By Lynnie Stein / March 6, 2021

Coconut Kefir

Kefir grains to ferment no-moo like coconut milk

Kefir grains can even be used to ferment fresh coconut and juice.

When making coconut milk kefir, you are essentially starving your grains of the food they need.

This is ok for a short period of time (1-2 batches) but, if you want to keep them alive, you will need to put them back into their normal food source.

Milk kefir grains eat dairy milk (cow, goat, sheep, etc.).

Get into a routine if you want a constant supply of coconut milk kefir, 1-2 batches coconut milk kefir, 1 batch dairy milk kefir and so on.

Or use the excess grains and then use the grains on your skin or feed to the animals or eat ‘em.

Sometimes coconut milk kefir may be runny.

This can be due to changing the kefir grain’s food (for example, from moo milk to coconut milk).

You can give the grains a quick rinse first in coconut milk – so it is not such a big shock with the change from mammal milk.

Do not worry when straining the kefir grain from coconut milk if it is runny as the coconut milk has fat content, once refrigerated it gets firm like a pudding.

Chia gel is your friend if not firm enough for your dessert creations!

Coconut milk kefir (kefir grains)

2 cups coconut milk (can of full-fat organic Coconut Milk or a double batch of Homemade Coconut Milk)

1 tablespoon milk kefir grains

Place the milk kefir grains and the coconut milk in a glass jar.

Lightly cover and set on the counter /in cupboard for 24 hours.

After 24 – 48 hours, (tasting periodically to see if the culture has reached your desired sourness). Strain the grains out of the coconut milk kefir and use.

Or 1 cup coconut water + 3 cups coconut milk + 2 tablespoons kefir grain.

Place the milk kefir grains and the coconut water + coconut milk in a glass jar.

Lightly cover and leave at room temperature for 24 hours.

At the end of 24 hours, strain the grains out of the coconut kefir and refrigerate overnight.

Add berries, dash of raw honey, vanilla powder. Pour into a pretty re-purposed jar and enjoy.

Coconut milk kefir (prepared kefir)

2 cups of coconut milk

¼ cup of prepared milk kefir

Place the coconut milk and the prepared milk kefir into a container.

Mix the coconut milk with the prepared kefir then cover and let sit 24 hours.

After 24 hours, enjoy your coconut milk kefir.

It really is a stunning taste sensation.

It is also lovely with fresh seasonal fruits or a portion of avocado and spice.

• Some freshly grated coconut blended with banana and with either grated apple or passion fruit added.

• Several sprouted blanched almonds blended with sweet pineapple and topped with micro greens.

• Or over seasonal berries for dessert.

This recipe is great for any non-dairy milk, almond and hemp etc.

Follow any of the recipes and feel free to adjust ingredients and substitute.

Coconut milk kefir, any kefir for that matter, tastes sour.

Similar in taste to plain yoghurt (not the same but close in terms of tartness).

If you do not like plain yoghurt, chances are you will not like plain kefir. That is fine you can still consume coconut milk kefir and get the amazing benefits.

Once fermented, add Manuka or local raw honey and vanilla or use in occasional desserts (chia puddings) to make it more palatable. In our kitchen we prefer to skip the honey, taste buds love to be tickled with the lovely sour taste.

• Kefir is a great substitute for yoghurt, buttermilk or sour cream in recipes, of course when using coconut milk kefir, you will also add in a coconut note so keep that in mind.

You will kill the good beasties, however, if you have excess coconut milk kefir, it is delightful in curries. There are many ways to use this life-rich and diverse food.

We live in the tropics and are blessed with a plentiful supply of free green and ripe coconuts.

Remember to feed the grains to keep them healthy and propagating.

Say nutty cheese

Strain coconut milk kefir (without the grains) the same as previous kefir cheese machine through muslin cloth.

Line a sieve, colander or funnel with cloth.

Place sieve over a bowl to catch the whey.

At room temperature strain enough whey to have thick creamy yoghurt 4-12 hours.

The yield is approximately 1 cup of yoghurt for 1 can of coconut milk.

Continue to strain -Up to 24 hours to have fresh coconut kefir “green “cheese.

Once the desired consistency is reached, scrape the yoghurt or cheese into a bowl or container for storage.

You can shape the firmer cheese into little balls and roll in spices, sprinkle on young coconut noodles, sea spaghetti or use with sprouted kimchi and sauerkraut crackers and fresh veggies as a substitute for cream cheese.

It will melt in high heat.

Add to zucchini zoodles – great for lunch box (loved by raw foodies).

Slice zucchini with a spiraliser or mandolin

In a bowl, mix lacto-fermented salsa, smashed avocado and zucchini spaghetti together.

Top with creamy coconut cheese and mint leaves.

Let the finished dish sit for a few minutes.

Non-spiced cheese is great as a main filling ingredient in making a ravishing raw vegan cheesecake.

Note on straining kefir when using homemade coconut milk: 

The curd/fat layer of kefir can be solid, the straining step can be avoided. 

In our tropical kitchen we carefully spoon the thick top layer into a strainer and push the curd through to separate out the Kefir Grains.

If the curd is thick, it can be thinned with a bit of the whey that naturally separates out to the bottom.

If the yoghurt has a bit of a curdled texture, a quick blend in a blender will smooth it out. 

 Fresh meat coconut yoghurt

Young coconut flesh is a favourite ingredient in our tropical kitchen, as it ferments with spices very well.

It provides a unique flavour and array of vitamins, minerals, fats, and proteins.

1 cup of coconut meat

1/2 cup Coconut /Milk Kefir

Add the meat to a blender or food processor. Add a little liquid kefir to get the yoghurt started.

Add to container- this makes about 8 x 3 tablespoon portions of yoghurt.

Place in dehydrator at 100 degrees F and leave for 12 hours.

The possibilities are limitless with what one can do with coconut milk kefir, cheese and yoghurt!

•Turn into overnight oats, sourdough starter, pancakes, ice cream, chia-porridge and puddings, cereal, popsicles, parfaits, dips and raw desserts and treats.

•Home made miso is delicious combined with coconut cheese. Miso can be added in small quantity to almost any recipe, along with sauerkraut as a salt replacement or to add flavour.

•Whipped cream – allow coconut cream kefir to chill. Add blitzed un-refined sugar / organic icing sugar / manuka / raw honey, vanilla and beat until whipped.

Instead of drinking straight-up or a base for a green juice or smoothies, we have often used as a base for cold soups and raita.

For a nice variation to a coconut milk kefir smoothie, try adding an avocado, carob/ cacao powder and a few soft soaked dates (Medjools are sweet; for a date with much lower sugar content, try Deglet Noor) blend, serve and enjoy!

Avocado known as “butter fruit” in Vietnam, are used as a dessert ingredient throughout South East Asia.

Sinh to Bo

Ripe avocado

1 cup of ice cubes

1/2 cup coconut milk kefir

Optional dash of honey

Blitz until smooth.

Add more coconut milk kefir if desired.

A squeeze of lime juice or a fine slice of fermented ginger and turmeric are tasty additions.

Coconut cucumber soup

Puree in the blender – 4 cucumbers (peeled chopped and seeded).

Add 2 cups of coconut kefir

1 clove of crushed fermented garlic, some fresh mint leaves and dill. Add a little honey and salt to taste.

Add sufficient water to achieve the desired consistency.

Serve chilled with pepper, golden paste, chopped chives and parsley, dill or spring onions.

Coconut yoghurt raita

1 medium-large cucumber (peeled chopped and seeded)

2/3 cup coconut yoghurt / coconut milk kefir

1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice, or more, to taste

1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs (mint, parsley, dill, chives or shallots)

Pinch ground cumin

Combine kefir and lemon or lime juice in a small bowl. Whisk together.

Combine the cucumber and kefir in a serving container along with the remaining ingredients.

Stir together gently.

Season and Chill before serving.

Love and bacteria, Lynnie xo

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© 2021 Lynnie Stein