Friday, July 31, 2009

How To Make Coconut Kefir



So far I've used the coconut kefir for ice cream and curries. It is so thick and creamy. The flavor is wonderful... tangy, but with a slight sweetness that you find with coconut milk.

I had several people ask me to share how I make coconut kefir after I posted my Creamy Coconut Lime Sorbet. I am happy to tell you it is EASY! I have seen other recipes for coconut kefir, but most call for coconut water to thin down the milk. I prefer to just use straight coconut milk. It will be very thick after it is cultured & refrigerated, but I like that because it is great for recipes that call for thick cream...ice creams, curries & smoothies... or just simply topped over a fruit salad.

FIrst you will need kefir grains. Either water kefir or milk kefir grains can be used to culture the coconut milk. You can buy grains from Cultures for Health or Amazon (link in the recipe).

OR you can look here to find someone, locally, who has grains that they can share with you. After you've purchase or found some kefir grains... follow this simple recipe and enjoy!



Coconut Kefir


Pour coconut milk into mason jar and stir in kefir grains. Cover the top with a cloth, securing it with a rubber band, and let it culture for 24 hours (or longer if needed).


The kefir grains will rise up to the top (you'll see lumps) when they are done culturing. It should smell tangy when you open it and taste somewhat like coconut flavored yogurt when done. Drain with a plastic colander or sieve.


That's it! Yep, it's that easy :o) If you run into problems or have more questions or would like to share your experience... please feel free to leave a message below!



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56 comments:

  1. wow this is such a great idea!
    -muffy

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  2. this is so simple and easy to make! what else can you use Kefir for besides ice cream and curries??

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  3. I have never heard of coconut kefir before. This looks so good though!

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  4. Jessie- you can put some on your fruit salads. You can use it has "whipping cream" by topping things that call for it. Smoothies or drink it straight with some honey and cinnamon.

    Enjoy everybody!

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  5. I never realized how thick kefir is! That's it, I'm getting grains Mare, you've finally convinced me!

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  6. Well, I've got the coconut milk, so... think I'll have to try this! Never thought of doing this before... Thanks, Mare!

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  7. Hey, I've been making coconut kefir with homemade coconut milk (blending coconut water and shredded coconut and straining) but mine doesn't really get thick, it does at the top where the cream settles but once i mix it around a bit the consistency is just like when I started. I am using water kefir grains, is that what you use? Maybe I should use canned coconut milk because it doesn't separate? Any help would be appreciated.

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  8. Anonymous - I did use water kefir. You need straight coconut milk. The coconut water is what's causing it to be too thin. That's what most people do because they want it thin. Try canned coconut milk and let me know how it goes! That's what I used... I bought several boxes of pure coconut milk (from Thailand) and used that to make my kefir. Putting in the fridge after straining also thickens it alot!

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  9. Hello. I recently got my first batch of kefir grains. I wonder about using coconut milk for kefir because it is an aluminum can that is most likely coated with zinc, and many people say that kefir grains should never touch any base metals, like aliminum and zinc. I have a batch curdling now, with a mixture of real and canned coconut milk. I am just nervous that I am going ot damage my grains. Are the grains you using the temporary type like you buy from BodyEcology, or the real ones that regenerate themselves?

    Thanks!

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  10. Hello Mineko! I use grains that regenerate themselves. The coconut milk I buy are in cardboard boxes and made in Thailand, but I also make my own coconut milk too. I don't think you need to worry about the metal... just make sure you are curdling the milk in a GLASS jar. Let me know how it goes!! Glad you are trying it out... so good! In fact, I should make some tomorrow!!

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  11. Great post! I want to start making my own kefir but don't have the grains yet. How do you keep the grains if you're not going to use them for a little while (a week or so)?

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  12. Hello Nancy! Great to meet you! You can keep your grains in a some milk or water, just enough to cover it plus 1 inch and you can keep it in the back of your fridge. If you use milk... it would be a good idea to add a little milk a couple times to feed the kefir and keep them healthy till you use them again. See you around! Thank you for stopping by :o)

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  13. Hello Nancy! Great to meet you! You can keep your grains in a some milk or water, just enough to cover it plus 1 inch and you can keep it in the back of your fridge. If you use milk... it would be a good idea to add a little milk a couple times to feed the kefir and keep them healthy till you use them again. See you around! Thank you for stopping by :o)

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  14. Thanks for the tip, Marilyn! Looking forward to trying this.

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  15. Hello Marilyn! I just found your blog on the internet. I was wondering if I could make coconut keifer from the milk in the can rather than buying fresh coconuts. I read in the Body Ecology diet to use fresh coconuts. I want to learn how to make coconut keifer so I am going to try your recipe. Glad I found ou and look forward to learning more. :)

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  16. Hello! Yes, you can use coconut milk from the can... but it will be very thick. You can thin it down a little using coconut water. Either way it is delicious! Hope to see you around!

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  17. Hello Marillyn,
    I am enjoying your blog and learning from you! I have a question about the coconut milk keifer. After it is done culturing, how do you remove the keifer grains from the keifer? It sounds really good and I am looking forward to trying it. I am just not sure how to remove the grains when it is done. Thank you for your help. Debbie

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  18. Hello Debbie!
    Great to meet and thank you for stopping by! I am glad you asked about how to drain the kefir because I realized I missed that part... I've added in that you need to use a plastic colander or sieve to drain the kefir. glad to help you!

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  19. Thank you for posting this. I am dairy and gluten free but wanted to try kefir. My question is does using coconut milk instead of real milk restrict the cultures or cause them to become old faster? I want to be able to use my grains for a long time and I am hoping they will grow over time as well. I was also wondering if you have a recipe for making coconut water kefir with the grains. Thanks so much!

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  20. Thanks for posting this. I am gluten and dairy free but wanted to try kefir to improve my flora. I was wondering if using coconut milk instead of cows milk restricts the growth of the kefir grains or makes them old faster. I would like to be able to use them for a long time in many batches and even multiply them if possible. Also, have you ever tried making coconut water kefir with the grains?

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  21. Hello Anonymous-
    You are more then welcome! Glad you found this post. I've had no problems with my kefir grains since I started making coconut milk kefir almost over a year ago. Kefir grains are very proliferate and will keep on producing as long as you provide them food (sugars from the milk or sweet water).

    Yes, I have made coconut water kefir many times with water grains and love it! It has a very different taste, but if made right... you'll get a refreshing & fizzy drink. I should do a post on that! Hope this helps and have a wonderful week :o)

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  22. Hi Marilyn,
    I have been making milk kefir but want to try cocnut kefir. When I read the ingredients on the cocnut milk tins they were maximum od 48% coconut plus water & preservative. Is it still OK to use?
    Sue

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  23. Hello Sue! Do you have access to a more natural brand of coconut milk like Thai Kitchen? They only have coconut milk, water & guar gum. I don't know how the kefir will reacte to the preservatives. Water is fine... just needs to have the sugars from the milk to feed and product probiotics.

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  24. Hello Julie!
    I'm so sorry for not publishing your comment sooner. I obviously missed yours somehow. Anyway, glad I can still help :o)

    My grains seem to be doing great living in coconut milk. The grains still grow... maybe not as much as they do in dairy milk, but they still grow.

    I was actually thinking the other day about getting together a post about making coconut water kefir. Thanks for the reminder and thank you for your patience.

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  25. Does the coconut water kefir culture at room temperature?

    After you strain it, do you refrigerate it?

    Chris

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  26. Hello Chris! Yes kefir cultures in room temperature and yes you need to refrigerate it after you've strained it.

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  27. How long does the coconut milk kefir last once it's 'kefired' and in the refrigerator?

    Thanks! And LOVE your recipes!

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  28. Hello Kristi! I'm glad you are loving the recipes. Thanks for the sweet words. Now, the coconut kefir should last anywhere from 1 to 2 weeks. But we go through it too quickly to know for sure how long it can last. I do know that because it has been fermented... it becomes naturally preserved by the probiotics and such.
    Thank you for asking!

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  29. Hi, My name is Oscar and I have recently started making kefir using raw milk for about a month now. I just love it. I am from South America and coconuts are a staple there! We love them! I would love to make coconut milk kefir, to use in smoothies, ice cream (hmmm... my mouth water!) etc. Thank you for posting this great information on your blog. My question is... Can you use the Kefir grains, after you have been using it for a few batches of coconut kefir, to make milk kefir again?

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  30. Hello Oscar!! I am so glad you are enjoying kefir... awesome stuff, yes! To answer your question... yes and yes :o) I have done it will no problems. Just need to rinse the grains with filtered water before transfering them and give them a couple days to adjust back to the raw milk or coconut milk. Hope you will have good success! Thank you for visiting my blog :o)

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  31. Hi, thanks for your info -I am wanting to make it out of canned coconut milk - but am confused about kefir Grains of kefir starter and ones used in cow milk or water ones.....I have a few packets of Body Ecology powdered kefir starter -will that work? - And will grains I find from people who have cultures the grains in milk work in canned cocnut milk? - Hope these are not too many question. I have access to Organic Thai Coconut milk.

    Thanks - Jan

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  32. Hey Jan! You should be able to make coconut kefir out of the can no problems. Just make sure it is in a clean glass jar. Also, the powdered kefir starters only work a few times... the grains are the best to get because they last a lifetime if property cared for. Also, you can use water kefir or milk kefir to make it. Most vegans get the water kefir to make coconut kefir, but milk kefir works just as good. Glad to help and hope you have great success! Please don't apologize for your questions! I am glad to help :o)

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  33. Lovely post and very informative! I am so glad I ran into this website. I have just started experimenting with coconut milk kefer. I would like to know if you are using the canned coconut milk can you give more details on how to strain the milk? In the past I have tried this and the milk is soo thick you can hardly get the grains out. Also, how long can you use the kefir grains to culture the coconut milk? Do I have to alternate them between cows milk and coconut milk in order for them to keep thriving and stay healthy? Do your grains grow when you use coconut milk?

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  34. Hello!
    I simply use a spatula to drain the milk. I have to do that with our cow's milk kefir because it can get thick. I've used the grains in coconut milk for several months before putting back in regular milk and it did great. I don't think it needs to go back and forth, but if the kefir grains aren't doing their job in the coconut milk... you might need to let them sit in regular milk for awhile to restore it. Yes, my grains grew a TON when using coconut milk... and it is going crazy in the cow's milk now. Hope this helps! Thank you for coming by!!

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  35. Great post! I only have water kefir grains....will this work for me or would I have to track down some milk kefir grains?? I love the thickness of this and love coconut! Thanks!

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  36. I purchased coconut milk kefir from Whole Foods. May I use this to make more kefir using organic coconut cream and water? If so, what proportions?

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  37. Hi I just thought I would add a comment that I found on Doms kefir, he says to put a bit of cows milk in the coconut or soy milk when not using cows milk on it's own just to keep the grains healthy. They like the lactose in the milk. This applies to the milk kefir grains only. I would think that changing them over every once in a while back to cows milk would be sufficient though. Happy Kefiring guys.

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  38. there is no mention of using sugar with the coconut milk is it not necessary?

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  39. Hi there - thanks for your coconut milk kefir info! I have been making coconut kefir from canned coc milk for about 3 weeks. Has your kefir ever turned yellowish on the top, and do you think that's okay? I just currently switched to do a batch of regualr dairy milk, because of reading the info that I needed to do that on occasion to keep the grains healthy...but I did not rinse them off first, whoops. We'll see what happens - I have noticed that the Thai Kitchen brand of coc milk is thicker and makes a thicker kefir. The Native forest brand does not turn out as thick. I am using kefir in shakes for now, and that's the only way my kids will drink it :) thanks again.

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  40. Hello to you! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experience. Yes, I've had my kefir turn a slight yellow on the top and its find... it is usually because it has been fermenting a little too long. No harm done... just keep an eye on it as the weather warms up. I really like Thai Kitchen brand, but found that fresh coconut milk is divine! Whatever works for you and whatever you have on hand is good! Thanks again for stopping by!

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  41. Hi! Thanks for sharing all the lovely recipes with us! I enjoy looking at the photos, can almost taste the yummy healthiness.

    I've just tried making coconut milk kefir for the first time from scratch. Literally. I live in Singapore so I have access to freshly grated coconut. Squeezed a whole bunch to get a sweet-smelling jar of pure coconut milk. However, instead of that lovely cream that you got, the milk "split" into 2 layers of coconut "milk" and lighter liquid. Smells like coconut oil and tastes sour. Is this how it is supposed to be? I only cultured it for less than 24 hours with my milk kefir grains. Now it's sitting on my counter and I don't know what to do with it! It's nothing like the milk kefir that I usually get from my milk grains. Appreciate your advice if you have ever come across such an experience as well.
    Thanks!

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  42. Hello Marjorie!
    I believe that the split it normal, especially if your temperatures are very warm. Yes, some sourness is normal... but it should have a coconut sour taste to it. If it still smells like coconut... than it is good! Simply whip it back together and put it in your fridge, it will thicken beautifully in there. Then use it for smoothies, over fruit or ice cream or whatever you like :o) Hope this helps!!

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  43. What a wonderful blog! I just ran across it and I love it!

    I have a quick question for you. I have an 8 month old; I've been working on a dairy free homemade baby formula. I would like to include a bit of coconut kefir in it and want to make it instead of purchasing the so delicious brand as I can't pronounce the ingredients.

    What kind of kefir grains should I buy? I don't know where to start. I need to make it dairy free and not use milk to keep the grains in - I've never made kefir of any sort so would love to start w/ some good grains - just not sure what kind - a dairy free version?

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  44. Thank you for your advice. Somehow, haha :-) guess what happened? I put it into the fridge and it split again into a rockhard white layer and coconut liquid underneath. Took it out to thaw and it became an oily mess. Do you think it's because I didn't let the milk kefir grains eat up enough of the milk? Not giving up! I'm going to try again.

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  45. Hello AJ! Great to meet you :o)
    You can buy water kefir grains to culture the coconut milk, just need to culture the grains in sugar water once every couple weeks to feed it. You can go (through my ads on the sidebar, thanks!) to Cultures for Health and order grains from them OR find someone locally who has water kefir grains. Alos, Cultures for Health has great information in making different kinds of diary free kefir. Check it out! Plus, the owner is a great help too!

    Hello Marjorie! Sounds like you made some extra virgin coconut oil! Seriously. The cream completely seperated from the oil. That is not so easy to accomplish, but with fresh coconut milk... it happens. How warm is your kitchen? Maybe try stirring the mixture a couple times during the culturing process. YES!! Don't give up! You will get it right :o)

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  46. Thank you!! I will check out your link. My husband and I are SO ready to get her off of her formula. It was so sad to not be able to nurse her so hopefully the little things we are doing to help her along will make a difference!

    By the way - you are a pretty lady!!!

    I'll be making the kefir soon and hope to have success.

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  47. Oh I'm so excited to come across this. I am so confused about this though. There are no sugars shown in the nutritional data on my coconut milk so I'm curious if it will still grow. I use the unsweetened coconut milk that you refridgerate (So Delicious I think it is, but the unsweetened kind) or the unsweetened So Delicious Boxed coconut milk. Do I have to use the canned. I read a recipe about making your own w/ shredded coconut and water tonight(not fresh coconut or coconut water, just regular water). What do you think of using that? how would I know if its bad? Grains stop growing maybe? I'm worried that the perservatives in the boxed or refridgerated coconut milk would keep it from fermenting?! But I HATE to use the can...sorry that was a lot...Help please! :D Thanks!

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  48. Hello and thank you so much for this blog! I just got my water kefir and Im going to make my coconut kefir today for the first time. I want it to be thick and creamy so Im going to use whole coconuts and blend the water and meat together. my question is after it cultures do i strain it to get my kefir beads back out? Or do I leave them in?

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    1. Hello Jessie, yes you need to strain it to get your kefir grains to make the next batch. The grains will live longer than you if you take care of it and keep on giving it the food (sugar) it needs to thrive. Just to be aware... there might be some separation of the water and coconut meat. I did not have that problem has I've used 100% coconut milk (no water), but you might get that. Don't worry and simply stir it back together. Hope it works well for you!!

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    2. Also, forgot to say that it will take a few batches before your new grains will start to take off and the milk to sour well. So, don't give up if the first doesn't do well!!

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  49. Hi! Lovely post! I have some milk kefir grains that have been sitting in my fridge for awhile...in the same milk. Eww. But just curious if you think they are still usable for any kefir, and how would I know if they weren't good anymore....Thanks!
    Blessings, Kathy

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    1. Kathy, thank you! How long is awhile? Are there any mold growing? If not, then they should be fine. You should be able to revive them with some fresh milk. It might take at least 12 to 24 hours to really get the process going.

      If there's no mold growing, it should still be good! Make sure to wash the grains with filtered water, strain and put in fresh milk.

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  50. I have milk kefir that keeps growing white furry patches on top..pretty much matches the milk so its hard to see...but noooo mold on the kefir grains...any thoughts about that?

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    1. Sounds to me that the milk is fermenting too fast. How long do you leave it out and what is the normal room temperature? I have seen white fuzzy patches on top my kefir when I leave it out too long or the room temp was too warm that it ferments too quickly, before getting thick. Make sense?

      Also, do you wash off your grains once in a while? It is always good to do that because the fermented milk on the grains can cause the fresh milk to ferment too fast.

      Hope that helps!!

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  51. oh yes!!! ok so hopefully the grains are still safe...I've DEF been leaving it out too long...its a pint jar and I've been doing more than 24 hours and its 75 degrees in my house!!! I wash them off with milk normally...thanks so much

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  52. Yum! I can see why this post is SO popular. I'm sharing it today as well on FB fan page and have pinned it too. Can't wait to give it a try. I didn't realize how EASY it is! Thanks, Marillyn! Blessings, Kelly

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