Dairy-free Kefir Options
You’ve probably heard of the wonders of milk kefir. It contains a vast array of natural probiotics. It is helpful for digestion, vitamin absorption, and overall health. In fact the word kefir is derived from the Turkish word “keif” which actually means “good feeling”; an homage to how one feels when drinking it.
Milk kefir can be a blessing and a curse for someone with a severe dairy intolerance, though. While much of the lactose can be eliminated through the fermentation process, those with a strong intolerance to dairy may wish to forego kefir all together.
The good news is there are dairy-free kefir options.
Coconut Milk Kefir
One very healthful and popular option is coconut milk kefir. This is simply coconut milk that has been cultured by kefir grains or the kefir culture starter. It is thick, tangy, coconut-flavored cultured milk.
Both milk kefir grains and the culture starter can be used to make coconut milk kefir. Neither option is better than the other for those with a dairy intolerance because both are in a dairy carrier. It is believed that after culturing the coconut milk kefir there would be almost no dairy left, but because of the dairy carrier those with severe milk intolerances may want to be careful or avoid the coconut milk kefir.
It is recommended that you return the kefir grains to cow or goat milk periodically in order to refresh them and insure healthy kefir grains.
Coconut Water Kefir
Coconut water kefir is another good option for those who wish to avoid all traces of dairy. Coconut water is popular as a natural, powerful electrolyte drink. It contains all of the vital minerals needed to hydrate the body when needed.
Coconut water for making kefir can be retrieved from young coconuts or pasteurized coconut water found in health food stores can be used.
You may use either kefir grains or kefir culture starter for making coconut water kefir. Using water kefir grains would ensure that there is no trace of dairy as there may be in milk kefir grains or milk kefir culture starter.
Click here for instructions on making coconut water kefir.
Water kefir is another dairy-free kefir product. When made properly, it is delightfully carbonated and can be a great low-sugar, fermented alternative to soda pop.
The process is much the same as dairy kefir, but instead of milk sweetened water is used. Water kefir grains will also multiply much like milk kefir grains, if given the proper environment including enough minerals from your water, sugar, dried egg shells, and other sources.
Water kefir is fairly versatile in that you can kefir sweetened water, fruit juices, or sweetened water containing various dried or fresh fruits. This makes water kefir a great option for those looking for alternative ways to flavor their fermented beverages.
One popular flavor of water kefir, one that mimics an old soda favorite, is grape water kefir. Find full instructions on how to make this bubbly beverage here.
So if you are interested in the wonders of the “good feeling” kefir can provide but must avoid dairy, we recommend that you try the above three options.
|Water Kefir Grains (starter culture)
|750 ml Flip-top Grolsch-style Bottle|
|Milk Kefir Grains|