Goat kefir is a cultured probiotic beverage made from goat's milk. Goat kefir is similar in consistency and taste to yogurt drinks, though the goat's milk variety tends to be thinner than the cow's milk version.
Any kefir product, including goat kefir, is different from yogurt or buttermilk in the culturing agent used to make it. Kefir grains are the culturing agent used for goat kefir. The grains resemble small cauliflowers. Inside the nooks and crannies of each grain is a variety of micro-organisms, including yeast and bacteria. The kefir grains ferment the goat's milk.
It's possible to make goat kefir at home by purchasing a packet of kefir grains. The grains come dehydrated and need to be activated in milk before actually using them to make kefir. Both processes take several days. Goat kefir is also available through retailers such as Cultures For Health and Redwood Hill. Likewise, many ethnic food stores carry goat kefir.
Goat kefir works as a replacement for milk in most instances. People drink goat kefir, pour it over cereal, add it to smoothies or even use it to make cheese and ice cream. It's not possible to use goat kefir as a milk substitute in baking, though. Commercial goat kefir often comes in different flavors similar to yogurt drinks.