I get asked a lot about dairy-free kefir options. I have seen some amazing results with kefir made from coconut, almond or walnut milk. I highly recommend these non-dairy milk kefirs if you want all of the benefits of kefir without the dairy.
Of these non-dairy milk kefirs, I have noticed that coconut kefir brings the best health results. Coconut milk has so many wonderful properties, including antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. It is my favorite option for dairy-free kefir. However, every time I say something is my favorite, somewhere down the road I find another favorite. Do not be surprised if I change my mind.
Coconut kefir tends to be very thin and separates quite quickly when made according to the basic recipe. I found a way to make it a little bit creamier and the taste is supreme. The secret is to add a little coconut butter. Coconut butter is made entirely from coconut meat. It is prepared by first drying coconut meat at low temperatures and then grinding it into a paste. You can find coconut butter at most health food stores or in my store. Adding coconut butter to the coconut milk will give texture and extra flavor to the coconut kefir, but is not necessary to add and you can make it without it. I have tried just adding shredded coconut but it stuck to the kefir grains and then the kefir didn’t drain through the strainer. Coconut butter was a better option and the taste is wonderful.
Water kefir is another dairy-free alternative and many assume that this is the best dairy-free option but this is not true. Water kefir has smaller amounts of good bacteria compared with milk kefir, including dairy-free milk kefir. Water kefir has 10 probiotics while homemade milk kefir has anywhere between 30 and 50 probiotics. I repeatedly see the greatest health benefits with dairy and nondairy milk kefirs, including the healing of food allergies and improved digestion. Water kefir is a still a good probiotic drink, but if you are looking for the most health benefits, I recommend choosing dairy or non-dairy milk kefir.
I have a new section entitled “Dairy-Free Options” on my website.
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