Confession Friday: I Brew Kefir Soda

Don’t worry, it’s totes legal. And it’s delicious!

Me watching the kefir grains rise and fall, like the tides of the universe.

Me watching the kefir grains rise and fall, like the tides of the universe.

Many of you have heard about kefir that’s made with milk, but fewer people know what kefir water is. Kefir water is fairly similar in that one uses small colonies of bacteria and yeast to convert sugars into a probiotic drink with health benefits. It’s an excellent substitute for those that have dairy allergies (MomFOD) or who are began vegan but want to consume probiotics for intestinal health. The water, through a process of secondary fermentation, can be turned into something that resembles soda. It makes an excellent replacement for sugary drinks that have no benefit to your health. MomFOD’s favorite here is the bubbly lemonade. Yum!

Why do I bring it up? Well, probiotics are excellent for your pets! Rocky is taking them per his doctor’s orders for his stomach upset. Many sources on the internet point out that you can feed your pets milk kefir, water kefir, and even the extra kefir grains as a source of probiotics. MomFOD has eaten the extra grains herself, and just recently tried them out on us! I wouldn’t eat them. In fact, none of the cats would, but Doodle was sure pleased to slurp them up!

If you want to use kefir on your pet, consult your veterinarian first. Pets may have issues with cow’s milk, although after it’s been turned into kefir, over 99% of the lactose will have been removed. Goat’s milk kefir might be a better choice that cow’s. Water kefir might still have some sugar left in it, so keep that in mind, as well.  Again, please consult your veterinarian and use your own judgement.

My overly fizzy attempt at Kefir Cider.

My overly fizzy attempt at Kefir Cider.

 

If you’re new to kefir, start drinking it slowly and work your way up to larger amounts to avoid any major digestive upset after the influx of probiotics.

For more information about water kefir, you can read this excellent FAQ from a place that sells kefir grains or this website that answers everything you’ve ever wanted to know about brewing kefir at home.

My brew corner. Those are kombuchas there.

My brew corner. Those are kombuchas there.

What do you guys think? Would you try brewing kefir?  Do you want to know more about it? If there’s interest, we can do another post about how to make delicious sparkling kefir lemonade! Let us know!

Love,

Crepes.

PS. I’m not a doctor, although I sometimes play one on TV, so please do some extra research and make sure you check with your veterinarian or your own doctor before making any decisions that could affect you or your pet’s health.

 

Review: Pro Bloom Instant Goat’s Milk – Stumps Up or Down?

You Guys!

Today, I’d like to do a review of The Honest Kitchen’s Pro Bloom Instant Goat’s Milk. It was given to us as a sample in our BlogPaws bags and we gave it a try here at home. (Please note, I am also one of The Honest Kitchen’s Blog Partners, and we do receive 10% off in their online store for being a partner, but not for writing reviews.)

Me inspecting a few of the packets of Pro Bloom

Me inspecting a few of the packets of Pro Bloom

 

Last week, my mom FOD wrote a post about goat’s milk.  She feels like it’s healthy for us. I feel like it’s delicious. Mom FOD was getting her goat’s milk from a farmer, but it was often arriving frozen in large portions, which was hard for us little guys to polish off, so she was pleased to see this product from The Honest Kitchen in her BlogPaws bag. So, what is it?

Pro Bloom, pre hydration

Pro Bloom, pre hydration

Pro Bloom is a dehydrated goat’s milk that contains probiotics and digestive enzymes. According to The Honest Kitchen, it is not a raw food, because the milk is pasteurized prior to dehydration, but they do add in the probiotics after, which is helpful in maintaining some of goat’s milk’s health benefits. Some other nice things about Pro Bloom:

  • it’s pesticide- and herbicide-free
  • it contains no growth hormones
  • it contains no antibiotics
  • it’s from milk that comes from pasture-raised goats from the Pacific Northwest

The box comes with 16 packets of the powdered milk. After adding 8 ounces of warm water, you get to serve it to your pets. Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to two days, although in our house, there are no leftovers. The whole box makes 16 cups of milk and it retails online for $23.99.

After mixing

After mixing

Mom FOD has served it to us so far on three occasions. On the first two, all five of us loved it. On the most recent, four out of five pets enjoyed Pro Bloom. The other one had just eaten dinner and didn’t feel like indulging (he’s sort of a pansy when it comes to food. He actually stops when he’s full.)

Mom FOD appreciates that it’s a great way to get us to drink extra water, which cats don’t do much of on their own. It also helps get more water in Rocky’s diet. He gets constipated a lot and the extra water keeps things moving along.

Verdict: It’s a great product to have on hand for intermittent supplementation. It stores and travels well, is free of bad things and full of good things, and seems to be very palatable. It is a bit pricey to use for every day consumption, especially in multiple pet households, and we’d like to see that come down a bit, but I suppose paying for quality and convenience is not cheap. Overall, we give it two stumps up!

Four out of five in our household have never turned it down

Four out of five in our household have never turned it down (that’s me licking my lips because it’s tasty)

Is Goat’s Milk Healthy for Your Pets?

Alana here again.

I’d like to continue the subject of nutrition that I started earlier this week on the topic of goat’s milk. By now, many cat owners have heard that cats could not and should not drink cow’s milk, but have you heard that your cat or dog can and even should drink goat’s milk?

©freefoto.com

The Mighty Goat

 

DIGESTIBILITY

For those familiar with milk in its raw state, cow’s milk separates into cream and a more watery milk if left to settle and must be shaken to combine them. This is where homogenization comes in; although a few small studies suggest that homogenizing milk may be harmful to one’s health, companies do this so people don’t have to shake the milk before drinking it. (I’d prefer to shake it if there’s any doubt.) Goat’s milk, on the other hand, does not ever separate (Edit: 6/30/15 Goat’s milk can eventually separate, but does not do so as easily as cow’s milk), does not need to be shaken, and does not require homogenization. Due to its smaller molecular size, goat’s milk is more easily digestible (it takes about 20 minutes to digest, compared to 3 hours for cow’s milk). In addition, raw milk (cow OR goat) contains the necessary enzymes to aid in its own digestion, something pasteurized milk is lacking. This is why those of us that are lactose intolerant can drink raw milk but cannot digest processed milk.

BENEFITS

Goat’s milk is a, or possibly THE, most nutritionally complete food. In fact, the American Journal of Medicine states that goat’s milk is “the most complete food known.” It does not stimulate the production of mucus (cow’s milk does) and can counteract inflammation. It also seems to have some antiviral properties that can benefit and enhance the immune system, and has a nutritional and compositional profile very similar to human mother’s milk. It is often well tolerated by infants, adult humans, and cats and dogs. Rescueguide.com advises that orphaned kittens should be fed goat’s milk when their own mother’s milk is unavailable.

PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

In my personal experience, goat’s milk has been extremely welcome in the diet of my cats and dog. Though they can be picky eaters, the occasion is rare that they turn down a bowl of goat’s milk. Two of my four cats have sensitive stomachs, one of them extremely sensitive. If he strays from his diet at all, the result is usually regurgitation of his meal, yet he’s able to easily tolerate goat’s milk without a problem. When Crepes was having herpes flare ups as a kitten, the change in her diet from a highly-processed, grain-based diet to an all raw diet that included goat’s milk cleared up her symptoms entirely and she no longer suffers from any respiratory issues.

WHERE TO GET IT

Goat’s milk tends to be seasonal; the goats do not produce milk year-round, so farmer’s often freeze their surplus to be able to accommodate customers during the off-season. You may not be able to find fresh goat’s milk, but the frozen variety works, as well. Ask your local pet store if they carry it in their frozen section.

Your cat or dog may benefit from the inclusion of goat’s milk in their diet, or they  might simply enjoy it because it’s tasty!

If you’ve tried it, what did you think? What did your pet think? Let me know!

 

 

 

Sources:

http://www.naturalnews.com/031586_raw_goats_milk_health.html

http://dancingdogfarm.wordpress.com/2011/07/22/benefits-of-drinking-goats-milk/

http://www.roseofsharonacres.com/raw_goat_milk_benefits