In my journey to health I spent a long time eating Body Ecology style, which eliminated some foods, included some lesser known foods, and incorporated proper food combining. I still apply some of its principles to the meals I prepare for my family. Body Ecology founder, Donna Gates, highly recommends coconut water kefir. She sells it on her web site, but being who I am, I opted for affordability and the challenge of making it myself.
Not to be confused with coconut milk, coconut water is found in young green coconuts, before it is replaced with coconut meat.
I was told by a “sample lady” at Costco about one of her customers who had served in the military. He said that in times of war, when no IV fluid was available, they used straight coconut water in the IV’s of the wounded due its purity and high electrolyte content. Bottled coconut water is not as ideal as fresh, but this is what I have to use.
Coconut water contains some B vitamins, and is high in potassium and sodium which are good for adrenal health. It is sweet, as it contains easily digested carbohydrates which is what makes it suitable, temporarily, for kefir grains.
The name Kefir means “feel good” in Turkish. Kefir contains the essential amino acid tryptophan which helps calm the nervous system and is also used by the body to produce serotonin. Serotonin affects mood, appetite, digestion, sleep, and memory.
There are two types of kefir grains. One thrives in milk and the other in sugar water (called water kefir). I have not made water kefir, though I someday hope to try it. I already had dairy kefir grains and so I use them to make my coconut water kefir. If you have an allergy or intolerance to milk, you may want to use water kefir.
A mixture of live yeasts and bacteria, kefir grains digest sugars in the beverage they are added to, fermenting it into a sour but probiotic rich drink. Combining the coconut water and kefir gains you the benefits of both, but with less natural sugars. It provides good bacteria to populate your gut where most of your immune system resides and it improves digestion along the way.
Here you can see my kefir grains have been busy turning this milk into a thick kefir. They tend to float up toward the top.
I use a plastic mesh strainer that came with the Kefir Kit I bought from Cultures From Health to rinse my grains. Never use metal with your kefir grains. Use a plastic strainer, but store your grains in glass so that your kefir does not leach chemicals from the plastic.
When I wash the grains under cool water, I use a wooden spoon or clean hands to rinse the milk off as best as possible.
Because milk kefir grains thrive in milk, it is important not to keep them out for too long. They do not convert the coconut water as quickly as they do milk. The grains will float up and down in the liquid. Milk kefir is ready to consume 12-24 hours after adding grains, depending on how thick and how sour you want it. I leave my kefir grains in coconut water between 2-3 full days. I often do 2 batches in a row so my fridge is stocked and then I promptly put the grains back into milk for one or two cycles to make sure they are fed well and strong before placing them back into the refrigerator to store. If they spend too much time in the refrigerator they will lose their ability to ferment. As long as I give mine a couple of days in milk on the counter every two or three weeks they are fine.
Once your coconut water kefir is done fermenting, strain the grains out and add to a clean glass container to either make more coconut water kefir or refresh with milk. Store your finished products in the refrigerator.
Drink 1/4 cup in your Plexus Slim for a lemonaidy taste or with meals for better digestion. My little ones beg to drink it anytime as they are accustomed to sour flavors and enjoy them. I love this since I know I am giving them something that will protect their immune system and benefit them in many ways.
Are you ready to add this to your wellness routine?
If you do not already have kefir grains, or don’t know anyone who can share (they multiply over time) you can order a starter from Cultures For Health. The grains come dehydrated with detailed directions on rehydrating and using. The website also has many video tutorials and recipes for using their cultured products.
If you would like to read about more of the health protecting benefits of kefir, Dr. Axe has a good article.
If you plan to make a boosted rice sourdough starter, this coconut water kefir is what I used to create the starter. Look for instructions in a future post!
Can you use milk kefir grains to make kefir from coconut milk? Umm, yes. I did it once with canned coconut milk. It worked. It was also one of the few things that ever made me gag! 😉 So, you can try it if you want to. Maybe you will like it better than I!!