Milk Kefir vs. Water Kefir: What’s the Difference?
As a purveyor of premium organic milk kefir grains, we often get asked what the difference is between milk and water kefir.
We’re so glad people are increasingly realizing how delicious and healthy fermented foods (and drinks!) can be. We love kombucha, and kefir has that fantastically tangy-sweet flavor we adore.
Here at Fusion Teas we are all about health and wellness. We have obtained our Organic Milk Kefir Grains from multiple sources and take good care of the grains. This helps us offer the best kefir made with as many healthy bacteria strains possible.
What is Milk Kefir?
Milk Kefir is a cultured dairy product packed with probiotics. Probiotics are microbes, good bacteria, similar to the bacteria already in your body. Your lower digestive tract teems with a complex and diverse community of these bacteria. The drink is nutrient dense and easy to make at home — it’s full of calcium and phosphorus, plus vitamins B and K. Magnesium and riboflavin are also present. Of note, kefir is also low in lactose, the naturally occurring sugar found in milk.
Fermented drinks may help colonize our gut with live microbes to aid with digestion and defend against harmful bacteria. Probiotics may also help your overall digestive health by promoting a healthy immune system and relieve some digestive issues.
Find out more in our blog post Kefir for Newbies.
What is Water Kefir?
Water kefir is a traditional fermented drink made by cultured starter crystals, water, sugar and fruit. It starts with a culture similar to milk kefir and it is a fermented drink, but that is where the similarities end.
The starter is a small, gelatinous group of crystal “grains” that naturally grow naturally under the skin of prickly pear cactus fruits. This culture contains various beneficial bacteria and yeasts and all together produces a slightly effervescent drink. Like other cultured drinks, it is rich in beneficial bacteria and yeast, and is a good source of probiotics.
Kombucha and water kefir may be similar as they both make a fantastic base for homemade soda and other culinary adventures. The cultures in water kefir, just like the milk version, consume the simple sugars in the juice, coconut water or sugar water base to create all of those probiotics. There is very little sugar left in the final product. And, these fermented drinks help abate those pesky sugar cravings.
Both water and milk kefir are beneficial in aiding natural systems of the body, and both are great for hydration. However milk kefir, made with either dairy or coconut milk, does surpass water kefir in probiotic potency.
If you’re intrigued by these fermented beverages, read more about brewing your own kefir and kombucha.