Coconut milk (not water) kefir is kefir that is fermented from coconut milk instead of cow, goat or other dairy milk. Milk kefir grains are used to turn the coconut milk into a rich, creamy, and slightly tangy plant-based kefir.
How do you make coconut milk kefir?
The steps for making coconut milk kefir are identical to making regular kefir except you replace the dairy milk with coconut milk.
- 1 tablespoon of milk kefir grains
- A cup of coconut milk*
- You will need a glass or plastic jar and a strainer. Make sure all equipment is clean before using
- Put kefir grains in clean glass jar
- Pour coconut milk into glass jar
- Cover the jar and wait for 12 – 24 hours, depending on how thick or tangy you want your kefir
- After 12 – 24 hours, strain the kefir into a cup or other container
- Use the leftover kefir grains to make your next batch of kefir (or put them in dairy milk to give them a break)
*What type of milk should you use?
You can buy prepackaged coconut milk, make your own from fresh coconut or plain desiccated coconut. The best option is of course fresh, homemade coconut milk but I find it a lot easier to buy prepackaged milk or make them from desiccated coconut.
If you’re buying the milk prepackaged, make sure it doesn’t contain preservatives, sweeteners or guar gum as these can make it harder for your kefir to ferment properly. I recommend the Natural Value Coconut Milk from Amazon if you’re having trouble finding a good prepackaged one locally.
If you have plain desiccated coconut at home, you can also make coconut milk with it:
Grains need to be fed dairy milk
While milk kefir grains are used in the process of fermentation, they cannot survive indefinitely in coconut milk. It is necessary to “feed” the grains with dairy milk after every few batches to ensure that the grains stay alive. Otherwise, you’ll see your grains getting smaller with each successive batch and they may eventually stop working.
To be safe, I usually alternate my grains between coconut and dairy milk.
Photo modified from: Meursault2004 (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons