Coconut milk kefir – a non-dairy kefir alternative
Milk kefir is fantastic diary drink with high amounts of probiotics, vitamins, minerals and proteins. However, despite fermentation which removes much of the lactose in milk (kefir grains feed on it), there is still some left and many feel the effects of it. For some this might be just gas others might have severe case of diarrhea. In either case it’s not pleasant and might cause many to restrain from drinking kefir.
Not all is lost! There are non-dairy options.
First obvious non-diary option is water kefir, where fermentation happens in water by feeding kefir grains with sugar. This produces sweet fizzy drink, with lower amounts of probiotics.
But this is not all, there are also milk alternatives you can use. Most commonly used are nut milks (almond, walnut…). Maybe less used, but still very useful and incredibly tasty, is coconut milk. From Coconut you can use both milk and water (we will publish how to make coconut water kefir soon).
What is coconut milk?
Coconut milk is liquid produced by grating meat of a brown coconut. The colour and taste are attributed to high content of oil (saturated fat).
Traditionally, coconut milk is acquired through the grating of the white inner flesh of a brown coconut, and mixing the resulting substance with a small amount of water to suspend the fat present in the grated meat. (source)
How to make coconut milk kefir?
Process is quite easy and does not change much from fermenting diary milk. You will need to experiment a bit and see what is best for your kefir grains.
- Prepare Kefirko and milk kefir grains.
- Place grains in Kefirko together with coconut milk
- Stir the contents with the swizzle
- Cover and let it ferment.
- After 12 hours start checking for taste and consistency. When you reach desired taste strain and enjoy.
Donna Schwenk also adds a tip how to make coconut milk kefir creamier and tastier.
The secret is to add a little coconut spread. Coconut spread is made entirely from coconut meat. It is prepared by first drying coconut meat at low temperatures and then grinding it into a paste. (source)
Your milk kefir grains will need time to adjust. First one or two batches might not be as good as you want them to be. This is due to grains being used to another environment. This adjustment period is present with most small changes in fermentation environment (migrating from store both milk to fresh raw milk).
Overall coconut milk kefir is not all that difficult to prepare. Of course it goes without saying that better ingredients will produce better results. We recommend using organic canned coconut milk with at least 8 grams of carbohydrates (food for kefir grains). Try finding milk with no additives as they might damage your kefir grains.