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I'm thinking of dabbling with some kefir, but have taken myself off of milk because dd 6mo reacts (tummy upset) when I have milk products. Does the fact that kefir is fermented change it's composition so that some people who are sensitive are no longer sensitive to milk? If making it with milk will be a problem, has anyone had any success making it with milk substitutes like soy, rice or almond milk? If so, I'm sure that any grains I get had to have been originially propogated in dairy milk, right? How does that play out?<br><br>
TIA
 

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If you are lactose intolerant (lacking the enzyme lactase that digests lactose) you should be fine with kefir ( or just plain raw milk as well, since that contains lactase). Symptoms of lactose intolerance are gastro-intestinal, diarrhea, stomach pains, gas, that sort of thing.<br><br>
However if you are allergic to casein (milk protein) kefir will still be an issue. I have heard that fermenting also partially digests casein but have seen many many cases personally where that didn't pan out...Symptoms of casein allergy can be many and range from gi problems to depression, musculo- skeletal issues, upper respiratory stuff too skin problems and beyond.<br><br>
You can make a delicious kefir from coconut milk. I think people use the regular milk kefir grains, but i only have experience making coconut kefir from the packets of powder sold at the hfs...<br>
I dont know about almond or other milks, but I have made great almond milk yogurt...so maybe just give it a try. I think Sandor Katz writes about culturing other milks with kefir though, so i think it should work<br><br>
HTH<br><br>
Tanya
 

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I've switched milk grains over to water kefir and juice kefir, we mostly avoid the whole milk thing altogether just because it's not our favorite. Converting milk grains to another liquid seems to be pretty successful as far as I've heard.
 

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My ds doesn't tolerate much dairy either. I've just started adding in some kefir and so far he seems to be handling it okay (no major gas or spit up). I'm using raw milk and scalding it to help break down the proteins. Then I guess the fermentation process breaks them down further. Sure tasted like it. I had to make a smoothie with fruit and honey because the, shall we say, "predigested" flavor, was a little more than I could handle (and I really like tart/sour foods).
 

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I am one of those people who can't drink milk, and am fine with kefir. You have to make sure that you ferment it for long enough, though. The first couple of batches I made I reacted badly to until I figured out I was not leaving it out long enough. The kefir needs to separate into two layers when fermenting before I can drink it. (I should explain - that's when I know it is done - then I strain the grains out and mix it up, and it's nice and creamy.)<br><br>
You might want to start slowly with kids - don't just get them to drink a whole cup the first time out - let their systems get used to it before going full-on with it. Make a smoothee with a banana and they're sure to like it.<br><br>
I've also heard that if you do a secondary fermentation for a few days that takes out even more lactose - basically you strain your kefir grains out, put in a sealed container and let it sit on the counter for a couple more days. I don't like the taste of that, though, but if you're having trouble digesting you might try that.
 

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My kids are sensitive to cow's milk, so I'm making coconut water kefir right now. It's been three days, and not bubbling yet. I think the room temperture is not high enough for it. It smells funny, too.<br>
I hope it'll work...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/praying.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="praying">:
 

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I'm constantly amazed at the power of kefir. This past week I've been extremely bad, eating too much caramels, brioche, and donuts. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yikes2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yikes">:<br><br>
When I first started this junk food binge, I hadn't started drinking kefir again yet and I got symptoms of a yeast infection. But now that I'm drinking it regularly, the symptoms completely went away, and I'm also not suffering any bad effects from eating all that crap. Not even weight gain!<br><br>
I have drunk kefir regularly before, but it didn't have this effect. This time around, I'm drinking it on an empty stomach, and waiting at least an hour before consuming anything else. I think it boosts kefir's power to re-colonize my junk-filled gut with good bacteria.
 
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