View Full Version : Kefir? To eat or not to eat? That is the ?
01-18-2006, 12:44 AM
I saw a posting on this forum a few days ago that someone wrote saying they took Kefir as a probiotic. Well I saw some at the grocery store and assumed that it would be made of some soy or nut milky stuff or some vegan stuff as this is a raw vegan board and I bought some and got home and discovered that it is made of cultured milk.
I thought we don't eat animal products so I was wondering about the person who drinks kefir. Does yours have milk too or are there kefirs without dairy in them? After being raw vegan with no dairy for 3 1/2 weeks, I took a huge slug of it without reading the ingredients and almost spit it out becuase it tasted like drinking butter. I guess I am not in tune with dairy anymore.
I guess I don't understand why you drink kefir if yours is dairy. Aren't most people on raw dairy free? I guess I am just wondering if I missed the boat on the Kefir thing and allowed or not? I confused as it is a probiotic and supposedly good for you.
01-18-2006, 01:33 AM
Some raw fooders eat raw animal products and drink raw dairy...but that is not discussed on this particular forum even if they do consume it.
However, there was a lengthy thread a while back where they were discussing a way to make a raw vegan version using grains or something to that effect:
01-18-2006, 01:35 AM
You can actually get a culture for kefir (like for yogourt) and make your own on both nut milks and fresh young coconut water blended with the flesh. They work well... just take care of the starter and it will last forever. We put ours in the dehydrator one day to warm up the kefir being made (they tell you not to but it was so so cold that day) and it overheated and died (which ended our 1 week experiment) - they like colder temperatures which is great because you never have to heat it.
You take care of the culture by feeding it a couple of times a week... sort of like our grandsmothers keeping yeast culture for baking bread. Then you make kefir with it, and strain our the culture again for next time.
Some people absolutely swear by kefir for probiotics.
01-18-2006, 10:16 AM
Yes, Kefir is typically a dairy based product.
(Don't worry the raw vegan police will just give you a warning this time :p)
It is full of great probiotics though and very good for you.
You can make vegan kefir from nut mylks and young coconut mylk.
Dr. Gabrial Cousens recommends and gives directions
for this in his book, "Rainbow Green Live Food Cuisine".
I believe all the kefir you buy in the grocery stores will be dairy based
though. Learning to make it is not difficult though.
I'm going to make a vegan one out of young coconut mylk; I'll report back & let you know how it turns out.
Other cultered vegan foods you might be interested in are
raw saurkraut and raw kim-chi. You can make these yourself (also
in Dr. Cousens book) or
buy the Rejuvanate brand from Whole Foods in the refrigerated section.
It's kinda pricey though at 10 bucks small jar.
Also miso is a cultered food. a good popular brand is the "South River Miso"..
I like the Chickpea one since I try to limit my soy intake.
Alissa has a simple and good miso soup recipe in her cookbook.
My whole family eats this.
Also Kombucha tea is a favorite of mine (I get the raw kind in the refrigerated section of Whole Foods...beware there are some types
that are NOT raw...make sure it says raw and unpasterized). Now
there might be some caffeine in the Kombucha since it's made of tea.
I find it's trace amounts, but if you are trying to avoid all caffeine
I just thought you should know.
01-18-2006, 10:19 AM
Thank you for all of your postings. The mystery has been solved. I will look into making some nut milk versions.
01-18-2006, 07:11 PM
Please tell us how your nutmilk version turns out. I was a huge kefir fan before raw and tried it with soymilk at the beginning of being raw, which was awful, then tried it with almond milk, but I found that really really nasty. Maybe I did something wrong. Kefir suppose to feed on lactose. I don't know what it 'eats' in almond milk. Maybe it did not find anything and just died.
01-18-2006, 07:12 PM
We buy our kefir culture from
When made with cows milk, you can only make continuous batches about 6 or 7 times and then you have to start all over because the bacteria in the milk that occurs naturally begins to take over.
With nut, soy or rice milk, you can make them indefinitely if you take good care of your culture.
01-19-2006, 02:39 PM
Cadreamer, the price seems kind of high for the 6 packets, even though they don't say how much is in each packet.
At http://www.vmc-health.com/ you get (6) 5g envelopes (each good for about 1 quart of fluid) for around $5.00
01-19-2006, 02:47 PM
I've been experimenting with culturing lately.
The seemingly high price of probiotic is offset by the fact that you need just a little bit to get your culture started and, also, because you can use the cultured nuts as a starter for your next batch. The key for me is using a right bacteria. I have to admit that I spent $40 for a teensy weensy bottle, but it'll conceivably last forever. Okay, so that's hyperbole. How 'bout, it'll last a loooooong time?!?
Salsify, nut/seed combinations or all seeds have the best taste. Of course, you can always doctor up the resulting product. Add to smoothies, put fruit or chopped veggies in it, spices, etc. Just eating it plain like purchased yogurt or kefir isn't to most people's tastes (including mine).
01-19-2006, 06:20 PM
Each packet is added to one quart warm milk. It's allowed to sit undisturbed in a warm place for 12 or more hours. Then, before finishing the batch, a tablesppoon, I think, is added to the next quart of milk. You can do this for about 6 batches. Then you need to start over with a fresh quart of milk.
If you use nut or seed milk, one packet will make unlimited batches. I personally didn't have success with anything except cows milk.
01-22-2006, 06:57 PM
This makes it sound very easy.
Article plus recipes: CULTURING YOUR FOOD (http://www.vegetarianbaby.com/articles/rawculturingfoods.shtml)
01-22-2006, 10:39 PM
This is how I'm culturing -- in fact, I use probiotics from Lou Corona (who is local and an intriguing guy). It IS easy, and the container lasts forever.
01-22-2006, 11:15 PM
Are you using nutmilks? I was wondering if they turned out well. I really like Almond milk and was thinking I might try that.
How do you tell if Kefir is doing any good to your body. I didn't really notice anything different but then maybe it's one of those things that is good for you but not that noticeable.
Thank you for your input.
01-22-2006, 11:25 PM
No, I'm not culturing nutmilk. I'm making a yogurt from soaked nuts & seeds and/or coconut. I do it exactly like the article discusses. It also mentions the benefits. (Thanks, jaurequi, for putting in the link to Angela's article.)
01-23-2006, 03:45 PM
Alot of the cultures you buy are dairy based. What i've done is made my raw milk from nuts or whatever, add sweetener and then take a small spoonful of vegan yogurt and stir it in. The soy is diluted in the raw milk, and the cultures are transferred. The way i see it, a little soy is worth staying vegan.
my two cents :)
01-23-2006, 10:59 PM
None of the probiotics that I see in the raw world are "dairy based" (a.k.a. lactobacillus acidophilus) nor does the one that I use contains acidophilus. It contains lactobacillus plantarum and lactobacillus salivarius.
Lactobacillus plantarum lives in our intestinal tract. Here is some info about it:
And here is the type that I am now experimenting with:
I would much rather use this than introduce soy into my diet, but that's a personal choice, I know.
By the way, I'm wondering why do you add sweetener?
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