Traditional Foods for a Healthy Wealthy New Year

Lifeway Kefir is a traditional Eastern European food that has been consumed for thousands of years. As the New Year approaches, we couldn’t resist staying true to our roots and getting a little superstitious and sharing some of our favorite New Year’s Day food traditions, along with their meanings. Whether you’re one to follow tradition or not, we know you’ll appreciate these recipes for their taste, convenience and fun.

6 Traditional New Year’s Foods

…that are made with Lifeway Kefir products, of course!

Coin-Shaped Foods

Small, circular shaped foods are considered good luck because they resemble coin money. The more of them you eat, the more wealthy you’ll become! Get festive and eat to your prosperity with our Curry Sweet Potato Rounds with Kefir Dipping Sauce. Not only are they round, they’re also a beautiful golden color! Do you think that means double the wealth-bringing power?

Long Noodles

In many Asian countries, it’s customary to eat long noodles on New Year’s day. The length of the noodle represents longevity – the longer the noodle, the longer your life! When preparing your pasta, be sure not to break, cut or shorten your noodles in any way (you wouldn’t want to prematurely shorten your life, would you?) If you’re in need of a quick sauce, our Kefir Tomato Sauce with Seasonal Vegetables is a great choice.

Greens, Leafy Vegetables

Noticing a trend yet? Dark, leafy greens (greens in general) resemble U.S. dollars – money. Eat them not just for your health (they’re high in potassium, calcium and protein), but to bring in wealth in the new year. We’ll definitely be making a double batch of our super healthy Kale Quinoa Salad with Cranberries and Farmer Cheese. If you’re in a hurry, opt for our Crispy Kale Chips with Kefir Ranch Dressing instead.

Cornbread and Black Eyed Peas

The color of gold and in abundance on the cob, corn and cornbread are typically served on New Year’s Day, hoping to bring in wealth for the new year. Notice a trend? Black-eyed peas also resemble pennies and are plentiful. While we’re still perfecting a scratch recipe for corn bread with kefir, we’ve had success with this Crock-Pot dressing. It would be delicious alongside this Hoppin’ John Risotto from The Kitchin.


Cheers to heart health in 2015 with pomegranate. Not only is pomegranate juice good for your heart, but the shape and color of this sweet and tart fruit resembles that ever important organ we all love. Even more, the abundance of arils (juice and seed pods) represent fertility, wealth and abundance and prosperity. For your celebration, you can include our Pomegranate Blueberry Kefir Parfait, our Pomegranate Kefir Punch (for adults only) or our popular Pomegranate Kefir Baba Ghanoush.

Round Foods

Last but not least (and something we’re taking a bit of liberty with), is “round foods in general.” Why various cultures differ regarding what type of round food should be consumed, we think anything that resembles a coin and can be eaten in abundance work. That’s why we’re including our new Farmer Cheese Ball Bites in this list! They’re delicious, small, round and full of probiotic-rich Lifeway Farmer Cheese, meaning they support your immune system and are good for your health. They’re also a perfect party food and round out our recipe collection above. Finally, they’re endlessly customizable! Make them sweet, savory, spicy or salty – the choice is yours! Bonus: these are the same dessert bites we’ll serve to the attendees of the Weinstein Company and Netflix’s Golden Globes After Party – we’re the official dessert sponsor!

Farmer Cheese Ball Bites

farmer cheeseball bites, Golden Globes dessert, healthy treat


  • 10 oz Lifeway Farmer Cheese
  • 8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped almonds
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • Pretzel sticks, as needed
  • Fresh rosemary, as garnish

In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese, Farmer Cheese, and dried cranberries until smooth. Dampen hands to prevent sticking and form cream cheese mixture into approximately 24 tablespoon-sized balls. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours or until firm.

Roll chilled cheese balls in chopped almond, pressing nuts so that they adhere. Keep cheese balls refrigerated until ready to serve. Just before serving, skewer each cheese ball with a pretzel stick.

Drizzle honey on serving plate, place cheese balls on plate and garnish with rosemary

Tips, Tricks, & Variations

You can make the cheese balls ahead of time, but don’t insert the pretzels until just before serving or they will become soggy.

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