Coconut Milk Kefir
Our Coconut Milk Kefir is available in many stores around Nova Scotia. Scroll through this page for answers to your Frequently Asked Questions as well as a full list of retailers.
Nova Scotia’s Original Coconut Milk Kefir is a plant-based, fermented food - high in active bacteria. Each serving contains over 8 billion CFU (colony forming units) of live bacteria.
Frequently Asked Questions
Some people, unfamiliar with living (fermented) foods, have some questions when they initially start to consume them so we wanted to provide answers to some of your questions.
Coconut Milk What? The word 'kefir' comes from the Turkish language and roughly translated means 'long life' or 'good life'! Most people in North America pronounce it 'kee-fur' or 'keff-er' however, Russians pronounce it as 'kuh-fear'. Since it originated in the Northern Caucasus Mountain region of Russia, we'll assume that is the correct pronunciation. However you pronounce it, Kefir is a fermented beverage, traditionally made with dairy milk, that is high in beneficial bacteria. Kefir is closely linked to the longevity of the people of Russia, who were known to live long and healthy lives, with many centenarians among them.
Why Coconut Milk? Some people are sensitive to dairy or choose to follow a plant-based diet for health related reasons. Coconut Milk is a great alternative to dairy that is delicious and provides a nutritious base for our ferment.
Why does it “pop” or “fizz” when I first open it? This is the beautiful sound of a perfectly fermented product! During the fermentation process, carbonation builds up and then releases when you first open it. This is why we label the product “do not shake”…just like you wouldn’t shake kombucha, sparkling water, or soda. After the initial opening and the carbonation is released, it will no longer fizz as the fermentation process stops once it is refrigerated.
Why does it smell like sulfur or rotten eggs when I first open it? Again, being a fermented product the act of fermentation produces gases that can give off a sulphur smell. While not appealing to some, this is actually a good thing…it indicates that you’ve got a nice active ferment that provides all kinds of healthy bacteria. If you’ve ever eaten fermented foods, you’ll know that this is completely normal and 100% safe to consume. This smell usually subsides after it’s been open a few times and the gases are released. If you want to speed this up, just leave the lid off in the fridge for a day or so and the gasses will release faster but all the healthy bacteria will still be there.
How does it taste? Most people describe it as a “sour coconut-y taste” similar to yogurt but slightly stronger. Given that our kefir has no added sugar like the commercial ones you might be used to, the taste can range between sour and tangy, depending on your taste. If you don’t like it at first, you can add it to any cold food like a smoothie, yogurt, overnight oats, orange juice, homemade popsicles – most people learn to appreciate the taste quickly when they see the benefits and realize that the more sour it is, the better it is!
Why does it separate? Natural coconut milk, without the use of a lot of stabilizers, naturally separates. This is an indication of a natural product and simply requires gentle stirring to bring the two together after sitting on the refrigerator shelf for a few days.
How long will my kefir last? The best before date on the bottom of the jar is the date that the product should be sold by to maintain the 8 billion CFU of probiotics per serving. The good bacteria in the kefir allows it to last much longer than that without actually spoiling. In fact, we’ve kept some in our fridge for over six months and it was not spoiled however we cannot guarantee the probiotic count at this point. It won’t hurt you to consume beyond the best before date, it just may not be quite a beneficial. With 16 servings per jar, if used as suggested, you should go through a jar in about two weeks.
Is your kefir gluten free, sugar free and dairy free? Yes, yes and almost yes! There is ZERO gluten or sugar used in our process so we can 100% guarantee it to be free of added gluten and sugar. We also do not use any dairy in the process of making our coconut milk kefir however, since milk kefir culture requires milk to live, our starter is grown in a milk substrate. This is the case for all milk kefir. The amount of starter that gets used in each individual bottle is so minimal that there is no milk in the final product. We had our product tested for dairy allergen and it came back with less than 0.6ppm detected. While this number is basically non-detectable for the general population, we want to be transparent about this for people with life threatening dairy allergies.
Why “plant based” and not vegan? The term “vegan” was coined in 1944 by Donald Watson — an animal rights advocate and founder of The Vegan Society — to describe a person who avoids using animal products of any kind for ethical reasons.
In the 1980s, Dr. T Colin Campbell introduced the term “plant-based diet” to define a low fat, high fiber, vegetable-based diet that focused on health and not ethics.
While our kefir does not contain any animal products, true vegans may object to the fact that kefir culture needs milk to survive. This is why we have chosen to label our product plant based rather than vegan.
For our potential vegan customers, you will be happy to hear that we are currently working on a vegan version using water kefir as a starter – stay tuned for the launch of this product.
How much should I take? Our suggested serving is 1oz (or 2tbsp) per day. A 1oz serving contains 8 billion CFU which falls within the daily recommendation of probiotics by the National Institute of Health. While you can consume more than that, some people do experience adverse effects when they overdo it on their probiotic. If you are not currently taking a probiotic, we do recommend starting slowly. Start with 1 tsp and add 1 tsp daily until you reach the suggested serving, backing off if notice any digestive upset. This is completely normal, some people just need some time to allow their body to adjust to this new healthy bacteria.
If you still have questions, please reach out via our contact us page and we would be happy to answer your questions directly.
Where to buy our Nova Scotia's Original Coconut Milk Kefir:
Would you like to carry our product in your retail store? Visit our Wholesale page for more information.