How to Make Almond Milk Kefir
But you are NOT just restricted to dairy milks. You can also make non-dairy kefir from nut milks such as soy, cashew, pistachio, and most popular of all, almond milk.
Why Use Nut Milks to Make Kefir?
Some people want a different flavor of kefir while some people want a completely lactose-free kefir, which the nut milk kefirs such as Almond Milk can give you.
Personally, I like making Almond Milk Kefir because it tastes delicious…and it’s easy to make at home.
What is Almond Milk
Almond milk has been around for many years, hundreds in fact as it was a popular drink in European Middle ages and has long been enjoyed in the Middle East.
It has of late again become popular as a healthy alternative to animal milk. Of course it is not dairy milk from a lactating mammal, rather a mixture of ground almond nuts mixed with water.
In some places it has even become more popular than soy milk although in other areas it may be more difficult to source. It can be used as a substitute for dairy milk in many recipes although is less successful where high fat milk is required.
Benefits of Almond Milk
Comparison of almond milk to dairy milk will vary according to the percentage of almonds to water and whether the pulp is removed. However in general almond milk is lower in calories, and has unsaturated fats as well as omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Almonds also provide high levels of manganese, potassium, selenium and Vitamin E, all of which are required in a healthy diet and the nuts are a good source of antioxidants and , the latter especially, is found in almond skin.
Another bonus with almonds is that they contain substances that are prebiotics. Prebiotics are especially good at feeding the millions of microbes that live in the human digestive tract especially the beneficial bifidobacteria and lactobacillus. By aiding the gut flora these prebiotics help the good gut flora to multiply and increase as well improving the quality of these internal colonies. These beneficial microbes reduce inflammation by reducing the number of endotoxins that can permeate the intestine and enter the bloodstream, overloading the immune system and causing disease.
So by making kefir out of almond milk not only does one get the benefit of probiotics, the cultured drink contains powerful prebiotics to also aid digestion. A totally win, win drink!
How to Make Almond Milk
Before we begin making almond milk kefir, we need to first make almond milk. You can buy almond milk, but why making your own gives a much fresher, better flavor without any questionable stuff added in.
Almond milk is relatively simple to make at home especially now with the accessibility of electrical blenders to make the job easier, resulting in far finely ground nuts than would have been possible in the past.
The recipe is simple
To Make Almond Milk
- Cover 1 1/2 cup raw almonds in water and soak for 1-2 days in a refrigerator
- Strain off the almonds (discard the water)
- Rinse the almonds
- Place in a blender and add 4 cups of fresh quality water
- Blend well
- The pulp can either be strained out through a cheesecloth for other uses or left in the milk almond milk for making a thicker richer kefir
Making almond milk for your self will most likely produce milk more concentrated and higher in nutrients than commercial varieties. Other variations for making your own almond milk are boiling the nuts prior to blending, or lightly dry roasting to produce a richer flavour. If you prefer a sweeter flavour you can add some dates prior to blending. The fresh almond milk is ready to use immediately or can be stored for a few days in a refrigerator.
Commercial almond milks may have various additives, for instance sweeteners, vitamins, minerals and maybe thickeners or stabilizers. If you choose to use commercially packaged almond milk it will have a use-by date which should be adhered to and once opened, should be used within a week.
Making Almond Milk Kefir with Kefir Grains
You can make almond milk kefir with kefir grains or with a culture starter packet. Here’s how to make it with the grains (see next section for how to make it with a culture packet).
At this point, we assume you’ve either made your own almond milk or bought some!
If there is any confusion about the general process of kefir making, please refer to our basic kefir recipe.
- 4 cups of almond milk (buy it or make it yourself, as per instructions above)
- 2Tbs Milk Kefir Grains
- 1 x suitable kefir container with breathable cover
- Storage bottle or container
- Place the 2 Tbs milk kefir grains in the bottom of the chosen kefir container
- Add 4 cups of almond milk
- Cover with breathable lid
- Stir gently over 24 hours whenever practicable
- After 24 hours, place the sieve over a collecting bowl
- Strain out the grains. If you include the pulp you may find the kefir sticks to the grains but this residue can be rinsed through with some fresh almond milk in the sieve or removed and rinsed in quality water. I recommend the former as you won’t lose any precious kefir.
- Pour the kefir into your chosen storage container
- Optionally, you can try second fermenting the almond milk kefir
- Restart your next almond milk kefir
The almond milk kefir may separate out but this is normal because it is water based and not as thick as dairy milk kefir. Just give the kefir a shake up before drinking.
Keep your Grains Happy
Because milk kefir grains have developed over hundreds of years to thrive and grow in dairy milk their normal food source is lactose as found in mammal milk. Because almond milk contains no lactose it is more than likely that after a few cultures the grains will not be working so well and will need to replenish their energy in normal milk.
So at least once a week or even every few days strain the grains off from the almond kefir, rinse them to ensure the grain surface is clear as possible and soak in milk for up to 24 hours. The grains should produce milk kefir in this time which is perfectly acceptable to drink.
Because there is some risk that the grains will not thrive in this non lactose environment and in the worst case even die, it is always wise to ensure you have extra grains stored somewhere for a rainy day. Check out how to store your grains by freezing or dehydrating grains in my other helpful articles.
The Alternative to Grains
Another alternative is to make Almond milk kefir with a commercial starter kit instead of milk kefir grains.
These culture kits are not grains, rather a mix of a specific selection of bacteria and yeasts that will culture the medium they are placed in. They do not have the power of the symbiotic culture found in illustrious grains so can only be used for a small number of cultures at most. The advantage is that because they are used up after a few cultures anyway, there is no need to replenish them in dairy milk.
The procedure is similar but there are no grains to sieve out.
Making Almond Milk Kefir with a Commercial Culture Kit
Quantities will vary according the culture kit, so follow directions on the packet to learn how much almond milk to use in each batch.
- Place the required amount of almond milk and culture starter kit in a blender or bowl. Blend or whisk until all is well mixed.
- Pour the mixture into a suitable covered container for 24 hours.
- Pour off about 3 ¾ cups into a storage container for drinking
- Add the remaining ¼ cup fresh almond kefir to up the initial amount of fresh almond milk and culture for 24 hours
- Repeat this process until the microbes are no longer able to culture the almond milk, perhaps 3-4 times, then begin again with a new packet of culture.
The Final Word
So there you have the information about how to make Almond Milk and extra nutritious and delicious Almond Milk Kefir.
If you enjoy Almond Milk Kefir, consider making kefir from other nuts… cashew and pistachios for example! You can also try making kefir form soy milk, rice milk, and even oat milk! Or try making water kefir for something completely different.