Recently I was contacted by Zac from Zukay Live Foods, who asked me if I would be interested in reviewing their Zukay Live Foods Kvass. Never one to turn down a chance to try something new, I told him to send some over.
What the heck is kvass, and what is it made of?
Kvass is a raw, naturally fermented (probiotic) beverage made from bread or vegetables. In the case of Zukay Live Foods, they source raw, organic vegetables – locally and in season whenever possible – from Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-op. They use a few dry roots, herbs and spices from Mountain Rose Herbs, and a small amount of raw, organic stevia for sweetness. The salt they use is Celtic Seas Salt from Selina Naturally, which has a full range a natural minerals. The vegetables are naturally fermented (think sauerkraut), then juiced and bottled – that’s it.
You can view full ingredient lists online on the Products Page:
A typical ingredient list (in this case, the Super Green Kvass ingredients) is as follows:
Ingredients: Water, Organic Cabbage, Organic Fennel, Organic Kale, Organic Spinach, Organic Chard, Organic Lemon, Organic Ginger, Organic Watercress, Organic Wheatgrass, Organic Spirulina, Celtic Sea Salt, Hand-Batched Live Active Culture, Organic Raw Green Stevia
What does Zukay Live Foods Kvass Taste Like?
The kvass tastes very veggie, and a little salty sweet. The flavor is bright and crisp – I think it would make a great sports drink substitute on a warm summer day. My youngest wasn’t too excited about it – he prefers water kefir – but my eldest has been sipping away. I think it’s his favorite fermented drink to date.
What health effects might the Zukay Live Foods Kvass have?
Most of us don’t get enough vegetables in our diet, so this is a great way to get more vegetable nutrients in an easy to drink, easy for the body to use form. The drinks contain natural antioxidants. Probiotics are known to improve digestion.
Just to warn you, the beet products may have a strong cleansing effect. Typically this results in gas and a short, quick bout of diarrhea, followed by a marked increase in energy from the cleansing. Some people have had a cleansing effect from the non-beet products, but it is less common. Personally, I found myself burping a bit when I consumed larger quantities of the beverage, but had no other side effects. (The beverages are not carbonated, so this was a new reaction for the Zukay crew.) Smaller amounts did not have the same effect, but it once I started drinking it usually tasted like “more”.
From the Zukay website:
When you’re talking about Veggie•Biotics, you’re talking real, traditional, life sustaining food. Zukay’s Veggie•Biotic kvass drinks and salad dressings are made only from raw, organic, farm fresh veggies that are fermented in the ancient traditions, using only wild cultures we hand-batch ourselves.
Why does this mean so much? Probiotics have become huge news in the natural food world, and for good reason – they’re necessary for good health, and the modern American’s guts are under siege. But they’re not all made equally. While many companies offer all kinds of lab-made lactobacilli and probiotic blends, Veggie•Biotics like Zukay’s kvass and salad dressings offer you the original probiotic – the one that kept mankind healthy and vibrant for millennia. The only other thing you get from Veggie-Biotics is something you want and need – a tremendous amount of pure, untouched raw vegetable nutrition. Our Veggie•Biotic products have no added sugars, no fillers, no natural or artificial flavors, gelatins, or any other ingredient that you just don’t need.
Where is Zukay Live Foods located and who owns it?
Zukay live Foods is located in Eastern Pennsylvania in beautiful Butter Valley on the edge of rural Berks and Montgomery counties in the Pennsylvania Dutch countryside. It is a small business founded by Scott and Cathy Grzybek – not a subsidiary of some global food giant.