Milk Kefir versus Water Kefir
There are two different types of kefir. Milk kefir is fairly well-known as many grocery stores now carry it in the dairy department. Water kefir is similar to milk kefir in that it is a probiotic-rich beverage. but water kefir is dairy-free, making it a great choice for people with dairy sensitivities. Water kefir is also a lighter beverage and can be flavored any number of ways, making it easier to drink in large quantities and a great choice for hydration in warm weather.
Here are the primary differences between milk kefir and water kefir:
How It is Made
Milk Kefir. Milk kefir is made with cow milk, goat milk, or coconut milk.
Water Kefir. Water kefir is dairy-free and is made with sugar water, juice, or coconut water.
What It Contains
Milk Kefir. Milk kefir is a probiotic-rich beverage with live active yeast and bacteria. Our Milk Kefir Grains (traditional starter culture) are propagated in organic milk.
Water Kefir. Water kefir is dairy-free and is made with sugar water, juice, or coconut water. Our Water Kefir Grains are grown in organic sugar and filtered water.
How It is Used
Milk Kefir. Milk kefir can be consumed plain, flavored, or as the base for salad dressings, smoothies, and more. You can generally substitute kefir for buttermilk or yogurt in recipes. Milk kefir can also be strained of some of the whey to make a type of cheese ranging from a soft consistency to a cream cheese texture, or even a hard cheese texture.
Water Kefir. Water kefir can flavored and consumed as a replacement to soda pop and juice. It also makes a great base for dairy-free smoothies.
How It Tastes
Milk Kefir. Milk kefir tastes like a strongly flavored cultured milk. The taste of any particular batch is based on the level of fermentation, which is dependent on a number of factors including the ratio of kefir grains to milk, the ambient temperature, and the length of time the kefir is allowed to culture. Well-fermented kefir generally has a strong sour or tart taste and can even have a bit of a carbonated texture. (It is known in some circles as the "champagne of milk.")
Water Kefir. Water kefir tends to have a sweet, slightly fermented taste to it. We generally recommend flavoring water kefir as it isn't very impressive-tasting plain. Flavoring is easy: fresh or dried fruit, juice, or flavor extracts such as vanilla extract can all be used.
How It is Flavored
Milk Kefir. Milk Kefir can be flavored by blending in fresh or frozen fruit, flavor extracts such as vanilla, sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup, stevia and more. There are a number of flavoring options.
Water Kefir. Water Kefir can be flavored using fresh or dried fruit, flavor extracts such as vanilla extract, fruit juice, or even herbs.
Milk Kefir. Milk kefir can be used in place of yogurt in recipes or in cream-based salad dressings. It can also be drained of some of its whey to make a soft cheese. Milk kefir grains or starter cultures can be used to inoculate cream to make butter or a sour cream-type condiment. Coconut milk kefir can be made by allowing the kefir grains to culture in coconut milk.
Water Kefir. Water kefir can be bottled up and used in place of soda pop. It also can be used as a base for dairy-free smoothies. A quarter-cup of water kefir can be added to 2 to 3 cups of non-dairy milk to culture it into a non-dairy kefir.
|Milk Kefir Grains|
|Water Kefir Grains|