FAQ - Is Raw Cow's Milk Kefir Suitable for Everyone?

Raw cow’s milk kefir is beneficial for almost everyone. Those with milk sugar (lactose) intolerance may need to introduce raw milk kefir gradually into their diet to be able to digest it fully. Those with a milk protein (casein) sensitivity may find the pre-digested proteins in raw milk kefir easier to digest than milk though we’d advise trying a small amount - a few spoonfuls initially and progress from there.

Pastoral herdsmen from the Caucasus region of Eastern Europe, renowned for their longevity and robust good health have consumed kefir made from fresh raw milk for thousands of years. Raw milk kefir is a time tested superfood which is suitable for: newborns who cannot avail of breast milk and its accompanying beneficial microbes, the elderly with weakened digestion, those recuperating from illness or surgery having undergone a course of antibiotics, those susceptible to seasonal afflictions, those on a low glycemic diet, those affected by Candida, those with gut dysbiosis and even those who just enjoy its tangy fizzy taste !

Local raw cow’s milk from herds grazing in open pastures carries within itself a blueprint of the surrounding microbiota. By consuming it we quite literally welcome in our surroundings. The greater the match between our internal and external microbiome the more at ease we become with our environment and the more resilient we are against seasonal afflictions.

Microbes and their metabolites make raw milk a lot more digestible and nutritious. Pasteurising milk destroys most of its local microbial blueprint, makes milk proteins harder to digest and destroys valuable vitamins and digestive enzymes present in raw milk.

That said, the industrialisation of milk production and loss of source traceability has made consuming raw milk fairly risky. Our raw milk comes from Commonwork Organic Dairy, Bore Place where it is sample tested every other day. This constant monitoring of quality and its systemised record keeping allows us to confidently use their raw milk to produce our perfectly safe raw milk kefir. We and the District Council have tested Happy Belly Raw Cow’s Milk Kefir since 2009 and we have the distinction of having passed every random sample test with flying colours. We can proudly say that Happy Belly Foods is amongst the very few food producers in the UK with approval from local authorities to make raw milk kefir.  

To sum up, we believe Happy Belly Raw Milk Kefir is completely safe to consume for almost everyone and brings with it a host of well-being factors. It sits happily as part of a well balanced and varied diet sourced preferably from local biodynamic and organic producers. 

Rachna Jhala
The New Kid on the Block

We have been sampling our Fruity Brew for some months now and have been encouraged by the feedback we’ve received from those who taste-tested it. This feedback helped us fine tune the recipe and we are now all set to debut our new kid on the block!

To ensure our new kid stands on strong legs we sent Fruity Brew samples for testing to our District Council’s Environmental Health Office (EHO) . We sent the EHO team some bottles for tasting too. We are delighted to report that we’ve got a thumbs up from them on both counts.

It is now time to introduce you to Happy Belly Fruity Brew. Our Brew is fermented with culture derived from raw cow’s milk kefir grains. The culture produces a delicious lightly fizzy beverage which is decanted and fermented again with seasonal organic fruits, roots, and herbs to develop aromatic fruity flavours.

The second fermentation is kept ever changing with inspired combinations to delight and surprise. We will launch with apple + ginger, pomegranate + strawberry , pear + fennel and kiwi + ginger; flavours which proved to be the popular during our taste sampling. Where we go from here will be limited only by Nature and our imagination. We invite you to join us on this boundless adventure!

Rachna Jhala
If You Love It, Share It

From the most ancient times, certain foods were recognised to have special restorative and health giving properties. These were enshrined within their local traditions and passed on from generation to generation. Our ancestors across cultures have been leaving us a rich legacy of wise traditions to dive into and benefit from.

Growing up I learned from my grandmothers that raw milk and yogurt were helpful in dealing with skin problems like acne and even vaginal infections. The word is now out in avant-garde beauty and wellness circles about the benefits of topical probiotics for healthy skin. The times have finally caught up with my grandmothers!

A raw kefir and colloidal oatmeal pack is my staple favourite to rebalance and soothe irritated skin. 

Do share with us wise food and personal care tips from your family’s traditions with permission to post them in our blogs.

Peace and namaste.

Three Wise Women

Three Wise Women

From Russia with Love: My Kefir Story

I first learned about kefir from my Russian neighbour, Gala, in New York City. It was the 1990’s and many Russians had emigrated to the USA following Glasnost - carrying cherished traditions with them. Gala gave me some kefir grains, which she had brought over from Russia, and set me off on a journey into the micro-cosmological world of friendly bacteria and yeasts. My fascination continues to grow today as I engage with them when making kefir, grape and apple vinegars, relishes, cheese, sourdough breads, yogurt and fizzy home brewed beverages. 

Raw milk kefir is pure and simple goodness in every sense of the word. The relationship between kefir microbes and humans is so loving and easy . We feed them the lactose sugars they need to thrive and they transform raw milk into a tangy and safe superfood that brings us so much well-being. 

As so many of our health issues are connected to imbalances in our belly, we find improvements by just including this simple beverage into our diet.

I had suffered from chronic bronchial asthma since childhood. So many triggers would have me wheezing. When kefir entered our home I never considered it would cure me of asthma but that is what happened without my noticing. Months went by without a wheezing episode. Months grew into years with the last episode I can recall being in 2005. Since then, my lungs have grown calmer, more capacious and elastic to a point where I am able to go deep and strong into pranayama (yogic breathing practices). I rarely pick up seasonal infections and can honestly say I am in better health now than in my youth.  

I have raised my children (now young adults) without ever needing to use antibiotics or drugs. Confident in the workings of their kefir fortified immune system. 

Raw milk kefir has been a wonderful friend to me and my family. When I set up Happy Belly Foods in 2009, it was this love I wanted to share most with my larger family - the local community .

Peace and namaste.