In this weeks blog Team Happy Gut is sharing a twist on water kefir by introducing you to the world of fermented nut milk.
We love our effervescent, probiotic water-based blends, but have you ever thought about substituting the water for coconut or almond milk? We have, and it is DELICIOUS!
Introducing Fermented Nut Milk Kefir! We know it is a bit of a mouth full, but rest assured, once you give this creamy blend a try, your life will be forever changed.
Now that summer has ended, its time to reset, and get back to health in a fun and exciting new way!
NUT MILK KEFIR
You may have heard of milk kefir, the cousin to water kefir. While their processes are very similar, the grains are different. Water kefir grains do not respond to dairy, and milk grains do not respond to non-dairy alternatives. Milk kefir tends to be a bit thicker (like drinkable yogurt), and while still delicious, does not lend well to a second ferment the way that water kefir does, nor is it vegan.
We do, however, love the creaminess of dairy, especially moving towards the colder months, and sometimes it is nice having a creaminess to our smoothies, without the heaviness of yogurt but with all of the probiotic punch!
The process is ultra simple:
1/4 cup water kefir grains
4 cups of almond, oat or nut milk of choice
Ferment for 24 hours.
If using a standard brand of milk (like Silk unsweetened almond milk), you can expect the ferment to be a little thicker, and it will remain more emulsified during the ferment due to the presence of binding and thickening agents. This will yield something more similiar to a milk kefir or sipping yogurt.
If using a natural/organic milk (We like Earth’s Own unsweetend almond), you will expect to have a ferment that is not quite as thick as its counterpart, which can be nice and refreshing, and lends well to straight forward fruit flavoring. The one thing to remember with all natural plant milks is that without the presence of binding/thickening agents, you may experience some separation during the ferment. This is absolutely normal, and does not effect the flavor or probiotic content. Simply give your fermented nut milk a little shake to emulsify before drinking!
You can substitute plant milk kefir in many recipes that call for milk for additional flavor and a great probiotic boost!
FLAVORING AND SECOND FERMENTS
While both standard and natural plant milks are amazing on their own, they also lend well to adding flavors! You have 2 options when it comes to flavors:
1) After 24 hours, strain out your grains, rinse them under the tap really well and put them into a glass jar. (I usually transfer my fermented milk to another bottle and use the fermentation jar) Add water to the jar and stick it into the fridge. The grains will go into dormancy and can sit in your fridge for up to 3 months before being fed again. Next add your desired flavorings to your fermented milk and store immediately in the refrigerator. You can either blend fresh fruit into your kefir, or simply pop a few pieces of your favorites into the ferment for a lighter touch of flavor.
2) After 24 hours, remove your grains, and add pieces of your favorite fresh fruits, and a touch of honey or agave. Allow to ferment on the counter for another 24 hours in an airtight container. This process will infuse the kefir with fruit flavor AND add a slightly tangy effervescence to your brew!
PRO TIP: What flavors do you enjoy in your yogurt? Those flavors will all lend beautifully to these brews of your fermented nut milk… or scroll on down for one of our favorite summer blends!
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This Blog is written in Canada with Love and good intentions,
Leeza Zurwick is the Founder of Happy Gut and has a deep passion for living off the earth and using fermented food as medicine. After being gifted some water kefir grains, she found it difficult to find consistent information on how to brew water kefir and she found it challenging to source the right brewing supplies. Through extensive research, trial and error, Leeza developed simple recipes and systems to ensure success and delicious results. After drinking water kefir daily, she noticed a significant reduction in bloating, clearer skin and her immune system was strengthened enough to not get sick, despite working in classrooms full of germy kids! Leeza launched Happy Gut in 2017 and made it her mission to share the age old wisdom, simplicity and incredible health benefits of live, probiotic rich, fermented Water Kefir.