Zukay Kvass. Photo from www.zukay.com, used with permission.
“Do I have to make my own ferments? Can’t I just buy something already made?”
While I encourage people to make their own ferments, I fully understand that not everyone has the time to do it and many are scared to do it. Does that mean you can’t have access to good probiotic food? Not at all. There are quite a few companies out there that make fermented foods and one of them is Zukay.
When I was approached by Zukay, I had a few questions before I said yes.
First, are your foods fermented anaerobically (sealed with an airlock system)?
Second, how long are they fermented for? Do they go through all the stages of fermentation?
How are they packaged? For instance, are they in dark bottles to keep UV light out that harms LAB’s?
Do you have information about approximately how many CFU’s are in serving?
The first two questions, I was very satisfied with the answers. Their vegetables are fermented anaerobically and they are fermented for a about 2 weeks. Once the vegetables are fermented, they are gently pressed for their juice. Awesome!
How are they packaged? In clear bottles. While I would much rather see the kvass stored in dark colored bottles, it would be a shame to hide those pretty juice colors. UV light does kill lactic acid bacteria but artificial light generally emits very little UV rays. I’m not sure how much the bacteria content of the kvass is affect by light being able to get into the clear bottles but if it is of concern to you, maybe grab a bottle from the back of the display case. The juice should be stored in refrigerator cases and not outside in the full sun.
Zukay doesn’t have information on how many CFU (colony forming units, a way to measure the amount of bacteria in a product) but I thought I could at least compare Zukay’s kvass to my own fermented veggies to compare the bacteria content. To do this, I pulled out our microscope that we use for homeschooling. This microscope is able to hook up to my computer so I can capture what we see. Very cool.
I. was. impressed. The kvass is very rich in bacteria. At least as much if not more than my own ferments. I didn’t have any kvass at the time to compare but I looked at my own sauerkraut juice and pickle juices and compared them to Zukay’s Beet Kvass and Super Root Kvass.
Zukay Magnified. Aren’t they cute?
**Note: While I can see there is definitely living things in the kvass, I have no idea what it is. Comparing to pictures online, the round blobs are most likely yeast and the rod shaped buggies are most likely lactic acid bacteria. I cannot tell what strains they are. All I can tell from these pictures is there is a lot of something there. We can take a guess at the strains based on the culture they use and the naturally occurring soil bacteria on the vegetables but that’s it.
Zukay Super Root under magnification.
This picture is zoomed out a little more. Just look at all that life! Amazing!
Now the taste…
I won’t lie. I didn’t care for it. Not so bad that I wouldn’t drink it but I do like the taste of my own kvasses better. Zukay’s kvass is sweetened with stevia and I just don’t like stevia. I prefer my kvass to be more savory than sweet.
BUT, my husband likes Zukay better than my kvass. He even kind of liked the beet kvass and he hates beets. And my 2 yo couldn’t get enough of it. He LOVED it. I had to hide the bottles at the back of the fridge so he wouldn’t drink them all in one day.
So don’t not try it because I didn’t care for it. You might like it like my husband and 2 yo. Besides, if I couldn’t make my own kvass, I would have no trouble drinking a portion of Zukay’s kvass every day. Maybe it would grow on me after a while.
Zukay Kvass is an excellent option for getting your daily dose of probiotics. It contains a different spectrum of bacteria than dairy ferments (soil based as opposed to dairy based) and would make a great addition to anyone’s diet. Don’t let not having time keep you from getting your probiotics. Getting your probiotics in food form is better than a pill because you are getting the vitamins and minerals from the vegetables in a predigested way that your body can better utilize in addition to all the beneficial bacteria. Rock on ferments!
Eat your bugs!
Now do you want to win some? Zukay has been gracious enough to offer some great prizes to a few of my readers. The grand prize is a 6 pack of Zukay Kvass (a $24 value), your choice of flavors. 10 runner ups will receive a coupon for a free bottle of kvass (each a $4 value). Open to US citizens only and will run from March 11th to March 18th.
But you can all be winners! Simply like Zukay on Facebook and send them a message with your address and they’ll send you a coupon book worth $5.50 in savings on over 7 bottles of product. This is unlimited! Your address will not be sold and will be used for this promotion ONLY.
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