Almond Milk Kefir


February 26, 2013

This almond milk kefir is easy and has a lovely tangy flavor. Drink this probiotic beverage in the morning or evening or add to smoothies.

Almond Milk Kefir – Cultured Almond Milk

This almond milk kefir is really easy to make, is has a lovely tangy flavor. Drink this probiotic beverage in the morning or evening or add to smoothies.

Well, this cultured almond milk is not technically “kefir” because I am not using kefir grains. But, I called it kefir because it is the most easily identifiable term for this. See my notes below for why I am choosing not to use kefir grains to make this cultured almond milk.

Are you including probiotic-rich foods in your diet? Including coconut water kefir, cultured vegetables, and this almond milk kefir have helped enormously to rebalance my inner eco-system, and restore my health and vitality.

Those of you who have been following me for a while would be familiar with my life-long battle with candida. You can read more about my personal story here. But, just briefly, I had tried every anti-candida diet known to man, and nothing really worked until I discovered the Body Ecology Diet. I committed to stage 1 of the diet for over a year, and still incorporate many of the principles today, chiefly the inclusion of cultured probiotic-rich foods.

Kefir is a fantastic cultured beverage that has been used as a tonic in Eastern Europe and the Middle East for centuries. Kefir is traditionally made with cow’s milk or goat’s milk.

You can turn any milk or even plain water into kefir by adding a culture starter or kefir grains and a natural sugar to feed the probiotic organisms. I prefer coconut water and almond milk varieties. Coconut water kefir makes a fabulous probiotic-rich addition to smoothies, drinks, and desserts. Loaded with mineral buffers, protein, and vitamin B12, it’s a brilliant blood builder and immune-booster that doubles as a digestive and detox dynamo.

Kefir is potent, so go easy. A small amount a day is all you need, as it can really clean you out! Too much will have you paying homage to the toilet bowl more times than you would like.

Coconut milk kefir, coconut water kefir, and flavored water kefir are now available at many health food stores and grocers. You can also make kefir from other plant-based milks.

Cow’s milk and goat’s milk kefir is typically made using gelatinous white or yellow “kefir grains”. You can make water, coconut water, or plant-based milk kefirs using these grains, too.

But, traditional grains can be difficult to work with, can be easily contaminated, and it can be challenging to get consistent results and accurately measure the degree of colonization in each batch.

After years of making cultured almond milk, I think the easiest way to get the most consistent results is to add really high quality probiotic capsules. Always purchase the kind that are stored in the fridge in the health food store, and keep them cold. Break open the capsules to release the powder, and add that to your almond milk. This method is also preferable for vegans, and those with severe dairy allergies. While using probiotic powder is not technically kefir, cultured almond milk is like kefir.

Unlike traditional raw almond milk, where you use a 1:3 or 1:4 ratio of almonds to water, you’ll want to add more water to make almond milk kefir. I use 1:7 ratio of almonds to water. Don’t use metal or reactive spoons to stir in the probiotics, as they damage the delicate microbial organisms.

You can get creative with this almond milk kefir and flavor it with fruit. Strawberry kefir is delicious. But, for the most powerful proliferation, drink it plain and unsweetened. Add 1 cup of almond milk kefir to add probiotic power to smoothies and raw chia puddings.

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THE BLENDAHOLIC SHOW TRAILER: Hi, my name is Tess and I'm a Blendaholic. Every Monday I share super easy recipes you can make in your blender! I'm blending up smoothies, cocktails, soups, appetizers, snacks, main meals, and desserts. There isn’t anything I won’t try in a blender, and all of the recipes are mind-blowingly delicious. So, dust off your blender, and tune in to The Blendaholic every Monday at 7AM PST to find your perfect blend. Find more easy healthy recipes at The Blender Girlhttps://www.theblendergirl.com/

Posted by The Blendaholic on Monday, January 22, 2018

 

Almond Milk Kefir

This almond milk kefir is really easy to make, is has a lovely tangy flavor. Drink this probiotic beverage in the morning or evening or add to smoothies. 

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 5 cups
Author Tess Masters

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. To soak the almonds, place the nuts in a glass or ceramic bowl or large glass jar, and cover with filtered water. Add 1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt and splash of fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, cover the container with a breathable kitchen towel, and allow to soak at room temperature for 12 hours. (For more information on soaking read here.)
  2. Drain, and discard the soaking liquid (do not use this to make the milk). Rinse the almonds several times to remove the anti-nutrients and enzyme inhibitors. 

  3. Throw the rinsed almonds, water, and salt in your blender, and blast on high for 30 to 60 seconds, until the nuts are completely pulverized. 
  4. To strain, place a nut milk bag or knee-high piece of sheer nylon hosiery over the opening of a glass bowl, jar or jug. Pour the milk into the bag, twisting the bag closed, and gently squeezing it to pass the liquid through. 
  5. Add the probiotic powder, and gently stir into the almond milk with a wooden or non reactive spoon. (Metal implements can damage the delicate probiotics.)
  6. Cover the bowl with a breathable cloth (I use a flour sac cloth) and allow to stand at room temperature (about 70 degrees Fahrenheit) for about 12 hours. You may need more time depending on the strength of your probiotic powder and how stable and warm your environment is. You can wrap the bowl with a towel to insulate the bowl for better results if you have a cold room temperature.
  7. After about 12 hours, your mixture should look like a yellow “almond water” with a thick layer of scum/fat/foam on top, and smell fermented like yoghurt. If there is just a thin layer and not much odor, it is not quite done. Gently skim this fat off with a spoon and keep for use in smoothies and puddings.
  8. Strain the remaining liquid with a nut milk bag or fine mesh strainer. Reserve about 1/2 cup of the cultured milk to infuse the next batch of milk in place of the probiotic powder. You can make about 3 to 4 more batches this way. After that, you'll need to start again using probiotic powder. 
  9. Sweeten the cultured milk with stevia to taste, and store in a sealed glass jar in the fridge for up to a week.

Recipe Notes

Learn more about making homemade milks here.
Photo by Trent Lanz; styling by Alicia Buszczak

Comments

Comments 77

  1. hi there,
    oink oink!! i get probiotic tablets that have 100 billion bacteria per capsule.. would i still use 4 or just maybe 2??
    also is the capsules content/bacteria the same as “cultures” you get to make yoghurt?

    thanx blender girl 😉

    1. I would still use 4 to be safe. The capsules I used were really powerful too. Yes, you can absolutely make yoghurt this way too. I make raw coconut yoghurt this way all the time! YUMMO! Enjoy 🙂

    1. Yes, traditionally it is made with kefir grains. Please read my whole post where I explain everything in detail.

    2. I read the whole post. It really is not kefir if you don’t use kefir grains. It’s a yoghurt drink. Much like what you can buy in Turkey.

    3. OK. Catriona. I have put the kefir in “” for you. I have called it cultured milk. But, this is still the most accessible and easiest way to culture milk for people who don’t want to buy grains.

  2. do you need to skim the fat off the top and strain?
    can one just re-miz it all together and drink as a thicker milk?
    thanks

    1. You can reblend together. However, you will get some bits as it sits that may not be desirable. But, if you don’t mind that, I say, go for it and enjoy 🙂

  3. I’m curious as to which probiotic brand you use? I just purchased some New Chapter All-Flora probiotics after reading a recipe for vegan cheese in the book “The Concious Cook”. I’m interested to hear which type of probiotic you like to use.

    1. There are quite a few on the market that are good. The Jarrow Formulas 5 Billion capsules are amazing. The Solaray Multidophilus 20 Billion capsules are also good. You can also use the powders. I always empty the capsules anyway. I never swallow the capsules. I hope this helps.

  4. That sounds amazing!! 🙂
    But I have a question: do I need to use almonds, or could I try using cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias or other nuts/seeds too?

    Greetings from Austria! Bettina

    1. You can absolutely use other plant based milks and use this same principle to make yoghurt “kefir’. I just like coconut and almond because they are alkaline and have mild flavours. Let me know how you go!

  5. Hi!
    Great recipe! I was wondering if I could also make this kefir with a yoghurtstarter with Bifidus bacteria?

        1. Wonderful! Thanks for taking the time to come back and share your experience. It is so helpful to others. Enjoy 🙂

  6. Hi there! Was wondering, does this need to be done in a vitamix, or would I be able to make using a traditional blender/food processor with same results? Thank you!

    1. Rachel, you can absolutely make this in a conventional blender. You will just have to blend for longer and pulverize as much as possible and then strain.

  7. I make almond water kefir with water kefir. Instead of water, I use water kefir since I brew it and grow the grains. Comes out great!

    1. Barbara, can you explain that more please? I make water kefir myself and am curious what exactly you are making! I’m always wanting to learn.

    2. But where do you get the vegan water kefir to begin with?
      I keep reading about kefir, but it seems one needs kefir to make kefir. .. I’m so confused.
      Does one just buy the kefir grains and make kefir water like almond “milk” is made? If so, where did those kefir grains come from to begin with? And can I find vegan kefir grains?
      I hope I get a response, because this has truly baffled me.
      <3

    3. But where do you get the vegan water kefir to begin with?
      I keep reading about kefir, but it seems one needs kefir to make kefir. .. I’m so confused.
      Does one just but the kefir grains and make kefir water like almond “milk” is made? If so, where did those kefir grains come from to begin with? And can I find vegan kefir grains?
      I hope I get a response, because this has truly baffled me.
      <3

    4. Marce, you can make coconut water or water kefir by using kefir grains which you can purchase from Cultures For Health. But, with this cultured almond milk you can just use probiotic powder. That is why I posted this easier recipe, to make it more accessible. If you still have questions, please feel free to email me through the contact form of the site, and I will get back to you.

    1. Yes. I make regular almond milk with a 1 cup almonds to 3 cups water ratio. But, for the purposes of almond milk kefir you will get the best results with a more diluted solution. So, 7 cups is best.

  8. Why so complicated? Can I just use commercial almondmilk and the kefir grains that I already have? I guess something sweet needs to be in there, so maybe for kefir purposes I need to buy the sweetened kind….

    1. I make this all in less than 10 minutes, so I don’t find it complicated. I also find that the probiotic powder yields to most uniform results. However, I do love kefir grains and use them to make water kefir. I was trying to make this accessible to people that don’t have kefir grains. You can absolutely use kefir grains in this recipe. I don’t like to use commercial almond milk because it contains additives, preservatives, and no live enzymes. You also don’t need a sweetener when you use probiotic powder which technically isn’t “kefir” but is still cultured.

    2. Hi, could you provide a couple of probiotic powders you would recommend? The one you link to in the recipe has been discontinued. Thanks!

  9. I’m very excited to discover the idea of non-dairy Kefir. However, I’m curious, what are the added benefits of making kefir as a means of consuming the probiotic powder versus just taking the probiotic capsules daily? I saw you mentioned you never take the capsules. Why is that?

    1. I love the taste of kefir or cultured milk, and think it’s a tasty tangy way to get your probiotics. It’s also a living probiotic-rich food. You can absolutely add probiotic powder to smoothies or dissolve in water or milk. I don’t use the capsules because the outer coating can be difficult to digest. If you have capsules, simply break them open and consume the powder.

  10. Hi. I can’t access the link in this sentence: “Those of you who have been following me for a while would be familiar with my life-long battle with candida. You can read more about my personal story here. “

  11. Hi, thank you very much for this post! I wonder if I could just blend 2 tablespoons of almond butter with 3 cups of water to make almond milk, and add some probiotics powder? I am thinking of getting Healthforce Nutritionals probiotics as it is vegan. Has anyone tried this method or used this brand of probiotics? What if I use home made rejuvelac to blend with the almond butter? Thanks for your reply.

    1. Jen, you can make quick almond milk by blending 3 tablespoons raw almond butter with 2 to 3 cups of filtered water. I haven’t made cultured milk this way, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. I haven’t tried the Healthforce probiotics.

    1. No, I don’t recommend using commercial milk. It has a higher water content, and contains so many additives and preservatives. You can use it, but it’s really devoid of any nutrient benefits.

  12. The Recipe is so delicious and tasty. I have tried many such similar recipes but none have worked so great for me. Thanks a lot for those detailed and step by step instructions that made it easier to get the job done in no time.

  13. Thank you so much for these instructions which I have just completed. My question is, and I hope that it hasn’t already been answered above ( don’t have time to read everyone’s comments), if the fat/scum is to be eaten, is there a particular reason that it needs to be skimmed off, rather than stirred back into the mix?
    Many thanks ,
    Clare

    1. The fat scum just never really incorporates back into the milk which is why I recommend skimming it off. But, you can totally drink it/eat it with the kefir. I put it in smoothies.

  14. Hi, I’ve always wondered about blending probiotics (or in this case almond “kefir”) into smoothies. I have a Blendtec and for some reason I worry that it’s blending force will somehow destroy the probiotics? Or like you say not to use a metal spoon to stir the probiotics into the milk. What about the metal blades in the blender? Also, do you happen to have a link to a study showing metal damages the probiotics? I’ve been using a metal spoon to stir mine into water daily. Can’t wait to try this recipe asap!

    1. Yes. But, you blend to make the almond milk mixture first, and then you add the probiotics, so you don’t need to worry about the blender blades. So, it’s all good! Enjoy!

  15. My question is if at room temperature that the culture will really thrive and multiply well enough. I make scd yogurt and it has to be kept between 100-110 degrees to culture well. Also if you use a non dairy source, there are no enzymes to encourage growth so I have read you have to use honey to get the probiotics to colonize and multiply.

    1. I’ve tried this at various temperatures, and the probiotic capsules fair very well. If you’re in a cold climate and concerned, insulate your bowl with towels, and put it in a warm space.

  16. Hi, I was wondering if it is absolutely necessary to strain the milk after blending the nuts or can you keep it “whole” and thicker and not strain. Just curious. Can’t wait to try!

    1. You can keep it whole and not strain the pulp, but add another probiotic capsule to account for the extra material. Just know it will be quite thick and fibrous. Enjoy!

  17. Hi Tess, considering I haven’t embarked on the kefir regime yet and this makes more than I can consume as a beginner (1/4 cup pee day), can I halve this recipe?

  18. Hi, I have made this 3 times now and with no difference of method on each occasion. The last 2 times however, my mix had developed a ropey, stringy consistency. The first time it did this, I had had to go away for a few days shortly after making it and thought that it may have just gone off. But this week it was the same again immediately after making it, so that I know that everything was still very fresh. Can you explain why this might be and whether this is normal and/or still safe to drink, please? Many thanks in advance, Clare

    1. I think different probiotic strains have different charachteristics and one that you are using develops like this. Have you seen the natto strains from fermented soybeans are very stringy.

    2. Thanks Phil, I was going to say the same thing. I would not be alarmed. Just skim and strain the mixture. I hope this helps.

  19. I just made the almond milk and blended for 2 minutes, as stated in the recipe. I noticed the milk was quite hot, and measured 40 degrees Celsius. Would it be better to wait a bit for the liquid to cool down, or do the probiotics tolerate the temperature?
    I’m so happy I just found your recipe, as I just had to take antibiotics! Thank you!

    1. Great point Michaela. Thanks for bringing this up. Yes, wait for the milk to cool down a bit before adding the probiotics. So happy you’re finding this recipe useful.

  20. kefir, by international dairy standards, must be inoculated in dairy from a lactating mammal. Thus, your use of “kefir” is incorrect. great recipe, though!

    1. Yes, thankyou Bridget. I am aware, and have that disclaimer at the bottom of the post. That is why it’s in “”. Cultured Almond Milk is more accurate. But, I was receiving hundreds of emails asking what that was, so I called it “kefir”.

  21. I just read the ingredients for the jarrow veggie caps and it contains trace amounts of milk and soy. Do you know of another to use?

  22. I will admit that I did not read all the comments here, so if I am repeating myself I apologize. Can I use kefir grains instead of powdered probiotics to start my kefir?

    1. You can absolutely use kefir grains to culture this milk. You can purchase them from Cultures For Health. I just offer up probiotic powder as a more accessible, quicker, easier way to culture almond milk. But, both methods work to make probiotic-rich beverages.

  23. I made this recipe, im used to drink dairy kefir, so its pretty dense and thick. My almond kefir looked just like yours, but it tastes quite different from what i expected. It is also very liquid. So what it is supposed to taste like? I am afraid that is fermented tasting ? it also smells pretty strong. how do i know that is good, and not fermented ( i mean i know it is supposed to be fermented) but like when almond milk goes bad fermented! I don’t want to get sick.

    1. Maria, I’m so sorry it took me a while to respond to your question when I know it’s already too late to advise you on the batch you made. I was travelling. Almond milk kefir is thinner than commercial kefir, and it does have a tangy flavor. It should taste fermented, but you don’t want to to leave it too long so that it goes really sour. As long as you haven’t left it out in extreme heat, it shouldn’t make you sick. Ferment the almond milk, then place it in a sealed container in the fridge. It should be fine. I hope that helps you.

  24. I’m wondering how this food combines (according to the Body Ecology Diet). Would it only combine with nuts, seeds, avocados, sour fruits, leafy greens? Or since it is fermented, does it combine with anything? Thanks so much!

    1. Great question. I’d still only combine it with other nuts, seeds, fruits, leafy greens, and avocado just to be sure. I’ve been on Body Ecology Stage 1, and you wouldn’t want to do anything to mess up your progress. I will ask Donna about this next time I see her.

  25. I bought kefir sachets from health food shop, can I add this to almond milk? A little confused if I need to start with milk first, not a fan of whole milk

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