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5 Kefir Grain Substitutes & How To Use Them

Kefir Grain Substitutes & How To Use Them

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Are you interested in making recipes using kefir grains? If you are then you will know that it is not always easy to get a hold of these ingredients.

When this happens there are some substitutes that you can use instead. But what are they, and how do you use them?

Well, that is what we are going to cover in this article. So, without further ado, let us dive right in and get started!

What Are Kefir Grains?

In short, kefir milk grains are small gelatinous white balls which are used to make milk kefir.

These balls tend to look a little like cauliflower heads. Within these clusters there is a myriad of bacteria and yeast which are actually quite good for humans.

When you mix these grains with milk they become active and create kefir.

When you try kefir you will notice that it is creamy, tangy, and a little sparkling. But when you consider the probiotics they contain and how good they are for you, the taste is worth it.

When the kefir grains have been created, they are collected and put into fresh milk where new kefir will be created.

What Are Kefir Grains Used For?

Milk kefir grains are small and have a somewhat gelatinous texture. They will usually appear as clusters of little white balls. These balls are then used to make milk kefir or to grow more kefir grains.

Health Benefits Of Consuming Kefir Grains?

Kefir Grain Substitutes & How To Use Them

There are many reasons why consuming kefir is a good idea. This substance is actually quite healthy for you.

In this section we are going to take a closer look at what Health Benefits are associated with kefir.

1. Nutritious

Kefir is extremely nutritious. Just one serving contains the following and more: Nine grams of protein, 24% of the daily value of calcium, 20% of the daily value of phosphorus, 29% of your daily value of vitamin B12, 25% of your daily riboflavin daily value, 7% of your daily value of magnesium and 12% of you daily value of vitamin D.

2. Powerful Probiotic

The microorganisms in kefir are actually more powerful than the probiotics in yogurt. There are about sixty-one strands of bacteria and yeasts in this healthy food.

3. Antibacterial Properties

There are some probiotics in kefir which are thought to be beneficial in protecting the human body against infections.

4. Bone Health Improvement

There have been some studies which indicate that the consumption of kefir grains can lower the risk of osteoporosis.

Full fat kefir in particular is a great source of calcium and vitamin K2 which is fantastic for your metabolism.

5. Reduction Of Tumor Growth

There have been some studies which indicate that the bacteria in kefir can slow the growth of tumors.

This happens when the immune system is stimulated. So by consuming kefir regularly you can actually protect your body against cancer.

6. Relieves Digestive Concerns

The consumption of probiotics is extremely beneficial to the friendly bacteria in your gut. It is for this reason that kefir can help to treat some forms of diarrhea.

7. Low In Lactose

Most dairy foods are prominent in lactose. But the lactic acid in fermented foods like kefir turn lactose into lactic acid.

When this happens these foods become easier for people with lactose intolerance to consume.

8. Allergy And Asthma Improvement

When you experience an allergic reaction to certain foods there is usually inflammation.

In some studies done on animals it has been proven that kefir can reduce inflammation for both allergies and asthma.

There are countless other health benefits to consuming kefir, so if you want to learn more make sure to check out some other amazing sources like Healthline for example.

What Substitutes Are There For Kefir?

Kefir grains are used to make kefir. But not everyone has access to kefir grains or kefir which begs the question, what can you use as a substitute?

Well there are a few options and we have listed them below for you to check out.

So, without further ado, let us dive right in and get started!



The best substitute for kefir is buttermilk. So if you don’t have kefir on hand this should be your first port of call.

Buttermilk is a fermented milk product which is of a similar consistency and flavor to kefir which is why it is such a good option as a substitute.

You can easily use buttermilk in any recipe that calls for kefir. It can be used in the same way and is by far the best substitute option out there.

If a recipe calls for one cup of kefir you can substitute it with one cup of buttermilk.



You will need to use plain or Greek yogurt which does not have any additional flavor to it if you want yogurt as a kefir substitute.

The flavor comparison is very similar and it works well in just about any recipe that calls for kefir.

Yogurt is a little thicker than kefir which is why we recommend thinning your yogurt using milk before you use it.

To do this you should use about three quarters of a cup of yogurt and add milk until the consistency reaches something that you can make use of.

If your recipe calls for one cup of kefir you can add one cup of yogurt as a substitute.

Sour Cream

Sour Cream

If you are short on kefir, buttermilk or yogurt you can always use sour cream as an alternative to kefir.

Sour cream is also a fermented dairy product which has a similar flavor to kefir. It is a lot thicker and has a higher fat content, but this does not make it better or worse to use as a substitute.

You will need to thin out your sour cream using milk before you use it as a substitute.

As far as how much you should use, if a recipe calls for one cup of kefir you should use about three quarters of a cup of sour cream followed by one fourth of a cup of milk.



Kefir is a fermented product which means that you can use brine as a substitute to get similar results in your cooking.

There are several kinds of brine which will work well as a substitute for kefir. Some of which are as follows: Kimchi Brine and pickled Vegetable Brines.

The options we have mentioned above are better suited as substitutes for kefir. But brine will do in a pinch. If a recipe calls for one cup of kefir, you should add only a half cup of brine.



If you need a substitute that does not contain dairy, kombucha might be a good alternative for you.

While it is a popular beverage, kombucha can also act as a great substitute for your cooking. It offers a variety of culture and bacteria that is quite similar to kefir.

Kombucha is sadly not as thick as kefir and can be quite similar to brine in its use.

Because of the lack of thickness it is recommended that you use less than a 1:1 ratio so that your recipe does not become too thin.

We recommend that if your recipe calls for one cup of kefir, you add about a half cup of kombucha.

What Can You Make With Kefir?

Kefir can be used to make a variety of things and it is healthy to eat on its own. But a lot of people have not heard of kefir or do not know what to do with this substance.

So what can you make with kefir? Well that is what we are going to talk about in this section. So, without further ado let us dive right in and get started!

1. Mango, Turmeric, And Kefir With Overnight Oats

If you want to add kefir to your diet but do not like the taste, we recommend that you try out a delicious mango overnight oats dish with kefir.

2. Strawberry, Blueberry And Kefir Popsicles

If you want to make a healthy summer snack, you can always make this delicious kefir popsicle. It is refreshing and healthy, what more could you ask for.

3. Healthy Cranberry And Orange Kefir Cake

Do you want to make a delicious and healthy cake using kefir? Well, with this recipe you can. It is so much easier than you might think. So, make sure to check it out when you get a moment.

4. Cold Sweet Summer Soup

If you fancy a delicious sweet cold summer soup using kefir, you should certainly check out this recipe. It is so easy to make!

Final Thoughts

We hope that you have enjoyed reading this article and learning about these amazing kefir grains substitutes.

You could easily make do with any of the substitutes we mentioned here but it is certainly best to use buttermilk as it is the most similar.