If you don’t know or understand lactose intolerance then you are lucky and can eat cheese to your heart's content, drink hot chocolate in winter, and milkshakes and ice cream in the summer. If you find that within 20 - 40 minutes of eating a delicious dairy treat you are in the bathroom, then suffer no more. There are many great alternatives to dairy and while I enjoy dairy, there is a lot to be said for the diversity of food that is being looked over by us dairy lovers, that lactose intolerant people have the motivation to explore. From nut and oat milks to coconut creams there are ways to every food need.
Non dairy kefir to drink can be made with coconut milk, nut milks, especially Almond and Cashew, or rice milk. In fact you can link to 16 different non-dairy kefirs at Cultured Food Life where you can learn almost everything there is to know about this and much more.
Here's a short explanation of how to make non-dairy kefir and tips to adjust the kefir grains (not a plant grain in the traditional sense) to non dairy.
How to make non-dairy kefir
1 tin of organic Coconut milk (or whichever non dairy milk you prefer)
One 500ml glass mason jar
Place the kefir grains and non dairy milk into a mason jar and leave covered with a breathable cloth or loose fitted lid and leave for 12 hours at a comfortable room temperature.
After 12 hours, taste and smell test your kefir for flavour. Fermentation can carry on and the flavour will become more tart the longer you leave it.
Once you have your desired level of ferment, strain the grains and store your kefir drink in the fridge.
Add your kefir grains to more non dairy milk and repeat for an on going production of a healthy, natural and delicious probiotic drink.
Like with all living creatures, your kefir grains may need nurturing and will take time to adjust to non dairy if they have been rested in milk for a long time, so allow the first batch some extra time, every batch will get better until the 6th or 7th batch when you will have to rest them in milk again So don’t be hard on yourself if your first or second batch is thin or mild, by the 5th batch you’re winning. The result is so beneficial you’ll be thanking yourself later.
Written by Viv Brown