Rich creamy fermented coconut milk? Yes please! You’ve got to give this coconut kefir recipe a try. Coconut kefir is great alone, but can be used in a ton of recipes too.
What is kefir?
Milk kefir or dairy kefir is a fermented dairy drink made by inoculating milk with kefir grains. Kefir grains are the symbiotic culture that’s used to make kefir. You can make kefir with cow, goat or sheep’s milk.
Kefir grains are also sometimes used to ferment coconut milk or other milk alternatives, or even sodas similar to water kefir or kvass. In this post I’ll be talking about using kefir grains to ferment coconut milk kefir.
If you want to know more, read my in depth article on kefir here.
What is coconut milk kefir?
Coconut milk kefir is just kefir made with coconut milk instead of animal milk. It’s super delicious! You can drink coconut milk kefir as it is, use it like yogurt, add it to a smoothie or even make popsicles with it.
Rich in probiotics and good saturated fats this tasty treat will not disappoint.
How to make coconut milk kefir?
Making coconut milk kefir is really easy. The only special thing you need is kefir grains. If you’re already making dairy kefir, this process is almost exactly the same. Instead of animal milk, you’re using full fat coconut milk.
Coconut Kefir Recipe
- Kefir grains
- Coconut milk
- Quart size canning jar (find them at Walmart or your local grocer)
- Canning funnel
- Fine mesh nylon strainer
- Small silicone spatula
- Immersion blender (optional)
- Pour 2 cans of coconut milk into a quart sized jar.
- Stir or blend really well.
- Add kefir grains and stir gently.
- Cover with cloth or coffee filter or rubberband.
- Check after 12 hours and stir again gently.
- After 24 hours strain out kefir grains to reuse and your coconut kefir is ready!
It can be tricky to get those kefir grains out of the finished coconut kefir. You want to keep them because you can use them again and again to make more batches of kefir. Watch the video to see how I do it.
What kind of coconut milk should I use to make coconut kefir?
This is a great question. The coconut milk you use to make this coconut kefir recipe is going to make all the difference in the outcome you end up with.
Coconut milk in cartons
First I will tell you what I do not recommend. I do not recommend coconut milks that come in a carton. The brand So Delicious’ Organic Original Coconutmilk has a long list of ingredients. From their website:
Organic Coconutmilk (Filtered Water, Organic Coconut Cream), Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Guar Gum, Vitamin and Mineral Blend (Calcium Phosphate, Magnesium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, L-Selenomethionine [Selenium], Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D2, Zinc Oxide, Vitamin B12), Xanthan Gum.
Yikes, I don’t know about you but I don’t need cane sugar to be the second ingredient in anything that I buy. Not to mention all the added synthetic vitamins. Let’s compare those ingredients to another product.
Coconut milk in cans
There are many brands of canned coconut milk. Most of them have fewer ingredients than the major carton coconut milk style beverage above. However, many canned coconut milks have an added stabilizer. Something added to the milk to keep the consistency better and keep the fat from separating from the water in the milk. The most common stabilizer added to canned coconut is guar gum.
Why does coconut milk separate?
Coconut naturally separates when it is at room temperature. That is why stabilizers like guar gum is often added. When using natural coconut milk without added stabilizers you will see the coconut milk separate and that’s totally normal and completely fine.
That is why I use an immersion blender to blend the coconut milk before adding the kefir grains, and why I gently stir the coconut kefir as it ferments.
What is the best coconut milk to use in the coconut kefir recipe?
I will only use canned coconut milk when making this coconut kefir recipe. I like to choose a brand of coconut milk with no stabilizer.
In the past, I did use a brand of coconut milk that contained guar gum. It made very good coconut milk kefir. The benefit of the guar gum is that the coconut milk does not separate. Producing an even and silky coconut kefir. However, I really like to minimize the additives in my foods. Since I’m already buying a tropical tree nut that has been “milked” and processed into a milk like substance, the least I could do is buy it straight up.
I found that Trader Joe’s coconut milk and coconut cream have no other ingredients besides coconut and they are Organic. Where I am, they were also cheaper than any other canned coconut milk I could find. I used to make special trips to Trader Joe’s just for coconut milk and buy like 48 cans at a time and nothing else. I hate going there, the friggen parking lot is a nightmare. Buying that much meant I only needed to go there twice a year. That was until I found Azure Standard’s new coconut milk.
What is Azure Standard?
Azure Standard is an Oregon based, family-owned business that sells organic groceries and household products directly to the consumer. You sign up for free, place an order and either have it shipped directly to you or meet their truck at one of their many drop points.
Azure has many “store brands” available and they have just added coconut products to that list of Azure products. They have many options available, even one with guar gum. I’m really impressed with the quality of this canned coconut milk.
To learn more about Azure click here.
How to use coconut kefir?
So you’ve made coconut kefir and you might be wondering what you can best use it for. Well, if you can manage to not just drink all of it immediately.
Coconut kefir makes the best popsicles. Unlike milk or juice, when frozen coconut milk does not become icy. This means your coconut milk popsicles will have a creamy texture and naturally sweet taste without adding sugar.
You can also use coconut kefir as you would yogurt in smoothies or parfaits. You can’t go wrong, this stuff is so good.
I don’t want milk kefir, can I just make coconut kefir?
I have read that it’s best to expose kefir grains to cow, sheep or goat milk regularly. Many people have said that you cannot exclusively make coconut milk with your grains or they will eventually weaken and die. It is said that there are certain nutrients in the animal milk that the kefir grains need to stay healthy.
With all that being said, I don’t actually know because I have never tried. I switch back and forth making cow’s milk kefir and coconut milk kefir regularly. I have never made more than 3 consecutive batches of coconut milk kefir.
If you are someone who exclusively makes coconut kefir and you’re successful, or you weren’t, please let me know in the comments below.