21-Day Vegan Kickstart

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Forums: January 2012 Kickstart Forum: Kefir
Created on: 01/02/12 11:16 AM Views: 1816 Replies: 6
Kefir
Posted Monday, January 2, 2012 at 11:16 AM

Between Kickstarts I started to ferment raw milk with kefir grains, and use it in my morning smoothies. I only have access to this kind of milk during the natural milk season. It is actually illegal to buy or sell raw milk in this part of the world, but that is another topic.

The cow has gone dry, and it is Kickstart time anyway, but I don't want to give up on the rich probiotic culture. I have started to experiment with almond milk, with fairly good results, but it is said that the grains will eventually die if they don't have animal milk to live in, at lease once in a while.

There is a lot of information on line about this issue, but most of it is the repetition one finds on the net. The solid science seems to be behind "pay per view" walls. I would appreciate personal or professional opinions and personal stories, if you have them, about the benefits or dangers of raw milk kefir, and about alternative ways to achieve the same results. So far as I can tell, the kefir grains do consume some of the "bad for human" parts of the milk, but I don't think they consume casein. I can't confirm this. Apparently they consume the lactose, but they seem to need fat so maybe they consume that too. Of perhaps greater importance would be techniques for keeping the grains alive, well, and probiotic producing without using milk, or leading to the consumption of high fat products such as coconut milk.

Thanks in advance! PCRM nutrition department professionals please respond!

- madeline

madeline yakimchuk
Director: MEET IRENE - An Unlikely Vegan
GRYPHON media productions

www
RE: Kefir
Posted Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 1:00 PM

The great thing about a diet full of fiber, which a plant-based, whole foods diet most certainly is, is that healthy bacteria will flourish in your gut naturally. Your system will run like the perfect machine it was designed to be. Fermenting foods, plant foods included, but especially animal products, is a risky business. One that is probably not necessary provided the rest of your diet is contributing to overall health. I don't want to discourage your experiments with almond milk - but do be cautious.

Susan Levin, MS, RD
PCRM Director of Nutrition Education

Edited 01/03/12 1:10 PM
RE: Kefir
Posted Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 2:47 PM

Thanks for the answer Susan. I'm not getting the email notices when a thread has a new reply... I'll have to check my prefs. I just noticed your answer now.

I have heard the same thing from others, about fermenting being dangerous, and the opposite opinion too, of course. One Chinese medicine trained local practitioner once told me that I should not assume that because something is traditional it is safe. Maybe, he continued, fermenting milk was the best approach when people didn't have places to store it, but that doesn't make fermentation a danger free process. I had used kefir for years and years in the past, and wondered if the fact that I LOVE IT is a milk addiction or not. I so much want to be doing the right thing. I have convinced myself to give up the milk, but it didn't occur to me that I didn't need the probiotics which fermenting "something" would supply. Is there any science on this that is accessible to the public?

Great to be on a Kickstart again, although I am mixing some of those fabulous new recipes from the India Kickstart with the official menu. We are in our cold season here and salads are not comforting enough Smile

- madeline

madeline yakimchuk
Director: MEET IRENE - An Unlikely Vegan
GRYPHON media productions

www
RE: Kefir
Posted Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 4:43 PM

You can make water kefir, too. I'm not sure how to do it, but you can google it. Wink

Edit: Never mind googling it - here it is: http://www.keeperofthehome.org/2011/04/how-to-make-water-kefir.html

Edited 01/03/12 4:44 PM
RE: Kefir
Posted Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 11:31 PM

I'm not sure if the PCRM input also puts much of the soy products under scrutiny or not since so much of it is fermented to some degree.

Regardless, I do have Water Kefir grains on order from eBay and hope to start brewing when I get them later this week.

I'm hoping for either two outcomes...One, that it'll be beneficial for my digestive system or two, that it'll be another beverage alternative when I tire of water itself.

If there are cases showing actual harm from consuming properly brewed water kefir, i.e. not allowing a moldy batch to be consumed, then I'd like to hear more about this.

www
RE: Kefir
Posted Wednesday, January 4, 2012 at 9:45 AM

gryphonpro wrote:


Great to be on a Kickstart again, although I am mixing some of those fabulous new recipes from the India Kickstart with the official menu. We are in our cold season here and salads are not comforting enough Smile

- madeline

Yeah, we're doing warm veg instead of cold salads here too. At least one soup per week (if not more) - we did a yummy one with chard, beans, and quinoa last week. A butternut squash soup is later this week. We've also fallen in love with making root veg hash - spuds, sweet potatoes, turnips, parsnips, carrots, onions, beets (in random combination as available) steamed/sauteed in water and vegetable stock (homemade) with some cooked beans added in for a bit of protein a texture as well (whatever beans we've got handy at the time, black beans, chickpeas, navy beans, etc). Warm, hearty, low fat, vegan. And of course chili is a regular on the menu (veg of course and sometimes we'll add diced winter squash of some sort into it as well, really yummy sweet/cooling bites in the mix).
--Deb R

Edited 01/04/12 9:45 AM
RE: Kefir
Posted Wednesday, January 4, 2012 at 11:49 AM

kgershman ... Please do let me know how the water kefir goes. Would it have the same richness of life as the other I wonder?

Bugsmom .. Sounds yummy !

madeline yakimchuk
Director: MEET IRENE - An Unlikely Vegan
GRYPHON media productions

www


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