Kefir may not be something that’s on your weekly shopping list yet. But, if you’re a yoghurt lover, you struggle with an unhappy tummy or you’re looking for an alternative to probiotic supplements, you should consider making homemade kefir. Here’s everything you need to know for how to make coconut kefir.
How to Make Coconut Kefir
What is Kefir?
Kefir (pronounced ke-fear), is a fermented probiotic drink made by using kefir ‘grains’ and a sweet liquid. It’s been around for centuries, originating in the Caucasus mountains.
What are coconut kefir benefits?
Coconut water kefir is a mineral-rich drink (thiamin, B12, calcium, folates, and Vitamin K2). Essentially it is probiotic coconut water. As a probiotic beverage, it works to balance the important good bacteria in the gut, keeping your tummy happy, and bolstering the immune system.
While conventional medicine is still often cautious about promoting the benefits of probiotics, there is a growing school of evidence on the benefits they can have on the digestive system in particular.
You can pick up probiotic supplements easily these days. But, as a believer in the ‘food as medicine philosophy there’s something I love about being able to get what we need from nourishing food choices instead (more on that in a gut-healing post, to come).
What are coconut kefir ‘grains’?
Kefir ‘grains’ don’t get their name because they are actual grains, like wheat. The term refers to the look of the starter culture.
The starter culture contains bacteria and yeast that work in symbiosis, activated when mixed with a sugary liquid (in this case young coconut water).
The beauty of coconut kefir vs milk kefir is that it’s dairy-free kefir. So, it’s great for people who can’t eat cows’ dairy and may miss out on the probiotic benefits of cows’ milk yogurt. It’s also essentially vegan kefir. So, an additional source of minerals and probiotics for vegans.
Where to buy coconut kefir starter
You’ll find kefir made from cows (Babushka) and goats dairy (Nimbin Valley) or even coconut water kefir (Peace Love & Vegetables) in the cold section of your supermarket or health food store.
But for more adventurous types, making your own coconut water kefir is the way to go.
It’s easy to do, paleo-friendly, lower-calorie, and lactose-free (depending on your starter culture). The finished product is easy to drink alone or mixed into your morning smoothie.
I bought a Mad Millie Kefir Kit for this kefir-making experience. The kit includes a jar with a shaker, cheesecloth, and two packets of freeze-dried culture (with 8 strains of live culture). You can simply buy coconut kefir grains here too.
How to Make Coconut Kefir
Making water kefir is very simple. There isn’t so much a recipe for kefir as a basic method.
Clean the jar and cloth, pour in the water from about 3 young coconuts, add started culture, and shake it up.
The brew ferments for about 24 hours and it’s ready to drink. I added a little vanilla to flavour mine.
Some shy away from fermented drinks (other than beer or wine of course) or ask how to make coconut water taste better.
So, if you’re sensitive to the taste, it’s simple to get around that by using it in one of your favourite recipes, adding natural flavours like vanilla, or cinnamon, throwing it into a smoothie, or blending it with a sweet piece of fruit like banana or mango.
If you don’t have time to make coconut kefir yourself, you can shop a range of coconut milk kefir brands at your local health food store.
Skye is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Fit Traveller.
She is a journalist, writer, photographer, intrepid traveller and a former personal trainer with a passion for helping others reach optimal health.
As a TV journalist and producer, Skye has worked for household names such as 60 Minutes, Sunrise, TODAY and Nine News. She has also written for Women’s Health, Fodor’s Travel and Yahoo7 Travel, among many others.
Equally comfortable in a 5-star resort or hiking a far-off mountain, Skye loves the unexpected and enriching life experiences that each trip brings and can often be found in a backstreet chatting to locals with her camera in hand.
Skye is based in Sydney, working to master the balance between motherhood and her appetite for adventure.
Read more about Skye’s story here.