and you can add whatever fruits (or even veggies!) you want to them. Sneak healthy carrots and zucchini into blueberry muffins, make chocolate muffins with bananas, zucchini, and pumpkin purée, pumpkin muffins for fall, and even sweet potato, spinach, and quinoa muffins for a savory twist. Muffins are versatile and can be frozen in large batches ahead; all you have to do is thaw a couple out in the fridge the night before you want to enjoy them, or at least an hour on the counter before you want to enjoy them, and then heat a few minutes in the microwave, and enjoy! Try some of our favorite muffin recipes on for size here: Blueberry Lemon Kefir Muffins, Farmer Cheese Blueberry Muffins, Farmer Cheese Egg Muffins , Almond Butter Kefir Muffins, or see more muffin recipes here.
Bonus: An Easy Milk Swap for Ready-to-Eat Cereal,Cooked Oatmeal, Savory Breakfast Bowls, and More
If you use milk for any recipe during the day, like a quick bowl of cereal, savory breakfast bowls, or ready-to-eat oatmeal, simply swap in our kefir instead! Or, if you love yogurt or cottage cheese in savory breakfast bowls, try using kefir instead. It’s a higher probiotic ingredient and ready-to-go in the fridge for any time you please. Kefir’s long-lasting shelf life also keeps you from wasting money on milk that goes bad, and you never have to worry about processed preservatives in our products. You get fresh, healthy probiotic-rich kefir that’s easy to digest and has more probiotic benefits than regular yogurt. So next time you got to make a bowl of cereal or a savory breakfast bowl, reach for Lifeway kefir instead of milk. We hope you love it as much as we do!